It's time to vote for the BCB Minor League Pitcher of the Month! Just like the award for the player of the month, I pick one pitcher from each team and you pick which one had the best month. As always, this is an award from performance and not who the best prospect is, so keep that in mind. However, you can vote for whomever you want.
If you haven't voted for the Player of the Month Award, you still have time to do so. I'll announce the winner of the Player of the Month in the playoff wrap tonight and the pitcher of the month tomorrow.
We'll do a minor league player and pitcher of the year later in the week.
And the candidates are:
Iowa Cubs left-hander Eric Jokisch: If you want to know why Jokisch got a major league call-up, I'll give you two numbers: 24 and 1. The first is the number of strikeouts Jokisch had in August and the second is the number of walks. Jokisch has actually been pretty strong the whole second half, but in August Jokisch was 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts. He pitched 28 innings and while opposing batters did hit .300 off of him, the one walk, zero home runs and zero hit batsmen meant that those hits didn't hurt much.
Tennessee Smokies right-hander Pierce Johnson: You can debate whether Johnson or C.J. Edwards is the best pitching prospect in the Cubs system. Both of them missed a chunk of time in the middle of the season and both came back strong in August. But Johnson was a bit better in the month as he went 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA over six starts in August. In 31.1 innings, he struck out 34 and walked 14. He held opposing hitters to a .186 batting average.
Daytona Cubs left-hander Rob Zastryzny: The master of changing speeds played a big role in getting the Cubs to the playoffs and he was rewarded with the game one start yesterday. In August, Zastryzny made five starts and went 2-0 with a 3.33 ERA. Over 27 innings, Zastryzny struck out 30 and walked only eight. He held opposing batters to a .240 batting average.
Kane County Cougars right-hander Jen-Ho Tseng: Do you want to know why the Cougars finished with the best full-season record in baseball? One number: 2.85. That was the team ERA for the Cougars this season. I had a terrible time choosing which pitcher to pick for the nomination, but in the end I decided to go with Tseng. Tseng made three starts in August and a fourth appearance that was essentially a start after a game was suspended by rain in the first inning. Tseng didn't have a win or a loss, but had a 1.88 ERA in 24 innings. He only struck out 14, but more impressively he only walked four in that timespan. (He did hit three batters.) Tseng held opposing hitters to a .139 average in August.
Boise Hawks right-hander Josh Conway: Conway made four starts in August and gave up just two runs and only one of them was earned. Now Conway's starts weren't long and he only pitched 11 innings in August. But if you want to count September, Conway started September 1 and pitched three scoreless. So that's one earned run in 14 innings since August 1. (I haven't counted the one September game for these awards because it's more hassle than it's worth in every case but Conway's.) Since August 1, Conway has had a 0.63 ERA. He has struck out 11 and walked only two as he held opposing hitters to a .140 batting average.