For the last time this season, it's time to vote for the BCB Minor League Pitcher of the Month for August. In case you're just tuning in now, the rules are the same as they've always been. I pick one pitcher from each team and you vote for the one that had the best month. You can use whatever criteria you want, but it has to be based on something that happened in the month of August.
Clicking on the player's names will take you to their milb.com page.
The winner will be announced in Friday night's Minor League Wrap.
With that said, the nominees are:
Iowa Cubs right-hander Dallas Beeler: Beeler was called upon to make three starts with the major league team in July and they weren't very good, so Beeler went back to Iowa at the beginning of August and for the most part, Beeler dominated. For the month of August, Beeler made six starts and went 5-0 with a 1.31 ERA. He pitched 41⅓ innings and allowed just nine runs, only six of which were earned. Beeler struck out 27 and walked only seven. After the first start of the month when he gave up five runs in 5⅔ innings, Beeler ripped off a streak of five starts in which he pitched 6⅔ or more innings and allowed one run or fewer.
Tennessee Smokies right-hander Ryan Williams: The Ryan Williams feel-good story went off the rails a bit in July, as Williams struggled a bit that month. But like any good drama, Williams overcame that reversal in August and the tenth-round pick from last season had his best month since his promotion from South Bend. In August, Williams made six starts and went 5-0 with a 2.02 ERA over 35.2 innings. While Williams got knocked around in his August 21 start, in the other five he went six innings and allowed one run twice and no runs three times. Williams isn't a strikeout pitcher, so he only had 19 strikeouts. But more impressively, Williams only walked five batters and held opposing hitters to a .185 average.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans left-hander Tyler Ihrig: Ihrig has bounced around quite a bit this season as he's been one of the pitchers who has been moved around to fill in for vacancies throughout the system. Ihrig has started at least one game for all four of the full-season Cubs minor league affiliates this summer. But he settled down in Myrtle Beach in August and he responded to the stability by allowing only two runs in 24 innings over seven appearances. And one of those two runs was unearned, which left him with an ERA for the month of 0.38. Ihrig technically only made one start in August, but he "piggybacked" a couple other times for starters whose innings were being limited, so he did make three appearances of four or more innings. Ihrig struck out 18 in August and walked only six.
South Bend Cubs right-hander Erick Leal: Best known among Cubs fans before this season as the guy the team got from Arizona for Tony Campana, Leal had his best month of the season by making five starts and going 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in August. He allowed eight runs in 19 innings last month (and no unearned runs!) and he struck out 22 and walked only six. Leal held opposing hitters to a .200 average over the month of August.
Eugene Emeralds right-hander Oscar De La Cruz: The 6-4 Dominican has been the Emeralds ace all season, but he was at his best in August. De La Cruz made five starts and he went 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA over 29⅔ innings. De La Cruz struck out more than a batter an inning by fanning 32 and walking only five. Opposing hitters hit only .209 against the big righthander with the big fastball. And while this shouldn't really be taken into consideration for your voting, De La Cruz was moved into the Top 30 Cubs prospects by MLBPipeline.com this past month.