Cubs name minor league player, pitcher for May

Cubs name minor league player, pitcher for May

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The Chicago Cubs today named Single-A South Bend outfielder Eloy Jimenez and Single-A Myrtle Beach right-handed pitcher Trevor Clifton the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for May, respectively.

Jimenez, 19, batted .364 (40-for-110) with eight doubles, seven homers, 17 runs scored and 23 RBI in 28 games for South Bend in May. He drew seven walks, contributing to a .407 OBP, and posted a 1.034 OPS. His .364 average and 23 RBI ranked second in the Midwest League, while his seven homers tied for second.

Jimenez was named Midwest League Player of the Week for May 16-22 after batting .458 (11-for-24) with four homers and seven RBI in six games. The six-game stretch was part of a 17-game hitting streak from May 13-30 in which he hit a league-best .420 (29-for-69) with four doubles and seven home runs.

Jimenez was signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in August of 2013 and is in his third professional season. He is batting .322 (64-for-199) with eight homers and 35 RBI in 50 games this year with South Bend, his first in a full-season league. In three seasons with rookie league Mesa (2014), Single-A Eugene (2015) and South Bend, he has batted .282 (164-for-581) with 33 doubles and 18 homers in 149 games. The 19-year-old, Dominican Republic native entered 2016 as the organization’s ninth-best prospect by Baseball America.

Clifton, 21, went 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA (4 ER/28.0 IP) in five May starts, striking out 35 batters while walking just seven. He tossed three-consecutive scoreless outings, May 12-24, allowing 11 hits in 17.0 innings. His 1.29 ERA and 35 strikeouts both ranked second-best in the Carolina League, while his three wins were tied for third most.

Clifton has gone 3-3 with a 2.35 ERA (12 ER/46.0 IP) in nine starts this season at Myrtle Beach, his first with the club. He has walked just four batters in his last four starts (23.0 IP) after walking 14 batters in his first five outings (23.0 IP). He struck out a season-high 10 batters in 6.0-scoreless innings, May 12 vs. Winston-Salem, allowing just four hits and walking none in Myrtle Beach’s 3-0 victory.

Clifton was selected by the Cubs in the 12th round of the 2013 Draft out of Heritage High School in Maryville, Tenn. In four professional seasons, the right-handed pitcher has gone 15-15 with a 3.70 ERA (93 ER/226.0 IP) in 53 appearances, all but eight as a starter. In 2014, he was named a Northwest League All-Star, and last season he led South Bend with 103 strikeouts in 108.2 innings of work.

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