Jimenez, Clifton honored with Minor League Awards

Jimenez, Clifton honored with Minor League Awards

CHICAGO -- Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler congratulated Eloy Jimenez on Friday for being named the organization's Minor Leauge Player of the Year. And Soler had a message for the 19-year-old outfielder.

"He congratulated me for for having a good season, and says he'll wait for me so we can play together," said Jimenez, Chicago's No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.

Jimenez, who batted .329 with 14 home runs and 81 RBIs at Class A South Bend, and Trevor Clifton, 21, the Cubs' Minor League Pitcher of the Year, were honored pregame on Friday at Wrigley Field. Clifton compiled a 7-7 record and a 2.72 ERA at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach, striking out 129 over 119 innings in 23 starts.

What was the difference this year for Clifton?

"I just made a couple adjustments, and I studied hitters a little more and took video before the game and learned what they could and couldn't do," said Clifton, the organization's No. 8 prospect. "I really stuck to my strong side of the game and executed it."

Top Prospects: Clifton, CHC

Clifton credited former Cubs Minor League pitching coordinator and current Brewers hitting coach Derek Johnson with his development.

"He helped me a lot with the mental side of the game," Clifton said of Johnson. "This year, that's been my biggest thing, is focusing and staying strong."

Seeing the big league team have success has definitely helped motivate both Clifton and Jimenez. The outfielder will head to Arizona on Friday to begin play in the Arizona Fall League.

"I'm anxious to get started already," Jimenez said.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.