Anthony Rizzo, P.J. Francescon named Minor League Player, Pitcher of the Month

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today named Triple-A Iowa first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Single-A Daytona right-handed pitcher P.J. Francescon as the organization’s minor league player and pitcher of the month for May.  This marks Rizzo’s second-straight player of the month honor.

Rizzo, 22, batted .326 (31-for-95) with nine doubles, a triple, 10 home runs and 23 RBI in 26 games with Iowa in May. His 10 home runs were tied for the most in the Pacific Coast League while his league-leading .758 slugging percentage contributed to a 1.160 OPS that ranked second in the league.

Overall this season, Rizzo ranks among the PCL leaders in several offensive categories, including home runs (first with 17), total bases (first with 129), slugging percentage (first at .713), RBI (third with 46), and batting average (fifth at .354). Rizzo was acquired by Chicago from San Diego this past January.

Francescon, 23, combined to go 3-1 with a 2.58 ERA (11 ER/38.1 IP) and a complete game in six starts between Single-A Peoria and Daytona. He limited hitters to a .187 batting average and struck out 26. He began the month with Peoria, going 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA (5 ER/26.1 IP) in four starts, then was promoted to Daytona, May 21.

Selected by Chicago in the 40th round of the 2011 draft, Francescon has gone 5-2 with a 2.34 ERA (17 ER/65.1 IP) between Peoria and Daytona this season. His 1.86 ERA (11 ER/53.1 IP) in nine starts for Peoria ranked sixth in the Midwest League at the time of his promotion, while his five victories ranked tied for fourth.