It’s May 1, and that means it’s time to vote for the BCB Minor League Player of the Month for April! For those of you who are just tuning in to the Minor League Wrap this season, here’s how this works. I pick five candidates from the minor league affiliates. There is always one from each club and one extra until Eugene starts playing in June. You vote for the one who had the best month. You can vote for whichever one you want based on any criteria you want, but you have to base your vote on something the player did on the field in April. This is an award for performance, not for prospect-status. If you just voted for the top prospect in the system, then Eloy Jimenez would win this month, and he’s still in Extended Spring Training. That’s not what this award is about.
Clicking on the player’s name will take you to their milb.com page where you can examine their month in greater detail.
The winner of the vote will be announced in Tuesday night’s minor league wrap. We’ll also have a vote for the pitcher of the month tomorrow.
With that said, the candidates are:
Happ is here mostly for one reason: he hit eight home runs in the month of April. That good enough for second in the Pacific Coast League, and more impressive when you consider that Happ plays in a poor home run park with Des Moines’ Principal Park and not one of those Mountain Time Zone launching pads. Happ also had 17 RBI to go with those eight home runs.
Happ only hit for a .250 batting average and a .333 on-base percentage, so he clearly has a few things to work on before a major league promotion. However, the Cubs are pushing him defensively as he not only played second base in April, he also played all three outfield positions and mostly center field.
Iowa Cubs 3B Jeimer Candelario:
Despite Happ’s eight home runs, it’s Candelario who leads Iowa in slugging percentage. Candelario “only” hit three home runs in April, but he chipped in ten doubles and two triples to give him a .625 slugging percentage. Candelario also hit .306 with a .432 on-base percentage. He also had 18 RBI.
Unfortunately, Candelario doesn’t have the defensive flexibility to play multiple position. Although he’s fine at third base, he’s obviously blocked there in Chicago. At least he got his Cubs’ World Series ring this past month.
Tennessee Smokies 3B Jason Vosler:
It’s a tough call here between Vosler and outfielder Charcer Burks, but Vosler had a tremendous final four games of the month, including a three-home run, six-RBI game on April 26. He had eight hits in the final four games and homered again on the 29th.
For most of the month, Vosler was struggling to stay above the Mendoza line. But his strong finishing kick gave him a strong slash line of .258/.375/.545 with five home runs and 14 RBI. The 11 walks in 21 games mean he was still contributing to the offense even when the balls weren’t falling in. He also only struck out 15 times.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans OF Daniel Spingola:
Not much is expected out of you when you are a 31st round pick and a college senior. But since the Cubs picked him out of Georgia Tech in 2015 after his senior year (the Cubs also drafted him as a junior but he didn’t sign), the left-handed hitting outfielder has found a way to get on base a lot. He got on base in April with hits (a .309 batting average) and with walks (a .375 on-base percentage). He’s also not a little singles hitter either (he’s 6’1”, actually). He hit four doubles, three triples and a home run in April for an even .500 slugging percentage. He even stole two bases in two attempts.
South Bend Cubs SS Zack Short:
Coming into this season, Short had one career minor league home run. He hit four in April, including a two-home run game on April 25. That’s good enough to lead the SB Cubs.
Short also has that control of the strike zone skill that the Cubs brass are always looking for. In April, he walked 17 times and struck out just 19 in 95 plate appearances. That meant that even though his batting average was a pedestrian .250, his OBP was an excellent .390 and his slugging percentage was also an even .500. Short also stole five base in seven attempts as he’s been South Bend’s leadoff hitter most of the month.
Defensively, Short actually played more at third base than at shortstop this month and he also played second base.
Who should be the BCB Cubs Minor League Player Of The Month For April?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs 2B/OF Ian Happ
Iowa Cubs 3B Jeimer Candelario
Tennessee Smokies 3B Jason Vosler
Myrtle Beach Pelicans OF Daniel Spingola
South Bend Cubs SS Zack Short