Cubs minor league players of the month
Mark Rebilas - USA Today Sports

Cubs minor league players of the month

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named recently promoted Cubs catcher Victor Caratini and Single-A Myrtle Beach right-handed pitcher Thomas Hatch the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for June, respectively. This marks Caratini’s second-consecutive organizational Player of the Month honor.

Caratini, 23, was called-up to the Cubs on June 28 after batting an organization-best .345 (30-for-87) with nine doubles, four homers, 21 RBI and 17 runs scored in 25 June games with Triple-A Iowa. His nine doubles ranked tied for fifth in the Pacific Coast League in June and he led Iowa with 21 RBI and a .970 OPS. He collected multiple hits 10 times during the month.

The switch-hitting Caratini is batting .341 (84-for-246) with 20 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 54 RBI in 69 games this season at Iowa. His .341 average leads the Cubs organization, while his 54 RBI rank second. He has played 42 games as a backstop, throwing out 12 runners attempting to steal, and started 24 games at first base.

Acquired from Atlanta at the trade deadline in 2014, Caratini is in his third full season in the Cubs organization. He enjoyed a breakout campaign last season at Double-A Tennessee, earning Southern League mid-season and post-season All-Star honors. In his career, he is batting .287 (467-for-1,627) with 121 doubles, 11 triples, 24 homers and 234 RBI in 455 games across five minor league seasons.

Hatch, 22, went 3-2 with a 0.98 ERA (3 ER/27.2 IP) in five starts in June for Myrtle Beach. He fanned 22 batters while walking just six and allowing just one home run. He tossed a season-high 8.0 innings on June 14 vs. Frederick, leading the Pelicans to a shutout victory. His 0.98 ERA was the second-lowest in the Carolina League in June and his .221 opponent average (23-for-104) ranked 10th.

The six-foot, one-inch 190-pound righty ranks 10th in the Carolina League this season with a 3.43 ERA (29 ER/76.0 IP). He has whiffed 78 batters, good for 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings, and walked 33. His 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings rank fourth among Carolina League starting pitchers.

Hatch was selected by the Cubs in the third round of the 2016 Draft out of Oklahoma State University, and is in his first professional season.

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