The minor league season is now over and the honors and awards start coming in. The Cubs today announced that outfielder Brennen Davis, of the Midwest League Champion South Bend Cubs, and Cory Abbott, of the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, are the Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year.
The two will be honored with a ceremony at Wrigley Field before the game against the Cardinals on Thursday, September 19.
Davis won the award despite playing just 57 games this past summer. The 19-year-old started the 2019 season in extended spring training in Mesa before joining South Bend on May 25. Davis also missed two weeks in July and the entire month of August with injuries.
When he did take the field, Davis was impressive. He batted .305 (54-for-177) with nine doubles, three triples, eight homers, 18 walks, 33 runs scored and four stolen bases. Davis posted a .381 OBP and a .525 slugging mark, good for a .907 OPS, which would have led the Midwest League had he appeared in enough games to rank among qualified players.
The native Arizonan was the Cubs’ second-round pick out of Basha High School in 2018.
Abbott, 23, went 8-8 with a 3.01 ERA (49 ER/146.2 IP) in 26 starts in his first season at the Double-A level. He led the Southern League in strikeouts (166), games started and innings pitched, and finished fourth in ERA, WHIP (1.12) and opponents’ average (.210). He was named a Southern League mid-season All-Star, his first All-Star nod.
Around here, Abbott was nominated for the “BCB Pitcher of the Month Award” in three of the five months of the minor league season, winning once.
Abbott was a second-round pick in 2017 out of Loyola Marymount, where he famously threw a perfect game.
The general opinion of Cubs farm system has fallen since the halcyon days of 2013 to 2105, where they were generally ranked among the best in the game. But as you can see from Davis and Abbott, there is still some amazing talent coming up through the ranks.