After an absolutely monster week at the plate – acknowledged more than once last week by Luke in the Minor League Daily, Dan Vogelbach has been named the PCL Player of the Week for May 9-15, 2016.
He’s the first Iowa Cub to win player of week in the PCL since Christian Villanueva won it in July of last season.
For the week, Vogelbach slashed .333/.484/.792 with a walk rate (22.6%) greater than his strikeout rate (16.1%)*. Broken down, in 31 plate appearances, Vogelbach recorded eight hits (three 1B, two 2Bs, three HRs) and seven(!) walks. His ISO was a hilarious .458 over that stretch and his BABIP (.313) was not particularly high at all. With a .536 wOBA and a 234 wRC+, Vogelbach was the easy pick for the award.
Cubs fans have waited a long time for Vogelbach to fulfill the lofty offensive projections scouts placed upon him when he was originally drafted in 2011 by the previous front office in the second round, but it looks like it may all finally be coming together.
And although he’s mostly hit for a good average/gotten on base throughout his career, his power has been, oddly, the missing piece of the puzzle. But after last week, both his slugging and ISO are the highest they’ve been since Low-A ball. And remember: although the PCL is a hitter’s league overall, Vogelbach’s home park actually skews pitcher-friendly.
In total, the week bumped his season line up to .333/.430/.548 with a 14.1% walk rate, a 24.4% strikeout rate and an ISO (.217) well above two hundred. There’s not an easily identifiable path to the majors for Vogelbach right now (he’s pretty seriously blocked by Anthony Rizzo (and his own defensive limitations)), but he’s still young, talented, and has a lot of time to find a way to contribute.
Hopefully, this is just the first of many awards for his 2016 season.
*As a brief aside, I feel as though I’ve written the following sentence about 100 times this season:
Cubs player X has a walk rate (Y%) greater than his strikeout rate (Z%).
And that’s a very, very good sign.