The Cubs have named Low-A Myrtle Beach outfielder Ezequiel Pagán as the organization’s minor league player of the month for June, while High-A South Bend right-hander Daniel Palencia was named the club’s minor league pitcher of the month.
Pagán, who turns 22 on July 8, hit .367 with a .474 on-base percentage and a 1.069 OPS, on the strength of three home runs, five doubles, two triples, and 27 RBI in 23 games. His RBI total was the highest in the system for June and his .367 average was the second-highest. The left-handed-hitting outfielder raised his season average from .233 to .292 during the month, which included eight multi-hit games and five three-hit efforts.
Selected by the Cubs in the 13th round of the 2018 draft out of the Pro Baseball High School & Academy in Puerto Rico, the 6-foot-1 Pagán owns a career .274 average 14 homers, 27 doubles, 11 triples, and 100 RBI in 207 minor league games as of July 6.
Palencia, 22, went 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA, 28 strikeouts, a 0.99 WHIP and a .207 opponent average in five June starts for South Bend. His 28 strikeouts were tied for the fourth-most among Cubs minor leaguers and he only walked five batters in the month. Palencia finished June by tossing 9.2 scoreless innings during his final two starts.
Palencia entered the season ranked as the Cubs’ No. 25 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He has made 27 career minor league appearances in parts of two professional seasons, going 2-4 with a 4.73 ERA and 113 strikeouts. The San Carlos, Venezuela native was originally signed by the Oakland Athletics as an international free agent in 2020 and was acquired by the Cubs on July 26, 2021, along with outfielder Greg Deichmann, for left-handed pitcher Andrew Chafin.