Jimenez, Clifton named Cubs Minor League Players of the Year
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty)
The Chicago Cubs today named outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-handed pitcher Trevor Clifton the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Jimenez and Clifton will be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs 1:20 p.m. CT game Friday, Sept. 23, against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.
Jimenez, 19, was named Midwest League Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year after batting .329 (142-for-432) with 40 doubles, three triples, 14 homers, 65 runs scored and 81 RBI in 112 games with Single-A South Bend. He led the league in doubles, slugging percentage (.532) and OPS (.901), ranked second in RBI (81) and total bases (230) and ranked third in batting average (.329). He also led all Cubs minor leaguers in average and ranked second in RBI.
Named a Midwest League midseason and postseason All-Star, Jimenez earned two Player of the Week honors and was named Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for May after batting .364 (40-for-110) with eight doubles, seven homers and 23 RBI in 28 games. He was named to the 2016 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego, going 2-for-3 with a double, a homer, two runs scored and four RBI in the contest. He was also selected to the 2016 Baseball America Minor League All-Star team.
Jimenez has hit .297 (242-for-814) with 58 doubles, 24 homers and 141 RBI in 211 career minor-league contests with Rookie League Mesa (2014), Single-A Eugene (2015) and South Bend (2016). He was originally signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in August 2013 and is currently ranked the second-best prospect in the Cubs organization by MLB Pipeline.
Clifton, 21, went 7-7 with a 2.72 ERA (36 ER/119 IP) in 23 starts with Single-A Myrtle Beach, earning Carolina League Pitcher of the Year honors. He led all Cubs minor leaguers and ranked third in the Carolina League with 129 strikeouts in 119 innings pitched. He was named as both a Carolina League midseason and postseason All-Star, leading the league in ERA and WHIP (1.16).
Clifton was twice named Cubs Pitcher of the Month, claiming the award in May and August. He went 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA (4 ER/28 IP) and 35 strikeouts in five May starts, and then went 2-0 with a 0.85 ERA (3 ER/31.2 IP) and 34 strikeouts in five August starts. He made two postseason starts with Myrtle Beach, allowing just one run in 12 innings, including six scoreless frames in Game Three of the Mills Cup Championship Series Tuesday.
Clifton has gone 19-19 with a 3.52 ERA (117 ER/299 IP) in 67 minor-league appearances, all but eight as starter, in four seasons with Rookie League Mesa (2013), Single-A Boise (2014), Single-A South Bend (2015) and Myrtle Beach (2016). He was selected by the Cubs in the 12th round of the 2013 Draft out of Heritage High School in Maryville, Tennessee, and is currently ranked the eighth-best prospect in the Cubs organization by MLB Pipeline.