As the title suggests, second baseman Chesney Young and starting pitcher Paul Blackburn have been named the Cubs player and pitcher for the month of April!
Young, if you recall was just recently named the Player of the Month for the entire Souther League (AA), so his selection was not entirely unexpected.
He was selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2014 Draft and is in his first season at the AA level. At Tennessee, Young, 23, has hit .402/.505/.524 with a walk rate (16.2%) that was greater than his strikeout rate (7.1%) in the month of April. His 33 hits(!) led the league and they included two home runs and two doubles; he also stole eleven bases in just thirteen tries. Before the season, Luke ranked Chesney Young 22nd on the Bleacher Nation Top 40 Prospect List.
From the pitching side, Paul Blackburn wins the honors of pitcher of the month for April, after a brilliant start to the season. Also at AA Tennessee for the first time, Blackburn, 22, now has a 0.29 ERA (2.99 FIP) over five starts and 31 innings pitched. After giving up one run in his season debut, Blackburn went on to throw 26 straight scoreless innings, while keeping opponents to a .210 batting average.
Blackburn was selected by the Cubs with the 56th overall pick in the 2012 draft. Since joining the Cubs system, he’s gone 24-13 with a 2.86 ERA (3.65 FIP) in 324.1 IP. Included in that stretch is 231 strikeouts to just 95 walks. Before the season, Luke ranked Paul Blackburn 31st on the Blecher Nation Top 40 Prospect list.