Cubs name minor league Players of the Month

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CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named Double-A Tennessee infielder Ian Happ and Single-A South Bend right-handed pitcher Preston Morrison the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for June, respectively.

Happ, 21, batted .422 (35-for-83) with nine doubles, four homers, 13 runs scored and 21 RBI in a combined 26 games with Tennessee and Single-A Myrtle Beach. He began the month at Myrtle Beach before earning his first promotion to the Double-A level on June 23. He drew 16 walks between the two clubs, contributing to a .500 OBP, and posted a 1.199 OPS.

Happ was named Carolina League Player of the Week for June 13-19 after batting .520 (13-for-25) with six doubles, one home run and six RBI in seven games for Myrtle Beach. All told, he logged a .361 average (22-for-61) with seven doubles, a triple, two home runs and 15 RBI in the month at the time of his promotion. Happ reached base safely in all seven of his games with Tennessee in June, posting a .615 OBP. He recorded three-straight, three-hit games from June 25-27, going 9-for-11 (.818) with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI during the stretch. He struck out just two times in 22 at-bats, while batting .591 (13-for-22) with six runs scored, the two homers and six RBI in his first week with Tennessee.

Happ was selected by the Cubs in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2015 Draft out of the University of Cincinnati. He owns a .288 batting average (151-for-525) with 35 doubles, seven triples, 18 home runs and 83 RBI in 146 games in two professional seasons with the Cubs. The 21-year-old entered 2016 as the organization’s third-best prospect by Baseball America.

Morrison, 22, went 4-1 with a 0.83 ERA (3 ER/32.2 IP) in five June starts, striking out 26 batters while walking just five. He tossed three-consecutive scoreless outings, June 16-30, allowing 14 hits in 21.1 innings. His 0.83 ERA ranked first in the Midwest League while his four wins were tied for second-most.

Morrison has gone 8-3 with a 2.68 ERA (22 ER/74.0 IP) in 14 games (13 starts) this season at South Bend, his first with the club. He has surrendered just two home runs in 74.0 innings while recording quality starts in four of his last five outings. He struck out a season-high nine batters in 7.0-scoreless innings, June 16 vs. Lake County, allowing just five hits in South Bend’s 5-1 victory.

Morrison was selected by the Cubs in the eighth round of the 2015 Draft out of Texas Christian University. In two professional seasons, the right-handed pitcher has gone 9-4 with a 2.24 ERA (24 ER/96.1 IP) in 23 appearances (17 starts).

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