The Chicago Cubs have named Single-A Kane Country infielder Rock Shoulders the organization's minor league player of the month for April, while Double-A Tennessee left-handed pitcher Eric Jokisch picked up pitcher of the month honors.
Shoulders was selected by the Cubs in the 25th round of the 2011 draft. In his 94 career minor league games, he has batted .274 (89-for-325) with 24 doubles, 15 home runs, 57 RBI, a .362 on-base percentage and a .486 slugging mark.
In April, Shoulders batted .370 (30-for-81) with 19 runs scored, seven doubles, five home runs and 16 RBI in 22 games for the Couragars. He posted a .457 on-base percentage, thanks in part to 13 walks, and had a .642 slugging percentage to give him a 1.099 OPS for the month- the second-highest mark in the Midwest League. The left-handed hitter ranked tied for third in the league in runs scored, home runs and extra-base hits (12), fourth in batting average and tied for fourth in hits.
Shoulders was also named Midwest League Player of the Week for April 15-21, after hitting .476 (10-for-21) with two home runs and five RBI in six games.
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Jokisch, a Northwestern University alum, was selected by the Cubs in the 11th round of the 2010 draft. He began his career in 2011 by going 9-3 with a 2.96 ERA (39 ER/118.2 IP) in 25 games (11 starts) with Single-A Peoria, and was later named the team's Pitcher of the Year by the club. Cummulatively, he is 25-13 with a 3.37 ERA (134 ER/358.0 IP) in 75 career minor league games, including 52 starts.
In April, Jokisch went 3-1 with a 1.84 ERA (6 ER/29.1 IP) in five starts for the Smokies, striking out 21 while walking just six and limiting the opponent to a .240 batting average. He began the season going at least 6.0 innings while allowing one or no runs in each of his first four starts, and finished the month tied for fifth in the Southern League in victories, tied for eighth in innings pitched and ninth in ERA.
In parts of three seasons at the Double-A level, Jokisch has gone 11-3 with a 2.83 ERA (47 ER/149.2 IP) in 26 games (25 starts) for Tennessee. He has surrendered two or fewer earned runs in 19 of his 25 starts.