Three Midwest League players earned weekly honors for the period of May 22 to 28.
Lansing Lugnuts middle infielder Bo Bichette and West Michigan Whitecaps RHP Anthony Castro respectively were named the Midwest League offensive player and pitcher of the week, while Quad Cities River Bandits LHP Cionel Perez was named to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week.
Bichette batted .458 (11-f0r-24) with one homer, four doubles, five runs batted in, and six runs scored in his last six games. He hit a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 12th inning of Lansing’s 1-0 win over the Great Lakes Loons on Sunday.
Bichette is batting .373 in 40 games this season. The Toronto Blue Jays prospect leads the MWL in batting average by 34 percentage points, and his .584 slugging percentage also is best in the league. He ranks second in on-base percentage (.448), doubles (18) and runs scored (37), ranks third in total hits (60) and runs batted in (30), and fourth in total bases (94).
Castro made one start last week, striking out 12 batters while scattering three hits and two walks in six scoreless innings against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Thursday. In eight starts this season, the Detroit Tigers prospect is 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 17 walks in 38 innings.
Perez made two starts during the past week, including a seven-inning, no-hit start against the Peoria Chiefs on May 22. He struck out 10 and walked one in that game. In the other start, against the Beloit Snappers on Sunday, he gave up two earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out seven batters in five innings.
Duplantier leads MiLB in ERA, WHIP
Kane County Cougars RHP Jon Duplantier made another superb start Monday, limiting the Cedar Rapids Kernels to one hit in six scoreless innings. He struck out six batters and walked none.
The Arizona Diamondbacks prospect now has a 0.50 ERA and 0.66 WHIP, both of which lead all qualified pitchers in the minor leagues. He has five wins to go along with 62 strikeouts and 11 walks in 54.1 innings this season.
Duplantier was in line for the win Monday, but the Kernels scored twice off reliever Tyler Mark in the top of the 8th inning. The Cougars responded with two runs of their own in the bottom half, giving Kane County a 3-2 victory and Mark his second win of the season.
Ex-KC pol Elfstrom dies
Former longtime Kane County politician Philip Elfstrom died Sunday at age 89. The Cougars’ ballpark, now known as Northwestern Medicine Field, was named after Elfstrom when it opened in 1991.
The park was known as Philip B. Elfstrom Stadium until naming rights were sold to Fifth Third Bank in December 2011. The Cougars entered a five-year deal with Northwestern last December, after Fifth Third Bank’s five-year contract expired.
According to the Daily Herald, Elfstrom served on the Kane County Board from 1969 to 1992, including as its chairman for 11 years. He also spent eight years as president of the Kane County Forest Preserve District, which is responsible for the ballpark.