The Cubs named the organization’s Player and Pitcher of the Month for July: Low-A South Bend Cubs outfielder Jeffrey Baez and High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-handed pitcher Brad Markey.
Jeffrey Baez, 21, batted .333 (32-for-96) with 19 runs scored, three doubles, one triple, six home runs, 15 RBI and nine stolen bases in 24 July games for South Bend. He recorded a .347 on-base percentage and a .573 slugging percentage, good for a .920 OPS. The right-handed hitter recorded an 11-game hitting streak from July 10-22 in which he batted .523 (23-for-44) with three homers, 11 RBI and a 1.374 OPS that led to Midwest League Player of the Week honors for July 13-19.
Baez last month ranked second in the Midwest League in home runs and slugging, ranked third in OPS, tied for fifth in runs and stolen bases and was tied for seventh in batting average. This season for South Bend, he is hitting .257/.301/.397 (70-for-272) with 11 doubles, three triples, seven homers, 22 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 77 games.
The six-foot, 180-pound Baez was originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in July of 2010. The Venezuela native is a .270/.337/.420 career hitter (315-for-1,168) with 55 doubles, 17 triples, 29 homers and 147 RBI in 317 minor league games. He has stolen 125 bases and been caught just 34 times.
Brad Markey, 23, was 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA (four earned runs in 28 2/3 innings) and 21 strikeouts compared to three walks in five games between South Bend and Myrtle Beach. He held opponents to a .173 batting average (17-for-98), a .198 on-base percentage and a .245 slugging mark. He allowed one or no runs in four of his five outings, and on July 26 vs. Carolina, struck out 10 hitters in 7.0 shutout innings.
Markey’s 0.70 WHIP in July was tied for the lowest among all Single-A pitchers and tied for second-lowest in all of the minors. His .173 average against was tied for eighth in Single-A baseball.
After starting the season with two saves and a 2.48 ERA (eight earned runs in 29 innings) in 12 games, all but one as a reliever, with South Bend, Markey was promoted to Myrtle Beach July 5 and has gone 3-0 with a 0.91 ERA (three earned runs in 29 2/3 innings) and 0.64 WHIP in five games (four starts) for the Pelicans. All told, Markey is 3-0 with two saves, a 1.69 ERA (11 earned runs in 58 2/3 innings) and 0.80 WHIP in 17 games (five starts) this season, having struck out 42 compared to seven walks.
Selected by the Cubs in the 19th round of the 2014 draft out of Virginia Tech, Markey is 4-1 with four saves, a 2.16 ERA (21 earned runs in 87 2/3 innings) and 0.91 WHIP in 32 career minor league contests, including five as a starter. Markey has walked 12 and struck out 71 while allowing just four home runs.