Chesny Young Player of the Month for April – Paul Blackburn Pitcher of the Month for April
The Cubs named Double-A Tennessee infielder Chesny Young and Double-A Tennessee right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for April.
Chesny Young, 23, batted .402 (33-for-82) with two doubles, one triple, two homers, 13 runs scored and nine RBI in 22 games for Tennessee in the month of April. He drew 16 walks contributing to a .505 OBP and posted a 1.029 OPS. He led the Southern League in batting average and on-base percentage, ranked second in stolen bases (11) and ranked tied for third in total bases (43).
Young was named Southern League Player of the Week, April 18-24, and followed that up by batting .636 (14-for-22) with a triple and four walks in a five-game stretch, April 24-29. He was also named as the Southern League Player of the Month for April.
Young was selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2014 Draft out of Mercer University and is in his first season at the Double-A level. In 200 minor league contests over three seasons, Young has batted .326 (249-for-764) with 34 doubles, seven triples, three homers and 90 walks. Last season, Young was named a Carolina League Year-End All-Star after batting .321 (129-for-402) in 102 games with High-A Myrtle Beach.
Paul Blackburn, 22, went 3-0 with a 0.29 ERA (one earned run in 31 innings) and a 0.87 WHIP in five April starts with Tennessee, his first outings at the Double-A level. After allowing one earned run in five innings in his season debut, April 8, Blackburn did not allow an earned run in his next four starts, totaling 26 innings of work. Blackburn struck out 15 and walked five, while limiting opponents to a .210 average in his five starts.
Blackburn was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week, April 18-24, after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 15 innings. He tossed a season-high eight innings, April 23 at Mobile, as the Smokies claimed a 5-2 victory. His 0.29 ERA in the month ranked tops among Southern League pitchers.
Blackburn was selected by the Cubs in the sandwich round (56th overall) of the 2012 Draft out of Heritage High School in Brentwood, Calif. In five seasons, the right-handed pitcher has gone 23-12 with a 2.93 ERA (99 earned runs in 304 1/3 innings) and a 1.23 WHIP in 69 appearances, all but four as a starter. He has walked just 94 batters in 304 1/3 innings, while striking out 204.