It’s hard to believe that we’re already done with the first month of the baseball season, but we are. That means it’s time to vote for the Bleed Cubbie Blue Minor League Player of the Month!
Because this is the first vote of the year and because I hope we have a lot of new readers, I’ll go over the rules again. Each month, I nominate one player from each of top Cubs minor league affiliates. Because Eugene doesn’t start play until June, in April and May I nominate one extra “wild card” nominee from one of the four full-season teams.
Then you vote for one of the five nominees. You can vote for whomever you want, but base your vote on what the player did in the month of April, not on who the best “prospect” is. This award is designed to honor performance on the field for the month, not what you think the player will do in two or three years. You can decide what statistics you want to value most and you can give extra credit for players who play premium defensive positions like catcher or shortstop. But base your vote on what the player did in the month of April.
The voting will be open until Wednesday evening and I will announce the winner in Wednesday’s Minor League Wrap. There will also be a separate vote for pitchers starting on Wednesday.
Clicking on the player’s name will take you to their milb.com page, where you can examine their statistics further.
Also, if you’re reading this on Google AMP or Apple News, you’ll have to go to a webpage to vote.
With that said, the nominees are:
Iowa Cubs outfielder Mark Zagunis
It was a rough April for the I-Cubs, but Zagunis, along with catcher Taylor Davis, have been two bright spots on offense. Zagunis hit .338 with two doubles and two home runs in 68 at-bats so far this season. Zagunis is still the “Greek Demigod of Walks” as he has walked 12 times (compared to 13 strikeouts) for an on-base percentage of .439. His slugging percentage was .456. He scored nine times and had nine RBI in 22 games this month.
Tennessee Smokies outfielder Jeffrey Baez
“The other” Baez hit three home runs this month with all three coming in a four-game stretch from April 20 to April 23. But that’s not all his fault as Baez wasn’t starting regularly for the Smokies before then, as that stretch of play forced manager Mark Johnson to start playing Baez regularly.
The final line on Baez for April hit .411/.443/.732 with seven doubles, one triple and the three home runs over 56 at-bats. Baez had 15 RBI and scored seven runs. He even stole five bases in seven attempts.
Tennessee Smokies center fielder Trey Martin
Martin has always been known as a strong defensive center fielder in the Cubs system, but Martin is off the best start of his career with the bat in 2018. Martin hit .318/.418/.394 over 66 at-bats. Martin had one home run and six steals in eight attempts. Martin scored 13 times and had six RBI.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans infielder Vimael Machin
Machin is a utility player who never seems to get a lot of respect, but his name certainly seems to pop up in the Minor League Wrap a lot. For the month of April, Machin had just 17 hits for a .246 batting average. But six of those hits were doubles and two were home runs, which gives him a .420 slugging percentage. On top of that, Machin walked 17 times and struck out just 12, which puts his on-base percentage also up over .400 at .402. Machin scored 14 runs and drove in 10 while splitting his time between second and third base defensively.
South Bend Cubs third baseman Austin Filiere
The guy that Hall-of-Fame baseball write Peter Gammons called one of the best general manager prospects in the game is showing no signs that he needs to stop playing yet. Filiere played 16 games in April and hit an impressive .310/.403/.448 with five doubles and a home run in 58 at-bats. He scored 9 runs and had 8 RBI, although the MIT grad would no doubt tell you those statistics are pretty meaningless. (Oh, did I mention the guy finished his management analytics degree from MIT in 3½ years?)
Who is the BCB Minor League Player of the Month for April?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs Mark Zagunis
Tennessee Smokies Jeffrey Baez
Tennessee Smokies Trey Martin
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Vimael Machin
South Bend Cubs Austin Filiere