Yesterday we handled the position players and today it’s time to honor the best pitchers in the Cubs minor league system for the month of June.
The rules are the same as they are for the pitchers. I pick one player from each of the top five minor league affiliates. (No “wild card” pick this month as the Emeralds have started playing and they take the fifth spot.) You vote for the player who has had the best month. You can pick whichever one you want for whatever reason you want, except that I do ask that you make your choice based on what the player did in the month of June. This is an award for performance, not for how good a prospect the player is.
You still have a few hours to vote for the Minor League Player of the Month Award.
If you’re reading on Apple News or Google AMP, you need to go to a web browser to vote.
The winner will be announced in Thursday night’s Minor League Wrap.
Clicking on the player’s name will take you to his milb.com page for more information.
The nominees are:
Iowa Cubs right-hander Duane Underwood Jr.
Underwood Jr. has been around so long that it’s easy to forget his still only 24 years old. But after struggling in the Iowa starting rotation last year and the beginning of this season, the Cubs made the decision to move Underwood to the bullpen. (A move Underwood agreed with, by the way) The results so far have been impressive.
Underwood made seven relief appearances in the month of June, totalling 11.1 innings. He allowed just two runs, both of which came in the June 9 game against Albuquerque. Underwood struck out 14 batters and walked just four. He held opposing hitters to a .227 batting average over the month.
Tennessee Smokies right-hander Tyson Miller
Miller is running away in the Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award race, having been nominated here in all three months of the season.
Miller actually had his worst month of the season in June, but it was still very good. He made five starts and he allowed two or three runs in all of them. Miller pitched at least six innings in four of the five starts and went five in the other one.
For the month, Miller pitched 31.1 innings and went 1-1 with a 3.45 ERA. He didn’t allow any unearned runs either, so that ERA is pretty indicative of how he pitched. Miller struck out 30, walked only eight and held opposing hitters to a .250 batting average.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans/Tennessee Smokies right-hander Alex Lange
Lange had a terrible April and a poor May. But as the weather warmed up, so did Lange and that earned him a promotion to Double-A.
Lange made two starts for the Pelicans in June and he threw 13 innings and allowed just four runs. For those who don’t want to do the math, that’s a 2.77 ERA. (No unearned runs either.) He struck out 16 and walked just three in High-A.
Lange’s first two starts in Double-A were just as good, allowing just three runs over 12 innings for a 2.25 ERA. He struck out six and walked three for the Smokies.
Combined between the two levels, that results in a record of 1-1 with a 2.52 ERA. Lange struck out 22 and walked only six over 25 innings in four starts. He held opposing hitters to a .200 batting average on the month.
South Bend Cubs right-hander Sean Berry
Another reliever, Berry made nine appearances in June and he didn’t allow an earned run in any of them. (It took two errors in the field in the eighth inning on June 11 for Berry to get charged with two unearned runs.) While he didn’t come into many games with runners on base, the few times he did he did not allow any inherited runners to score either.
Berry’s final line for the month of June was nine appearances, 11.2 innings and an ERA of 0.00. He had one save. Berry struck out 15 batters and walked just three. Opposing hitters only hit .100 off of Berry in June.
South Bend Cubs/Eugene Emeralds right-hander Zach Mort
Mort has been pitching out of the South Bend bullpen all season and pitching pretty well before the Cubs sent him down to Eugene to stretch him out as a starter. So Mort had two relief appearances with South Bend and three starts with Eugene in the month of June.
In the two relief appearances with South Bend, Mort pitched 5.2 innings, gave up no runs and only one hit. He walked one and did not strike anyone out. In his three starts with Eugene, he went 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA over 14 innings. He struck out 12 and walked five.
Combined between the two levels, Mort posted an ERA of 2.75 over 19.2 innings. He struck out 12, walked six and held opposing hitters to a .217 batting average.
Who is the Cubs minor league pitcher of the month?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs Duane Underwood Jr.
Tennessee Smokies Tyson Miller
Myrtle Beach Pelicans/Tennessee Smokies Alex Lange
South Bend Cubs Sean Berry
South Bend Cubs/Eugene Emeralds Zach Mort