Cubs name OF Nelson Velazquez Minor League Player of the Month … RHP Jose Albertos takes home Minor League Pitcher of the Month honors for August
The Cubs named rookie league Mesa outfielder Nelson Velazquez and Single-A Eugene right-handed pitcher Jose Albertos the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for August, respectively.
Nelson Velazquez, 18, batted .289 (22-for-76) with five doubles, two triples, six homers, 20 runs scored and 14 RBI in 22 August games with Mesa. His six homers led the Arizona League, while his 20 runs scored were tied for fourth-most. Velazquez drew 14 walks contributing to a .407 on-base percentage and a 1.051 OPS. He twice homered in consecutive games, accomplishing the feat Aug. 13-15 and Aug. 26-28.
The six-foot, 190-pound outfielder was selected in the fifth round of this year’s draft out of PJ Education School in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Velazquez was the first position player and first high school prospect selected by the Cubs in June’s draft. In his debut professional season, he batted .236/.333/.536 (26-for-110) with five doubles, eight home runs and a .870 OPS in 32 games, all with Mesa.
Velazquez has helped Mesa advance to the Arizona League best-of-three championship series that begins Tuesday, Sept. 5 against the Giants.
Jose Albertos, 18, went 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA (five earned runs in 23 innings) in five August starts with Eugene, striking out 30 batters while walking just seven. His 1.96 ERA and 30 strikeouts both ranked fourth in the Northwest League. He allowed two or fewer earned runs in all five starts, including two outings of five-scoreless innings, and struck out a season-high eight batters, Aug. 22 versus Boise.
The six-foot, one-inch, 185-pound righty has gone 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA (11 earned runs in 34 2/3 innings) and a 1.09 WHIP in eight starts this season with Eugene. He is scheduled to start Game One of Eugene’s playoff series versus Hillsboro.
In his second professional season, Albertos has gone a combined 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA (15 earned runs in 47 innings) and a 1.09 WHIP in 11 outings, all starts, between Mesa and Eugene. He made just one start last season with Mesa, and began this season with two outings in Mesa before being promoted to Eugene. Albertos was signed as a non-drafted free agent, July 27, 2015, out of Mexico and was ranked as the organization’s 10th-best prospect by Baseball America entering this season.