The Chicago Cubs today 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.
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. He drew 14 walks contributing to a .407 on-base percentage and a 1.051 OPS. He twice homered in consecutive games, accomplishing the feat August 13-15 and August 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. He was the first position player and first high school prospect selected by the Cubs in this year’s draft. In his debut professional season, he batted .236 (26-for-110) with five doubles, eight homers and 17 RBI in 32 games, all with Mesa.
Velazquez has helped Mesa advance to the Arizona League best-of-three championship series that begins today against the Giants.
Albertos, 18, went 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA (5 ER/23.0 IP) 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 5.0-scoreless innings, and struck out a season-high eight batters, August 22 vs. Boise.
The six-foot, one-inch, 185-pound righty has gone 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA (11 ER/34.2 IP) in eight starts this season with Eugene. He is scheduled to start Game One of Eugene’s playoff series vs. Hillsboro this evening.
In his second professional season, Albertos has gone a combined 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA (15 ER/47.0 IP) 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. He 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.