A quick reminder of what this is all about. I nominate five pitchers, one from each affiliate above Arizona, and you vote on which one had the best month of July. You can vote for whichever one you want, but I just ask that you base your vote on what the player accomplished in the month of July.
I’ll announce the winner in tomorrow night’s Minor League Wrap.
You still have time to vote for the Player of the Month. The winner will be announced later in tonight’s Minor League Wrap.
Clicking on the player’s name will take you to the player’s milb.com page so you can do more research if you wish.
I probably should remind everyone that if you’re reading this on Apple News or Google AMP, the poll will be stripped out. You’ll have to go to a browser to vote.
The nominees are:
Iowa Cubs right-hander Dillon Maples:
Maples only pitched seven games and seven innings in relief in July, in part because he took two day-trips to Chicago during the month. But as you know, it’s extremely difficult to hit Dillon Maples and this month he was especially difficult. Maples didn’t allow a run in July and only gave up three hits for a .125 batting average. He struck out an incredible 16 batters in those seven innings. The downside is that he walked five and hit two batters.
Tennessee Smokies right-hander Keegan Thompson:
Thompson was promoted to Double-A in mid-June and his first start for the Smokies in June was poor, giving up eight runs in three innings. Since then, he’s been terrific.
For the month of July, Thompson made five starts and went 2-0 with a 1.48 ERA over 24.1 innings. He didn’t allow any unearned runs, either. Thompson struck out twenty, walked ten and held opposing hitters to a .236 average.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-hander Erick Leal:
Leal missed all of last season with an elbow injury that he did not have surgery on. His season started in Myrtle Beach in mid-May and he’s dominated the Carolina League in the best season of his career.
In the month of July, Leal made seven appearances, two of which were starts, which added up to 22.2 innings. Leal did not allow an earned run all month and just two unearned ones. (That’s a 0.00 ERA for those who don’t even like to do that math.) Leal held opposing hitters to a .107 average in July. That’s not even the impressive part. What’s really terrific about the Venezuelan’s month of July was that he struck out 25 and walked just one. He didn’t even hit any batters.
Here’s where I remind you that the Cubs got Leal from the Diamondbacks for Tony Campana way back in 2013.
South Bend Cubs right-hander Javier Assad:
The big Mexican 21-year-old right-hander made five starts in South Bend in July and went 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA over 24.2 innings. Assad struck out 22 and walked just eight while keeping opposing hitters to a .242 average.
South Bend Cubs/Eugene Emeralds right-hander Jake Steffens:
Steffens was promoted from Eugene to South Bend on July 18, which is what tends to happen when you’re 24 years old and are dominating the Northwest League. Steffens made four relief appearances for Eugene in July and did not allow a run in any of the 7.1 innings. He then made four relief appearances for South Bend and allowed just two runs, only one earned, over 8.2 innings there.
For the month, Steffens combined totals are eight appearances, 16 innings and a 0.56 ERA. He struck out 13 and walked just one. Opposing hitters could only manage a .161 average against Steffens in July.
Who is the BCB Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs Dillon Maples
Tennessee Smokies Keegan Thompson
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Erick Leal
South Bend Cubs Javier Assad
Eugene Emeralds/South Bend Jake Steffens