Chicago Cubs: Cubs announce their Minor league players of the month


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Cory Abbott is a talented pitcher in the minors (Credit: Tennessee Smokies)
Cory Abbott is a talented pitcher in the minors (Credit: Tennessee Smokies)

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named Rookie League Mesa infielder Luis Verdugo and Double-A Tennessee right-handed pitcher Cory Abbott the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for August, respectively.

Verdugo, 18, batted .395 (30-for-76) with four doubles, two triples, five homers, 22 runs scored and 23 RBI in 19 games in August with the Cubs’ Mesa 2 team in the Arizona League. He drew four walks contributing to a .439 OBP and posted a 1.136 OPS. He led the league in August in batting average, RBI, OPS and hits, while finishing second in slugging (.697). The right-handed batter hit safely in 14 of 19 games, including six games with at least three hits and a 5-for-5 performance, August 7 against AZL Giants Black.

A native of Mexico, Verdugo completed his second pro season, both in the Arizona League. This season, he batted .305 (60-for-197) with nine doubles, two triples, five homers, 40 runs scored and 38 RBI in 53 contests. He finished tied for sixth in the league in hits and RBI, while ranking tied for seventh in runs scored.

Signed as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2017, Verdugo has batted a combined .252 (94-for-373) with 13 doubles, three triples, nine homers, 68 runs scored and 58 RBI in 100 pro games, all with the AZL Cubs.

Abbott, 23, completed his third pro season with a strong month of 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.

Abbott finished the 2019 campaign with an 8-8 record and 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.

Selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2017 draft out of Loyola Marymount (Calif.) University, 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.

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