Cubs name Farm System Pitcher, Player of the Year


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Given what phantasmagoria the Chicago Cubs season has been, talking about the future sure beats talking about the present. And discussing their minor league system seems more relevant than any analysis of who’s on the parent club these days.

Sometimes, their lineup looks like a AAA squad anyway.

Today the Cubs announced outfielder Brandon Guyer and right-handed pitcher Chris Archer have been named the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. The two are members of Double-A Tennessee’s playoff squad that begins its best-of-five Southern League Championship series tomorrow night against the Jacksonville Suns.

Guyer and Archer will be in Chicago September 25 to be honored during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs contest at Wrigley Field against the St. Louis Cardinals (game time TBD).

Guyer, 24, batted .344 (127-for-369) with 39 doubles, six triples, 13 homers, 58 RBI, 27 walks, 76 runs scored, 30 stolen bases (he was caught stealing just three times) and a .398 on-base percentage in 102 games for Double-A Tennessee. He led the Southern League in slugging percentage (.588), ranked second in batting average, third in doubles, fourth in extra-base hits (58) and fifth in on-base percentage and at-bats per home run (28.38).

A right-handed batter and fielder, Guyer was named Southern League Offensive Player of the Week for July 26-August 1, batting .524 (11-for-21) with eight runs, three doubles, a triple, a homer, eight RBI and two stolen bases during the stretch. Additionally, he recorded a season-high, 18-game hitting streak, July 26-August 18. He batted .471 (33-for-70) with nine doubles, five home runs, 21 runs scored and 24 RBI during the run.

A Southern League postseason All-Star, Guyer helped Tennessee to 86 regular season victories – the most in franchise history – and a post-season berth.

Guyer was selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2007 Draft out of the University of Virginia on the recommendation of area scout Billy Swoope.

In his fifth professional season, Archer combined to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA (37 ER/142.1 IP) in 28 games (27 starts) between Single-A Daytona and Tennessee , helping the Smokies to the Southern League North Division title. He struck out 149 batters in 142.1 innings of work compared to just 65 walks, and allowed just six home runs to the 590 batters he faced (one home run allowed every 98 batters faced).

Archer, 21, began the year with Daytona and went 7-1 with a 2.86 ERA (23 ER/72.1 IP) and 82 strikeouts in 15 games (14 starts).  He won his final seven decisions (May 8-June 27), going 7-0 with a 1.86 ERA (11 ER/53.1 IP) and 62 strikeouts in 10 starts before his promotion to Double-A.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder made his Smokies debut July 2 and went 8-2 with a 1.80 ERA (14 ER/70.0 IP) and 67 strikeouts in 13 starts with Tennessee , limiting the opponent to a .198 batting average (48-for-242).  He was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 19-25, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/11.1 IP) while walking five and fanning 11 in two starts during the period.

Archer tossed 31.1-consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to begin his Smokies’ career, July 2-31.  After going 1-1 in his first two starts at the Double-A level, he won seven-consecutive decisions, July 14-August 21, posting a 1.84 ERA (9 ER/44.0 IP) and 42 strikeouts to go along with a 7-0 mark in eight starts.

Originally selected by Cleveland in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft, Archer was acquired by Chicago , along with pitchers Jeff Stevens and John Gaub, December 31, 2008 for infielder Mark DeRosa.

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