Before I head into this week’s Line of the Week, let’s recap the performances recognized so far in this series.
Rubi Silva – OF – Peoria (now with Daytona)
Robert Whitenack – RHP – Daytona (now with Tennessee)
The Daytona Cubs – collectively. Several key players have been promoted
Lou Montanez – OF – Iowa (now with Chicago)
Micah Gibbs – C – Peoria
DJ LeMahieu – INF – Tennessee
That’s not a bad list. Three of the five individuals recognized have already been promoted, and I don’t expect LeMahieu and Gibbs to be too far behind.
This we honor another player making a very strong case to be promoted. Steve Clevenger almost picked up his first award with his 4 for 5 game on May 20th and his all around offensive excellence since being promoted to Iowa, but only almost. It took a 5 for 5 game to beat him (on May 19th).
This week’s winner is…
Justin Bour, first baseman for Daytona. If you’re counting, this is the third time the award has gone to Daytona. Bour is the first first baseman to win it this season.
On the season, the powerful left handed hitting Bour is hitting .335 and slugging a fantastic .631. In the past ten days, he’s been slugging .800. In a season full of hot bats up and down the minors, I think only LeMahieu and Flaherty have been this consistently hot for more than a game or two.
The Cubs drafted Bour in the middle rounds of the 2009 draft out of George Mason, and so far his progress in the minors has been station to station… a year in Boise, a year in Peoria, and 2011 in Daytona. His numbers have been steadily improving over that time. He hit .262 and slugged just .363 in the short season leagues, .291 and .436 for Peoria, and so far this year in Dayona he is putting up numbers that are among the leaders in all the Florida State League.
Bour will probably head to Tennessee at some point this season, but there is no hurry. The earliest we could see him in Wrigley is probably 2013, if he makes it far. It is a long way from Daytona to Chicago. His OPS, strike out rate, and strike out to walk numbers make me think he’ll make it, possibly sooner than I think, but don’t pencil him in as your first baseman of the future just yet.
Today, however, he is the newest recipient of the Cubbies Crib Minor League Line of the Week.