Young, Blackburn named organization’s Minor League Player, Pitcher of the Month for April

ChesneyYoung-Homer(Courtesy Tennessee Smokies)

The Chicago Cubs today named Double-A Tennessee infielder Chesny Young and right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for April, respectively.

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 on-base percentage, 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 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 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 Single-A Myrtle Beach.

Blackburn, 22, went 3-0 with a 0.29 ERA (1 ER/31 IP) in five April starts with Tennessee, his first outings at the Double-A level. After allowing one earned run in 5 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 batting 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 8 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, California. In five seasons, the right-handed pitcher has gone 23-12 with a 2.93 ERA (99 ER/304.1 IP) in 69 appearances, all but four as a starter. He has walked just 94 batters in 304.1 innings, while fanning 204.

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