Yesterday you had a chance to vote for the top position players in the Cubs system of May, and the polls are still open for a few hours if you haven’t had a chance to vote yet. Today, we look at the best arms in the system over the past month.
The rules haven’t changed. I nominated five pitchers and you vote for the one who had the best month. I only ask that you make your choice based on what the pitcher did over the month of May.
Voting will be open until Wednesday 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.
Iowa Cubs right-hander Alec Mills:
Mills hasn’t settled into a role in the back of the Cubs rotation like they hoped he would when they traded Donnie Dewees to the Royals for him before the 2017 season. Injuries last year played a big role in that, but Mills looked to be back on track in May. He made six starts last month and he went 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA. One of those starts was even in Colorado Springs.
Mills pitched 35.1 innings in May and struck out 34 while walking 14. He held opposing hitters to a .233 batting average. He also only allowed one unearned run, so that ERA is not unnaturally low.
Tennessee Smokies right-hander Trevor Clifton:
Clifton was probably the biggest disappointment of the 2017 minor league season as he failed to build on his terrific 2016 season and he dropped down most Cubs prospect lists. But Clifton started to look like his 2016 self in May. Clifton made six starts and went 1-1 with a 2.36 ERA. He threw 26.2 innings and struck out 25 and walked just nine. Opposing hitters were held to a .228 batting average.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-hander Matt Swarmer:
The 2016 19th-round draft pick out of Kutztown University has been this season’s breakout pitcher. Swarmer wasn’t quite as good in May as he was in April, but he was still pretty terrific, going 2-0 with a 2.95 ERA in four starts. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was terrific, as he struck out 27 and walked just three in 24.2 innings. Swarmer held opposing hitters to a weak .208 batting average.
South Bend Cubs right-hander Erich Uelmen:
Uelmen finished the month in good style, not allowing a single run over 17 innings in his final three starts. Uelmen’s final line for the month was 2-2 with a 2.16 ERA over five starts. Uelmen threw 25 total innings and he struck out 25 and walked just six. He held opposing hitters to a .232 average.
South Bend Cubs right-hander Cory Abbott:
Midwest League hitters had trouble catching up to Abbott in May as he struck out 41 batters in the 30.1 innings he pitched. Abbot made six starts and went 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA. That’s actually worse than his 2.12 ERA in April, but in 13 more innings. Abbott walked 11 and held opposing hitters to a .227 average. Abbott won’t finish June with South Bend if he continues to pitch like this.
Who is the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs Alec Mills
Tennessee Smokies Trevor Clifton
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Matt Swarmer
South Bend Cubs Erich Uelmen
South Bend Cubs Cory Abbott