Cubs name C Schwarber, RHP Williams organization’s player, pitcher of the month

Schwarber_Kyle

Cubs farmhand Kyle Schwarber was named the organization’s player of the month for May. (Photo by Stephen Green)

On Wednesday, the Cubs named Double-A Tennessee catcher Kyle Schwarber and Single-A South Bend right-handed pitcher Ryan Williams the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for May, respectively.

Schwarber, 22, batted .297 (27-for-91) with eight homers, two doubles, 17 RBI and 18 runs scored in 28 games for Tennessee. He drew 24 walks and delivered a 1.026 OPS thanks to a .443 on-base percentage and a .582 slugging mark. He ranked first in the Southern League in walks, second in home runs, third in OPS and OBP, and fourth in slugging percentage during the month. Additionally, Schwarber led all Cubs prospects in homers, walks, slugging and OPS, while ranking second in OBP.

In 47 games for Tennessee this season, Schwarber is hitting .312 (49-for-157) with seven doubles, one triple, 12 homers, 32 RBI, 31 runs scored and 37 walks. He leads the Southern League with a .439 OBP, .599 slugging mark, a 1.038 OPS and 37 walks, while ranking second with 12 home runs and third with 94 total bases.

Schwarber was selected by Chicago in the first round (fourth overall) of the 2014 draft out of Indiana University where he was a two-time First-Team All-American. He has batted .332 (139-for-419) with 30 homers, 25 doubles, 85 RBI and 86 runs scored in 119 minor league contests. The left-handed hitter has a .621 career slugging mark and a .432 OBP, thanks in part to 76 walks.

Williams, 23, went 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA (6 ER/34.0 IP) in five starts for South Bend during the month of May. He struck out 23 batters without issuing a walk to any of his 125 batters faced. He tossed four quality starts and twice tied a season high with 8.0 innings pitched, including 8.0 scoreless frames in the club’s 3-2 win on May 22 versus Bowling Green. The right-handed pitcher led the Midwest League in WHIP (0.76), while ranking third in ERA.

Williams began the season 4-1 with a 1.17 ERA (7 ER/53.2 IP) in nine games (eight starts) with South Bend. Entering today, he struck out 37 batters compared to two walks and held the opposition to a .190 batting average and a .461 OPS. His ERA and opponent batting average are both second-lowest in the Midwest League.

Williams was selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2014 draft out of East Carolina University, where he was a Third-Team All-America selection in 2014. He entered today 6-2 with a 1.23 ERA (11 ER/80.1 IP) in 20 minor league appearances, including eight starts. He’s fanned 66 batters, while walking just five, and held opponents to a .201 batting average. Opponents hit just two home runs of him in 80.1 innings of work in the last two seasons.

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