It's time once again to vote for the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month! The rules are simple: I nominate five players, one from each of the top five minor league teams, and you vote for one of them. You can vote for whichever one you want but remember, this is an award for performance, not prospect-status. Vote for what they did on the field in July, not what you think they'll do in 2018.
We'll do the pitchers tomorrow.
Second, I want to apologize that I didn't have a vote for the Player of the Month for June. I was on vacation and I just flat-out forgot until we were several days into July. At that point, I figured since no one had asked about it (and the Cubs had already announced their "official" choices) that I would just enjoy my vacation.
Finally, my apologies go out to Donnie Dewees, who had a terrific July but one that was split between South Bend and Myrtle Beach. I couldn't justify nominating him over two other candidates who had great months at one level, and I didn't want to just add a sixth candidate or leave Eugene out. Also Rashad Crawford had a great July, but I'm not nominating a member of the Tampa Yankees.
Clicking on the player's name will take you to the player's mib.com page. The winner will be announced in tomorrow night's Minor League Wrap. Voting will stay open until tomorrow evening.
With that said, the candidates are:
Iowa Cubs outfielder Mark Zagunis: Zagunis is becoming a fan-favorite with his superior on-base skills that remind me of a young Matt Murton. In July, Zagunis led the I-Cubs with an impressive .376 OBP and four home runs over 26 games, which led to a .483 slugging percentage. His batting average was a solid .270. He scored 15 runs and had 15 RBI.
Tennessee Smokies outfielder Bijan Rademacher: Rademacher slumped in June, but he bounced back in July in a big way. In 25 games, Rademacher hit .359/.379/.511 with two home runs. He only had eight RBI and 15 runs scored as the rest of the Smokies lineup slumped, but he had eight doubles. As always, he has a rifle arm in right field as well.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder David Bote: Bote has played three of the four infield positions this year, excepting shortstop. But Bote's real strength is his bat and he had a huge month of July, slugging .330/.421/.476 over 28 games for the first-place Pelicans. The 18th-round pick from 2012 hit two home runs, drove in 14 and scored an impressive 22 times.
South Bend Cubs outfielder Eloy Jimenez: The highlight of Jimenez's July was a massive home run and a terrific catch in right field in the Futures Game. But what he did in South Bend was no less impressive: he hit .354 for the month with a .388 OBP and a .544 slugging percentage. It tells you something about Jimenez that that was his worst month for slugging percentage since April. He has seven doubles, one triple and two home runs over 21 games.
Eugene Emeralds third baseman Wladimir Galindo: The 19-year-old Venezuelan is not hitting for average and he strikes out too much. But he's showing a ton of power for someone so young at this level. Galindo only hit .202 in 24 games last month and he struck out 32 times. But he hit six doubles, three triples and four home runs while walking ten times. That give Galindo an isolated power of .270 for the month. That's awfully good. His triple-slash line was .202/.297/.472.