MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (July 8, 2017) - Myrtle Beach Pelicans right-handed pitcher Thomas Hatch has been named the Chicago Cubs' Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June, the organization announced Saturday. Former Pelicans catcher Victor Caratini earned the Cubs' Minor League Player of the Month award.
Hatch went 3-2 with a 0.98 ERA in the month of June for the Pelicans, ceding just three earned runs in 27.2 innings. The Tulsa native struck out 22 against just six walks over the month, with his 0.98 ERA ranking as the second-best in the Carolina League. The right-hander's .221 batting average against in June placed him 10th in the circuit.
Chicago's third-round pick in 2016, Hatch pitched a career-high eight shutout innings on June 14 against Frederick, fanning seven against one walk. That outing was the longest a Pelicans starter has pitched in a game since Luis Parra fired nine frames against Winston-Salem on May 12, 2014.
A product of Oklahoma State University, Hatch is 3-7 with a 3.43 ERA this season for Myrtle Beach. The right-hander has punched out 78 against 33 walks in 76.0 innings, surrendering 72 hits. Hatch's ERA is 10th in the Carolina League, with his 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings ranking fourth among the circuit's starters. Among the league's qualifiers, Hatch's 3.21 FIP is fifth. He has posted the circuit's third-highest ground ball rate (50.0%), helping him to the sixth-lowest line drive rate (20.1%) and seventh-lowest fly ball rate (29.9%) in the league.
In eight starts dating back to May 22, Hatch has yielded just six earned runs on 37 hits in 43.0 frames for a 1.26 ERA. Over that span, the right-hander has whiffed 44 against just nine walks, helping drop his season ERA from 6.27 to 3.43.
A member of the Pelicans' 2015 championship squad, Caratini batted an organization-best .345 with nine doubles, four home runs, 21 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 25 games over June for Triple-A Iowa. A native of Coamo in Puerto Rico, Caratini earned a promotion on June 28 to the Cubs. He made his Major League debut that day at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
Caratini batted .257/.342/.372 with 31 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 53 RBIs in 112 games with Myrtle Beach in 2015. Acquired from Atlanta at the trade deadline in 2014, the switch-hitting catcher has won the Cubs' Minor League Player of the Month in both May and June of this season. He hit .341/.382/.537 with 20 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 54 RBIs in 69 games with Iowa this year.
Hatch will make the start for Pelicans in Saturday's 6 p.m. contest at Frederick from Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium.
The 2017 season is the 19th season for the Pelicans franchise and third as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. For information on tickets to see the Pelicans in 2017, please call (843) 918-6000, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.
ABOUT THE PELICANS: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs and play their home games at TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The park has ranked in the top eight in all of Minor League Baseball by Stadium Journey in each of the last six seasons. The same publication also placed the Pelicans in the Top 100 Stadium Experiences in all of sports in each of the last six years and the best in the Carolina League for six straight seasons as well. In May 2015, TicketReturn.Com Field at Pelicans Ballpark won the 2015 TripAdvisor.com Certificate of Excellence award. The Pelicans are the two-time defending Mills Cup Champions, winning the title in 2015 and 2016 as well as 2000 and co-Mills Cup championship honors in the inaugural 1999 season. The Pelicans have made ten postseason appearances behind 12 half-season Southern Division championships, including the first half of the 2015 season and second half of 2016. For more information on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, please contact the Pelicans at (843) 918-6000 or emailing Info@MyrtleBeachPelicans.com.