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Vote for the Chicago Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for May

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Time once again to honor the best in the Cubs system.

Jhonny Pereda
Jhonny Pereda
Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

I can’t believe it’s June already and the MLB Draft is later today. But it is time for us to take a step back and look at the minor league system and honor those players who excelled in the month of May.

The rules are the same as they always are. I nominate five players — one from each team and for this month, at least, one “wild card” nominee. (Next month Eugene will join the fold.) Then you vote on the player you think had the best month of May. You can pick whatever statistics you want and you can add in defense and positional adjustments if you want. The one thing I ask you not to do is consider the player’s prospect status. We want to reward the player who had the best month of May 2018, not the player we think is going to have the best month of May 2021.

Voting will be open until Tuesday evening and I will announce the winner in Tuesday night’s Minor League Wrap. Tomorrow you will get a chance to vote for the best pitching performances for the month.

Clicking on the player’s name will take them to their milb.com page, where you can do more research if you wish.

Before I announce the nominees, I want to take time for a special shoutout to Iowa Cubs first baseman Efren Navarro, who really almost was nominated despite the fact that he was designated for assignment on May 26. Navarro had a big month (.337/.427/.500) and his DFA was mostly a procedural move. Yes, another team could have claimed him, but none did and he was back on the I-Cubs roster on May 29. It was only other performances that I deemed better (and by players who aren’t first basemen) that kept him off the ballot. But that would have been a first, for a player to get nominated in the same month he was DFA’d.

With that said, the nominees are:

Iowa Cubs second baseman David Bote

Bote got the nod over Navarro despite the fact that he spent a week in the majors this past month. Bote has quickly become a fan favorite in both Des Moines and Chicago with his hard-nosed play and solid hitting skills. He managed to get 20 games in Triple-A this past month and he hit .321/.418/.538 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 78 at-bats. Bote even stole two bases (in three attempts). At this point, the issue of this once-organizational filler player isn’t if he’s going to have a major-league career, but how good a one he’s going to have.

Tennessee Smokies shortstop Zack Short

Short was a prospect with a lot of helium coming into this season after a strong 2017 outing in High-A Myrtle Beach. There’s no question he struggled in his first April in Double-A and superficially, Short’s numbers in May look better but still not that impressive. But looking deeper, there is a lot to like. Yes, Short only hit .233 in 86 at-bats in 25 games, but he walked 16 times which gave him a pretty sweet OBP of .365. On top of that, more than half of his hits went for extra-bases and he had six doubles and five home runs, giving him a slugging percentage of .477. Short scored 18 times and drove home 13 runs. He also stole three bases in three attempts. Add in to the mix that he’s a shortstop who, while not great defensively, probably won’t have to move off the position, and that’s a valuable month and hopefully, a valuable player. The one red flag is his strikeout totals as he whiffed 25 times last month.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans catcher Jhonny Pereda

The 22-year old Venezuelan is having a breakout season in Myrtle Beach this summer. In the month of May, Pereda hit .287/.386/.460 with six doubles and three home runs in 87 at-bats. Pereda had never hit more than two home runs in an entire season before this year and now he has three in one month. Pereda scored 14 runs and drove in 16. Plus, I was impressed with his 14 walks (a career-high for a month) with just 18 strikeouts. On top of that, he’s a catcher and while he’s still raw, he certainly has the tools to be a good one.

South Bend Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya

Pereda’s biggest worry might be the guy coming up behind him, who at only 19, is very much looking like the highly-touted international free agent the Cubs signed in 2015 out of Panama. Amaya played 26 games in May and he hit .272/.358/.467 with four home runs and 17 RBI in 92 at-bats. Amaya also has a stong arm behind the plate, although it’s not currently translating into many caught stealings. But he’s still young and learning and so are his pitchers. His overall defensive skills are quite good for a 19-year-old catcher in low-A.

South Bend Cubs centerfielder Zach Davis

Do not confuse Davis with the Brewers pitcher Zach Davies, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been writing up Davis’ exploits and I’ve wanted to add that extra “e.”

But beside not forgetting his name, don’t forget Davis’ month of May which saw him move from a number nine hitter in the lineup to batting leadoff by the end of the month. And what a job as a leadoff hitter! Davis hit .300/.382/.344 for the month and you can tell by that line he doesn’t have a lot of power. Davis had 27 hits in 90 at-bats and 24 of them were singles. (Two doubles, one triple). But Davis walked ten times and he stole 13 bases out of 15 attempts. When Davis is on base, he’s running. Davis scored 20 runs in his 27 games in may and drove in just eight, but that’s not his job. On top of that, he’s a center fielder who covers a lot of ground out there.

Poll

Who is the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for May?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Iowa Cubs second baseman David Bote
    (97 votes)
  • 3%
    Tennessee Smokies shortstop Zack Short
    (6 votes)
  • 9%
    Myrtle Beach Pelicans catcher Jhonny Pereda
    (16 votes)
  • 19%
    South Bend Cubs catcher Miguel Amaya
    (33 votes)
  • 10%
    South Bend Cubs center fielder Zach Davis
    (17 votes)
169 votes total Vote Now