A 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.