Cubs announce minor league players of the month


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Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports
Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named Double-A Tennessee outfielder Jeffrey Baez and Single-A Myrtle Beach right-handed pitcher Matt Swarmer the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for April, respectively.

Baez, 24, hit .411 (23-for-56) with seven doubles, one triple, three homers, 15 RBI and seven runs scored in 21 April contests. Among all Cubs minor leaguers, he ranked first in RBI and extra-base hits, tied for first in hits and doubles and tied for second in homers. Additionally his .411 average and .443 OBP were both best in the organization among players with at least 50 at-bats.

A native of Venezuela, Baez is in his eighth professional season since signing with the club as a non-drafted free agent at the age of 16 in July of 2010. He has batted .264 (532-for-2,013) with 98 doubles, 25 triples, 53 homers, 252 RBI and 193 steals in 568-career minor league games, reaching the Double-A level for the first time in 2017. He previously was named Cubs Minor League Player of the Month in July of 2015 and was a Northwest League mid-season All-Star in 2014.

Swarmer, 24, went 2-2 with a 1.74 ERA (4 ER/20.2 IP) in four starts in April with Single-A Myrtle Beach. He struck out 26 batters, while walking just three, in 20.2 innings of work. The righty tossed a season-high 6.0-scoreless innings, April 22 vs. Down East, and allowed just one run in two of his other three starts. His 26 strikeouts ranked second in the organization, while his 1.74 ERA ranked third.

Selected in the 19th round of the 2016 draft out of Kutztown University (Pa.), he has gone 9-8 with two saves and a 4.09 ERA (64 ER/140.2 IP) in 36-career minor league outings, including 21 starts. He has struck out 154 batters in 140.2 innings of work, while only walking 34. He spent the majority of 2017 with Single-A South Bend, but also made starts with Double-A Tennessee (twice) and Triple-A Iowa (once).

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