After nearly a month without a player of the week award in the system, two Cubs’ prospects were recognized Monday by MiLB for the tremendous week they had at the plate.
INF Christian Villanueva was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week (July 13-19) and OF Jeffrey Baez was named Midwest League Player of the Week (July 13-19).
It is the second Player of the Week award of the season for Christian Villanueva, the I-Cubs infielder was recognized in early June (June 1-7) as the top player in the PCL. Villanueva was 8-for-15 (.533) this past week with two doubles, three home runs, nine RBI and four runs scored.
OF Jeffrey Baez is the third South Bend Cub to win a player of the week award this season. Baez was 14-for-26 (.538) with three doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI and eight runs scored.
Christian Villanueva was the PCL Player of the Week in June (June 1-7) and Jeffrey Baez joins C/1B Cael Brockmeyer (Midwest League: April 9-19), 1B Dan Vogelbach (Southern League: April 9-19, April 20-26), RHP Tyler Skulina (Carolina League: April 27-May 3), OF Billy McKinney (Carolina League: May 4-10), OF/1B Yasiel Balaguert (Midwest League: May 25-31), OF Kevin Brown (Carolina League: May 25-31) and Mark Zagunis (Carolina League: June 15-21) as the prospects in the organization that have won Player of the Week awards for their respective leagues.
Christian Villanueva has put together a very good season while spending time at third and first base. After starting the year with Double-A Tennessee and continuing to struggle at the plate (.208.321/.458 in six games), it started to click for Villanueva once he was promoted to Iowa when Kris Bryant was called up to the majors.
Villanueva is batting .272/.330/.489 in 77 games for Triple-A Iowa with 18 doubles, two triples and 12 home runs for a .819 OPS. Villanueva has 22 walks and 40 strikeouts in 268 at bats.
Over his last 17 games, Villanueva is 17-for-60 (.283/.323/.567) with five doubles and four home runs for a .890 OPS, and he really abused Redbirds’ pitching last weekend during the I-Cubs first sweep of Memphis at Principal Park in nearly a decade.
Christian Villanueva was not only the PCL Player of the Week, he also hit his way onto MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week.
After an incredibly slow start to the season, OF Jeffrey Baez has really turned it on. Over his last 15 games, Baez is batting .345/.367/.638 (20-for-58) with three doubles, a triple and four home runs for a 1.005 OPS.
For the season, Baez is hitting .225/.281/.358 with eight doubles, three triples and five home runs for a .639 OPS. Jeffery Baez does not turn 22 until October 30.