We’ve only got one month left of the minor league season, but we still have time to look back at the best performances in the Cubs system over the past month. Yesterday we looked at the best position players. Today we’re going to honor the best players who stood tall on the mound this past month.
(And no, Donnie Dewees didn’t snag nominations in both categories.)
The rules are the same as they are for the pitchers. I pick one player from each of the top five minor league affiliates. 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 Wednesday night’s Minor League Wrap. So you have until early evening tomorrow to vote.
Clicking on the player’s name will take you to his milb.com page for more information.
With that said, the nominees are (although it seems like a two-horse race to me):
Iowa Cubs RHP Duane Underwood Jr.
Underwood made the full-time transition to relieving in June, and he’s had his best month in a while with a strong July out of the pen. Especially when taking into account the offensive explosion in Triple-A this season, Underwood had a fine month. Underwood made ten appearances out of the bullpen for 14⅓ innings. He allowed five runs for an ERA of 3.14. But what’s most impressive is that Underwood struck out 21 and only walked four batters in the month. He held opposing hitters to a .208 average in July. This strong month got Underwood Jr. a one-day call-up to the majors in July, although he wasn’t fortunate enough to get into a game before being sent down. He should be at Wrigley again on September 1.
Tennessee Smokies RHP Bailey Clark
As I noted in the Player of the Month article, the Smokies had a miserable month. On top of that, two-fifths of their starting rotation got dealt at the deadline. But Clark had a strong month out of the bullpen, making nine appearances and allowing just two runs over 13⅓ innings. Only one of the two runs was earned. giving him a 0.66 ERA. (The unearned run was one of those “runner starts on second in extras” runs and came with his only loss of the month.) Clark allowed just four hits and a .095 batting average against. He struck out eight and only walked two.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans LHP Jack Patterson
Patterson was promoted to Myrtle Beach from South Bend on July 1. He made five starts for the Pelicans and allowed just one run in over 23⅔ innings. That run was unearned. So Patterson went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA for the month. He gave up just four hits for a .104 batting average against. Patterson struck out 24 batters and walked just eight, although he did hit for batters as well.
South Bend Cubs LHP Brailyn Marquez
The Cubs top pitching prospect finished the month as dominating as anyone in the entire minors. In his second-to-last start in July, Marquez allowed just one hit over six scoreless innings. He struck out 14 and did not walk anyone. That earned him Midwest League Pitcher of the Week honors. In his final start for South Bend, Marquez no-hit the Whitecaps for six innings, walking just one while striking out eight.
Overall, Marquez made five starts in July and went 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA over 27⅓ innings. He walked eight and struck out a whopping 41. Opposing hitters had a .175 average against Marquez in July.
Marquez was understandably promoted to Myrtle Beach at the end of the month.
Eugene Emeralds RHP Blake Whitney
Whitney made eight appearances out of the pen for the Ems in July. About half of them were pure relief appearances and others were “tandem starts” where Whitney would step in for a starter on a low pitch limit a pre-planned move.
In those eight appearances, Whitney threw 24 innings and went 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA. He also had one save, which was a four-inning relief appearance in a tandem start. Whitney struck out 29, walked 11 and held opposing hitters to a .200 average.
Who is the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month?
This poll is closed
Iowa Cubs Duane Underwood Jr.
Tennessee Smokies Bailey Clark
Myrtle Beach Pelicans Jack Patterson
South Bend Cubs Brailyn Marquez
Eugene Emeralds Blake Whitney