Cubs announce their Minor League Player, Pitcher of the Year


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Cory Abbott had an impressive season (Credit: Tennessee Smokies)
Cory Abbott had an impressive season (Credit: Tennessee Smokies)

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named Single-A South Bend outfielder Brennen Davis and Double-A Tennessee right-handed pitcher Cory Abbott as the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

Davis and Abbott will be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs 6:15 p.m. CT game Thursday, September 19, against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

Davis, 19, batted .305 (54-for-177) with nine doubles, three triples, eight homers, 18 walks, 33 runs scored and four stolen bases in 50 games with South Bend this season. He 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. However, he missed significant time due to two right finger injuries from July 16-29 and August 1-September 1.

Davis made his South Bend season debut May 25 and reached safely in his first 16 games, posting a .452 OBP through June 11. Overall, he reached base safely in 44 of his 50 games in his first full pro season, while not committing an error in 95 total chances split between center field (23 games), left field (23) and right field (two).

Selected by the Cubs in the second round of last season’s draft out of Basha High School in Chandler, Ariz., Davis has batted .303 (71-for-234) with 11 doubles, three triples, eight homers, 33 RBI and 28 walks in 68-career minor league contests. In his debut season last year with Rookie League Mesa, he hit .298 (17-for-57) with two doubles, three RBI and 10 walks in 18 contests. The six-foot, four-inch Davis is ranked as the third-best prospect in the Cubs system by MLB Pipeline.

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.

Abbott was named Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month in August, going 3-1 with a 0.98 ERA (4 ER/36.2 IP) in six starts with Tennessee. He struck out 50 batters, walking just nine, and limited opponents to a .107 average (13-for-122). He finished the season with 11-straight starts allowing three-or-fewer hits, including all six starts in August. He led the Southern League in August in ERA, strikeouts and WHIP (0.60), while ranking second in wins, innings pitched and opponents’ batting average. He was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for August 19-25.

Selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2017 draft out of Loyola Marymount University (Calif.), Abbott is 16-14 with a 2.84 ERA (87 ER/275.2 IP) in 53-career starts. Abbott was also named Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month for August of 2018 after going 2-0 with a 0.67 ERA (2 ER/27.0 IP) in five starts with Myrtle Beach. He is ranked as the 16th-best prospect in the Cubs system by MLB Pipeline.

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