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oscars audienceA couple of the less heralded* prospects in the Chicago Cubs’ system – pitcher Kyle Hendricks and infielder Dustin Geiger – have nabbed some hardware. Today the Cubs announced that Geiger is the organization’s Minor League Player of the Month, and Hendricks is the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month, both for the month of May.

Hendricks, a 23-year-old righty whom the Cubs acquired from the Rangers last year in the Ryan Dempster deal, has been lights out at AA Tennessee. In May, he went 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 32.1 innings over five starts. He struck out 25 and walked just 5. Hendricks has always been thought of as a superior control pitcher, whose upside was capped because of a lack of raw stuff. But with a strikeout rate that remains over 7 per 9 (where it’s been for most of his minor league career) even as he moves up the ladder, it’s probably fair to start wondering whether he might be better than some thought.

Geiger, 21, has been splitting time between third base and first base (mostly first), and although he had an excellent offensive month in May, it actually wasn’t dramatically better than his April – he’s just been solidly good. He’s at .310/.377/.487 for the year, with 21 walks against just 33 strikeouts. His 14.8% K rate is a marked drop from prior years (at lower levels), and is a nice indicator of development.

It’s nice to see legit prospects landing these organizational awards, even if they weren’t prospects that you’d heard too much about just yet.

*Geiger did just get some love from Scouting and Player Development Chief Jason McLeod, though, and Luke’s been talking up Hendricks for a while now. Also, Geiger helps make Walking Dead fan videos.

  • Austin

    So, this begs the question: when can we expect a new top 10 farm system players? :)

    • willis

      Yeah Luke, we’re 2 months into the season, step your game up dude. :)

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I’m thinking about it, but I’m not sure when I’d do it.

        Definitely after the draft.

        But right after the draft is trade season. So do I do it as a ‘get ready for trade rumors’ piece, or hold it until after the trade deadline so I can incorporate newly acquired talent?

        But if I hold it until after July 31, I’m one month from the end of the minor league season. At that point I may as well wait and make it a longer, more in depth off season piece.

        Which would be planned for late December, turn into a 7500+ word novel, and wind up dropping in February.

        If I do a re-ranking, it will probably be as part of a Sunday “This Week In The Minors” article late in June or early in July, but that’s not a promise. It’s just the one spot where it makes the least amount of no sense.

        • JulioZuleta

          I think you should do one right after the draft if you’re going to do it. When we trade for guys, it should be pretty easy to slot them in there and bump everyone a spot. Unless we add 5-6 to the top 10…I’m leaning: Soler, Almora, Baez, Alcantara, Johnson, Vizcaino, Vogelbach, Paniagaua (I guess we can count him?), Candelario, and the “let’s shake things up selection”–Carlos Penalver. But that’s probably dumb since he’s never played a game that counts. Also, I could be leaving off someone obvious since I did that in about 15 seconds.

        • B_Scwared

          “the least amount of no sense” – me likey

  • willis

    Hendricks pitches this afternoon AND it’s $1 hot dog night in Tennessee, that’s a pretty nice combo.

  • João Lucas

    Was there one of those for April?

  • ETS

    I’d love if hendricks was bumped up to iowa.

    • ETS

      grammar fail.

  • itzscott

    It’s great that couple of the Cubs’ unheralded prospects were able to be recognized as player and pitcher of the month, but I’m more concerned and disappointed that some of our “heralded” (and expected) prospects didn’t win.

    Just as these two could be turning out to be better than thought, some of the highly touted prospects could be turning out to be worse than thought.

    Food for thought.

    • another JP

      And which of the highly touted prospects would those be? Almora is making a mockery of MWL pitching, Soler has been solid all year, and Baez has been so hot the past couple of weeks that he’s rapidly approaching an .850 OPS in a tough league– at the age of 20. Pierce Johnson is ready for a promotion based on his performance at KC.

      Maybe Hendricks and Geiger’s numbers were just a bit better for the month of May. When the next Cubs prospect rankings come out, I’ll guarantee that neither of these guys are in the top ten.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I won’t. Hendricks isn’t a lock for Top 10 status by any means, but he’s getting into the territory where he would be defensible at the low end of that band.

        • another JP

          If so Hendricks would be jumping ahead of one or several pitchers like Vizcaino or Paniagua, in addition to our #2 pick this week. If Jackson is no longer considered a top ten prospect he might be better than BJax, but I’m not so sure that Hendricks has better stuff than Rosscup. He’s looked pretty good this year though.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            I’m not sure how Hendricks being in contention for the #10 slot means he has to be ranked over the Cubs No 2 pick on Thursday. Those two events do not appear to be connected for me.

          • Kyle

            I could probably come up with 15-20 prospects I like more than Jackson right now fairly easily.

        • Kyle

          In a few days:

          No. 2 pick
          Soler
          Almora
          Baez
          Alcantara
          Johnson
          Vogelbach
          Paniagua
          Watkins
          No. 41 pick

          I’m having a really hard time kicking any of those guys out for Hendricks, even though I’m crazy intrigued by what he’s done.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            No so sure I’ll have the No 2 pick on top. No lower than 4th, I think, but I’m not sure about 1.

            I can flip Alcantara and Johnson, but I’d have both in that tier.

            I’d have Hendricks in the mix with that bottom four, along side four or five more guys. Not sure what order I’d rank them with more study, but they’d all be in that vicinity.

            • Kyle

              I predict the consensus of Cubs fans will agree with you, but a very slim majority of pundits will agree with me.

              It’s hella close. I’d have no problem with Soler over the pick.

              And of course, this is assuming BPA. If they go signability, all bets are off.

          • MichiganGoat

            It’s great sign that he’s not top ten right now. The farm has grown tremendously in a few years.

  • indy0314

    I love hearing that a prospect gotten by trade of Dempster is working out so well!

  • Jim

    There was a poll question a few weeks back about who in the Cub’s system are you excited about. Many people went with Baez and Soler, I picked Geiger. How he fits and where he will play is still TBD, but if he keeps hitting like he is, they will find him a position!

  • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

    Hendricks keeps on rolling. 7IP, 7H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, and 7SO out dueling Taijuan Walker.

    • Rebuilding

      After a ll of the bitching and moaning about the Dempster situation last year (myself included) it would be really nice to see Hendricks have a better career than Delgado

      • http://bleachernation.com someday…2015?

        My thoughts exactly.

        • B_Scwared

          Except Delgado got Upton.

  • Rebuilding

    Hey, Reggie Golden with his first HR for KC tonight. That’s nice to see

    • ssckelley

      The potential savior of the 2010 draft class.

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