Rizzo, Batista named Minor Leaguers of the Month

The Chicago Cubs today named first baseman Anthony Rizzo and right-handed pitcher Frank Batista, both of Triple-A Iowa, as the organization's minor league player and pitcher of the month for April, respectively.  These honors represent the organization's inaugural monthly awards.

Rizzo, 22, batted .384 (33-for-86) with three doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBI in 22 games with Iowa in April.  The left-handed batter recorded a .430 on-base percentage and a .663 slugging percentage, good for a 1.093 OPS.  Rizzo completed his first month in the Cubs system after being acquired from San Diego in January.

Overall this season, Rizzo ranks among the Pacific Coast League leaders in several offensive categories, including home runs (first with seven), RBI (tied for first with 24), total bases (third with 58) and batting average (fifth at .374).

Batista, 23, combined to toss 9.2 scoreless innings in eight relief appearances between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa in April.  He limited opponents to a .176 batting average (6-for-34) and struck out 11 while walking only two.  Batista began the year with Tennessee, his first-ever stop above Single-A, and recorded five saves in six scoreless outings (6.2 innings) to earn the promotion to Iowa.

A native of Santiago, Dominican Republic, Batista signed with the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent on January 18, 2009 and was with Single-A Daytona only two years later, where last season he was named a mid-season and post-season Florida State League All-Star after going 5-3 with 26 saves and a 2.36 ERA (16 ER/61.0 IP) in a league-best 51 appearances.