In the most unsurprising award (and most deserved) ever, the Chicago Cubs named AA third baseman Kris Bryant the organization’s player of the month for May. Since we’ve covered his exploits with great ebullience over the past several weeks, and because there’s a Kris-Bryant-centric post coming in a little bit, I’ll gloss over his award for now. He’s awesome. Sparkle. Eyes.
The pitcher of the month, however, is a nice feather in the cap of Paul Blackburn, one of the Cubs’ supplemental first rounders from the 2012 draft (he was taken out of high school after Pierce Johnson).
Blackburn, 20, currently sports a 2.33 ERA over 54 innings (10 starts) at Low-A Kane County. He’s struck out 43 and walked just 10, and, when I saw him, he looked every bit the part of a future big league pitcher (mid-rotation, perhaps). He’s a big, strong guy with a clean, easy-looking delivery, and it’s conceivable that he could see a late-season cup at High-A Daytona.
Although the award was for May, Blackburn’s been pretty consistently effective since his so-so debut start this year. In May, he posted a 1.88 ERA over 28.2 innings, striking out 26 and walking 5.