Chicago Cubs name Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs announced their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year for the 2018 season on Tuesday, and the names might surprise you.

It is no secret the Chicago Cubs’ farm system is not what it was several years ago. Of course, part of that is because many of those former top prospects now reside on the big league roster. Regardless, the organization is full of intriguing young prospects, like starting pitcher Adbert Alzolay and catcher Miguel Amaya.

Tuesday, the Cubs named first baseman Jared Young and pitcher Matt Swarmer as Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The first question Cubs fans likely are asking is: who are these guys?

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Single-A slugger

Young, 23, played a combined 120 games Single-A games in 2018 between South Bend and Myrtle Beach. The first-baseman attended Old Dominion before the Cubs drafted him in the 15th round of the 2017 draft.

In a combined 447 at-bats, Young hit .300 with 16 home runs and 76 RBI. He posted a respectable .842 OPS as well. The majority of his numbers (albeit in 18 less games) fell across the board after he got promoted to Myrtle Beach.

Swarmer, 24, pitched with Myrtle Beach before finishing the season in Double-A Tennessee. The Cubs drafted him in the 19th round of the 2016 draft from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

Like Young, Swarmer’s numbers took a hit following his promotion to a higher minor league level. In nine starts with Myrtle Beach, he posted a 2.28 ERA; in 15 starts with Tennessee, he posted a 3.84 ERA.

Swarmer’s swings and misses

In a total of 22 starts, Swarmer posted a 3.22 ERA in 128 2/3 innings, striking out 135 batters. Opponents hit just .231 against him this season, hitting 10 home runs.

Young and Swarmer share more things in common than one. Both were not high-round draft picks and already are entering their mid-20s.

One surprising similarity is that both players are not featured on the Cubs’ Top 30 Prospects list. The fact that the organization awarded the two with such a prestigious honor goes to show that exclusion from the list does not necessarily matter.

Could one of these players (or both) ascend to the big league level like David Bote? Bote, drafted in the 18th round of the 2012 draft, famously got promoted to the Cubs after spending part of the 2017 season with Tennessee.

Next. Wilson and Chavez have kept bullpen alive. dark

Maybe expecting the same as Bote out of Young and Swarmer is unfair. Maybe even comparing them to Bote is unfair. The bar has been raised, however, so perhaps Young and Swarmer will be playing their home games at Clark and Addison very soon.