MiLB announced Monday its players and pitchers of the week for every level of minor league baseball. Along with LHP Eric Jokisch, Cubs’ prospects C Victor Caratini and RHP Oscar De La Cruz earned weekly honors for their respective leagues.
Victor Caratini was named the Carolina League Player of the Week (Aug. 24-30) and Oscar De La Cruz earned the Northwest League Pitcher of the Week (Aug. 24-30) award.
With the Cubs graduating the pre-season top prospects to the majors this year, the depth remains throughout the organization for what most still consider a top-five farm system.
C Victor Caratini and RHP Oscar De La Cruz join 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), INF Christian Villanueva (Pacific Coast League: June 1-7; July 13-19), OF Mark Zagunis (Carolina League: June 15-21), OF Jeffrey Baez (Midwest League: July 13-19), C Willson Contreras (Southern League: July 26-Aug. 2), RHP Jonathan Martinez (Carolina League: July 26-Aug. 2 ), RHP Adbert Alzolay (Northwest League: July 26-Aug. 2), RHP Erick Leal (Midwest League: Aug 3-9), RHP Ryan Williams (Southern League: Aug. 10-16), Ben Carhart (Carolina League: Aug. 17-23) and LHP Eric Jokisch (Pacific Coast League: Aug. 24-30) as the prospects in the organization that have won Player of the Week awards for their respective leagues.
The switch-hitting, 22-year old catcher has shown steady progress at the plate this season. After a first half that saw him hit .236/.324/.325 with 14 doubles and a home run, Caratini has a .284/.329/.432 slash line over his last 19 games. And he is batting .275/.352/.412 in his last 51 games with 14 doubles, a triple and three home runs for a .764 OPS.
For the season, Caratini has hit .255/.338/.367 with 28 doubles, a triple and four home runs for a .705 OPS.
Victor Caratini has played mainly catcher (83 games) this season. Caratini has also seen time at first base (11) and designated hitter (12) during his first full year in the Cubs organization. Caratini was acquired at the deadline last summer from the Braves for LHP James Russell and INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio.
Oscar De La Cruz
Oscar De La Cruz had a tremendous outing on Aug. 26 and turned it in to a Pitcher of the Week award. De La Cruz was charged with one unearned run on one hit and a walk with 13 strikeouts in seven innings in a 4-1 victory over Spokane.
The 20-year old right hander is having an excellent season for the Eugene Emeralds. De La Cruz is 6-3 in 12 starts with a 2.96 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. In 67 innings, De La Cruz has allowed 26 runs, 22 earned on 53 hits with 17 walks and 69 strikeouts.
Over his last five starts, De La Cruz is 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. De La Cruz has 32 strikeouts with five walks and 23 hits allowed in 29 2/3 innings.