Chicago Cubs Announce Their Player and Pitcher of the Month for May

If you have been following the Cubs farm system at all this year, you will already know that May was a brutally, brutally difficult month …

… to try to come up with players of the month! Because so many guys were freaking dominant!

Had I been tasked with guessing, it turns out I would’ve gotten the position player right (albeit in an extremely difficult call), but I would’ve missed on the pitching prospect, who I knew had a great month, but I didn’t realize HOW great. That is to say, applause for outfield prospect Owen Caissie, and righty Luis Devers, who have won Cubs player and pitcher of the month honors for May.

Caissie, 19, has had a rough start to June that has pushed his season numbers back down, but his May was off the charts good. This kind of streakiness is roughly what you’d expect from a very good prospect who is being challenged by a very difficult assignment.

Maybe Caissie doesn’t wind up reaching Double-A this year, but since he doesn’t even turn 20 until July, that’s hardly a developmental issue. You just want to see him getting those regular reps in the outfield (he simply needs time there), and then continuing to balance the development of his supreme power with keeping the strikeouts down.

Devers, 22, pitched very well in the Dominican Summer League in 2018 and 2019 as a teenager, and then came stateside in 2021, after the pandemic, pitching in the Arizona Complex League. He got the bump to Low-A Myrtle Beach at the end of the season (just a taste), and then has been pitching in the rotation there this season. You’d like to see the strikeout rate continue to tick up given his age and the level (26.8% in May), but his other peripherals are excellent.

I think it’s a bit early to say for sure that he’s a top 40 Cubs prospect type (it’s an extraordinarily deep system!), but if he were to get the bump to High-A South Bend later this year and hold his own, then he’ll definitely be in that grouping in the offseason. Maybe much higher, depending on the scouting reports on his development throughout the year.

The Cubs’ full release:

The Chicago Cubs today named Single-A South Bend outfielder Owen Caissie as the organization’s minor league player of the month for May, while Single-A Myrtle Beach right-handed pitcher Luis Devers was named the club’s minor league pitcher of the month.

Caissie, 19, hit .313 (26-for-83) with six doubles, four homers, 26 RBI, seven walks and a .910 OPS in 23 games for South Bend in May. His 26 RBI were the most among Cubs minor leaguers during the month, while his .313 average ranked third (min. 80 AB). The left-handed hitting outfielder hit safely in 14 of 16 games from May 13-31, batting .355 (22-for-62) with six doubles, three homers and 21 RBI during that stretch. He notched his first career multi-homer game and a career-high four RBI, May 20 at Wisconsin.

Ranked as the Cubs’ No. 8 prospect entering the season by MLB Pipeline, the six-foot, four-inch Caissie was acquired by the Cubs from the Padres, December 29, 2020, with right-handed pitcher Zach Davies, outfielder Ismael Mena and infielders Reginald Preciado and Yeison Santana for right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish, catcher Victor Caratini and cash.

Originally selected by the Padres in the second round of the 2020 Draft out of Notre Dame Catholic High School in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, Caissie has played in 93 career minor league games, totaling a .267 average (87-for-326) with 19 doubles, one triple, 11 homers, 58 RBI and 52 walks, contributing to an .804 OPS.

Devers, 22, went 4-1 with a 1.48 ERA (4 ER/24.1 IP), 28 strikeouts and a 0.90 WHIP, while holding opponents to a .176 average (15-for-85) in five starts in May for Myrtle Beach. The righthander allowed three-or-fewer runs in all five starts during the month, two-or-fewer runs in four and finished the month with 15.0-straight scoreless innings in his last three starts. Devers posted a season high-tying seven strikeouts twice, May 8 at Salem and May 25 at Augusta.

The six-foot, three-inch Devers owns a career 13-17 record with a 2.80 ERA (68 ER/218.1 IP) with 213 strikeouts in 53 minor league games (48 starts) in parts of five professional seasons, all with the Cubs organization. In 2021, he ranked among the Arizona Complex League leaders in ERA (2nd, 3.33), WHIP (2nd, 1.21), BAA (3rd, .245), starts (4th, 11) and innings pitched (6th, 51.1). The Samaná, D.R., native signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent, July 20, 2017.

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Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

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