The nominations are out for the 2015 MiLBYs and for the second year in a row the Cubs are up for the best farm system. The Cubs received several nominations for 2015 MiLBYs.
The Cubs organization was considered the No. 1 system in the game before the season by just about every publication. Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Jorge Soler and Kyle Schwarber were promoted and helped the big league team win 97 games this season.
Even with the Bryant, Russell, Soler and Schwarber in The Show, the Cubs system is still very deep and among the best in the game. Several mid-season rankings had the Cubs organization listed in the top five. And the Cubs had two batting champs, plus the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were the Carolina League Champions.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Emeralds No-Hitter, RHP Ryan Williams and Javier Baez were also nominated for MiLBYs.
Best Farm System
The Cubs organization is now headlined by players such as Gleyber Torres, Ian Happ, Billy McKinney, Duane Underwood Jr., Albert Almora, Willson Contreras, Jeimer Candelario and Eloy Jimenez. The development of the minor league players paid dividends in the majors this season and there is depth throughout the system, especially in the lower levels.
There is so much talent in the system that according to Jim Callis if Eddy Julio Martinez officially signs with the Cubs he would likely be ranked just outside of the top 10 in the system.
Player development and self-scouting are keys for the Cubs moving forward in order to use the prospect currency to acquire pitching. The Cubs have intriguing young arms on the farm like Justin Steele, Carson Sands, Oscar De La Cruz and Dylan Cease that are several years away as well as Ryan Williams and Duane Underwood Jr. that closer to helping the big league team.
The Diamondbacks, Astros, Dodgers, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Pirates and Rays were also nominated for the 2015 MiLBY for Best Farm System.
Top Starting Pitcher – Ryan Williams
RHP Ryan Williams was named the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year after starting the season with Low-A South Bend and ending it with Double-A Tennessee.
Williams had quite the first-full season in professional baseball. Williams was 10-2 in 17 games, 16 starts, for the Smokies with a 2.76 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. For the season, Williams posted a 14-3 record in 26 games, 24 starts, with a 2.16 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. Williams gave up two home runs and 18 walks with 98 strikeouts in 141 2/3 innings.
RHP Jose Berrios (Twins), LHP Matt Boyd (Tigers), RHP Jose De Leon (Dodgers), RHP Jacob Faria (Rays), RHP Michael Fulmer (Tigers), RHP Tyler Glasnow (Pirates), RHP Alex Reyes (Cardinals), LHP Blake Snell (Rays), and RHP Luke Weaver (Cardinals) are also nominated for a MiLBY for the top starting pitcher.
Game of the Year – Eugene’s No Hitter
The Eugene Emeralds pitched a combined no hitter on Aug. 16 and were nominated for the 2015 MiLBY for Game of the Year.
Preston Morrison, Kyle Twomey, Luis Hernandez and Trey Masek combined on the first no-hitter for Eugene since 1968. The Emeralds blanked the Aqua Sox 3-0.
Game of the Year – Myrtle Beach Wins Championship
The 2015 Carolina League Champions did not receive a nomination for Best Team but the Pelicans are on the ballot for Game of the Year.
Myrtle Beach walked off Wilmington to win the 2015 Mills Cup and the franchise’s first Championship since 2000. Pin-Chieh Chen singled in Mark Zagunis with the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.
Mark Johnson led his second straight Cubs’ affiliate to a league championship.
Top Home Run – Javier Baez
Javier Baez was nominated for the towering home run he hit on June 6 at Principal Park.
Baez launched a two-run homer that hit off the left field light tower.
In 70 games with Iowa this past season, Baez hit .324/.385/.527 with 14 doubles, two triples and 13 home runs in 281 at bats for a .911 OPS.