The minor league season is almost over, so we'll take a moment to honor the best in the Cubs system for August. You should all know the drill by now: I pick one player from each of the five teams based on what they did in the month of August. You vote for the one you think had the best month of August. You can use whatever criteria you want, but it has to be on what the player did in the month of August. This is an award for performance, not how great a prospect the player is. So don't vote for a player just because you want to see them playing in Wrigley next season. (Although you can vote for that guy if you have other reasons for voting for him. Normally, the best prospects do tend to have the best months. That's why they're the best prospects.)
Clicking on the player's name will take you to their milb.com page with all their stats.
The winner will be announced in tomorrow's Minor League Wrap. Also tomorrow, you'll have a chance to vote for the best pitcher of the month as well.
With that said, the candidates are:
Iowa Cubs third baseman Jeimer Candelario. We've been following the ins and outs of Candelario's career for a while now, and it finally looks like he's major-league ready. Hopefully, he'll get a call to the majors this month, even if there isn't a whole lot of room on the roster for him to play. But Candy made his case for a September callup with a terrific August. Candelario hit .358/.412/.560 with four home runs and 25 RBI in 28 games. Despite the fact that he seemingly has been around forever, Candelario is still only 22 years old. He's got a bright future ahead of him, even if it might not be in Chicago.
Tennessee Smokies utility player Chesny Young: It was a tough call between Young and catcher Victor Caratini, who both had terrific months. Young gets the nod here based on his month at the plate where he hit .333/.370/.473, as well as his defensive versatility that has him playing all four infield positions and left field. Power isn't Young's strong point, but he did connect for ten doubles and a home run in August, which gives added value to his on-base skills. If Young could continue to hit doubles like that, he will be a very valuable player some time in the future.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder David Bote: Bote is quietly having one of the best seasons of anyone down in the minors. Or maybe half-season, because Bote didn't play much before the All-Star break. He missed most of May with an injury and then he spent time filling in with Tennessee and Iowa when they had injuries before getting left alone in Myrtle Beach. But August was Bote's best month of the year. He hit a terrific .367/.439/.541 in 28 games. He scored 22 runs and drove in 14 as the Pelicans have been close to unbeatable over the past month.
South Bend Cubs corner infielder Matt Rose: It's been a tale of two half-seasons for Rose this year. He started the season in South Bend and struggled so much that they sent him back to extended Spring Training before heading up to Eugene for the start of their season. Rose did well enough in Eugene that he was given a second chance in South Bend and he did not disappoint. In the month of August, Rose hit an impressive seven home runs over 103 at-bats in 27 games. He wasn't a one-dimensional slugger either as he posted a .291/.362/.573 with 22 RBI and 19 runs scored.
Eugene Emeralds second baseman Trent Giambrone: The Cubs 25th round pick out of Delta State has adjusted to pro ball just fine, as he's arguably been the best position player on an Ems teams that has gone a ridiculous 52-19 this season. (That's a team record for wins.) Giambrone hasn't slowed down as the year continued, which is pretty remarkable considering that he played his first game of the year in early February. (He retroactively gets the Minor League Player of the Month Award for February, by the way) Over 23 games in August, Giambrone hit .333/.441/.538 with three home runs and three steals.