The first ever MiLB Awards were announced tonight on the MLB Network and Cubs outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong was named Defensive Player of the Year. This award, as well as all other MiLB Awards, were for performance throughout the entire minor leagues for the 2023 season.
Additionally, Tennessee Smokies outfielder Owen Caissie was named to the First-Team All-MiLB Team. Crow-Armstrong and Smokies right-hander Cade Horton were named to the Second-Team All-MiLB team.
Crow-Armstrong had a strong season at the plate this year, hitting a combined .283/.365/.511 with 26 doubles, seven triples and 20 home runs along with 37 steals between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. That, combined with his defense, earned him a spot in the second-team All-MiLB team. But winning the Defensive Player of the Year honors was for the constant supply of highlight-reel catches that Crow-Armstrong made in the outfield all year long.
Crow-Armstrong is the Cubs’ number-one prospect and the 12th-best prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline. Crow-Armstrong made his major league debut this September.
Caissie earned First-team All-MiLB honors after hitting .289/.398/.519 with 31 doubles, two triples and 22 home runs over 120 games for the Tennessee Smokies. MLB Pipeline ranks Caissie as the Cubs’ third-best prospect and 64th-best in all of Minor League Baseball.
Finally, right-hander Cade Horton was named to the second-team All-MiLB. Caissie, the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2022, made his professional debut this season and played for three levels—Low-A Myrtle Beach, High-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee. Between those three levels, Horton made 21 starts and went 4-4 with a 2.65 ERA. Horton struck out 117 batters and walked just 27 in 88 1⁄3 innings. He held opposing hitters to a .191 batting average.
MLB Pipeline ranks Horton as the Cubs’ second-best prospect and the 29th-best prospect in all of baseball.
Horton was also a finalist for the MiLB Best Newcomer of the Year and MiLB Pitcher of the Year Awards. However, he lost the Best Newcomer Award to Padres prospect Ethan Salas and the Pitcher of the Year Award to Yankees hurler Drew Thorpe.