The Salt Lake Bees look for a second consecutive inter-conference series victory as they welcome the Iowa Cubs to Smith's Ballpark for a four-game series.
Salt Lake enters the series atop the Pacific Coast League's Pacific Southern division after taking three of four games from the Omaha Storm Chasers. Last year, the Bees and Cubs split four games at Principal Park in Des Moines. Kaleb Cowart led Salt Lake with seven hits against Iowa a season ago, while Carlos Perez posted a team-best five RBIs against the Cubs. Cowart continues to lead the PCL in walks (23) and stolen bases (nine) and is a key part of a Bees offense that ranks first in the PCL in on-base percentage, walks and stolen bases. Over the last ten games, Matt Williams is hitting a team-best .409 and C.J. Cron is expected to add some big-league power to the middle of the Bees lineup as he continues his rehab assignment. On the mound, Eduardo Paredes has been a welcome addition to the Salt Lake bullpen. Paredes has not allowed a run in six appearances since joining the Bees on May 2.
The Cubs boast several exciting prospects, led by infielder Ian Happ. MLB.com rates Happ as the Cubs' second-best prospect, and Happ's nine home runs are the second-most in the PCL this season. In addition to Happ, the Iowa lineup features talented youngsters Mark Zagunis, Victor Caratini and Chesny Young. Zagunis, the Cubs' sixth-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, ranks third in the PCL with 20 walks, while Young (number 13 prospect) leads the Cubs with 20 runs scored and Caratini (number 12 prospect) paces Iowa in batting average, hits and runs batted in. Iowa's top pitching prospect is reliever Pierce Johnson (number 23 prospect), who tops the Cubs with 11 relief appearances and four saves. Eddie Butler ranks fourth in the PCL with a 1.17 earned run average and headlines Iowa's rotation.
Over the course of the series, Bees fans can enjoy some exciting promotions. On Friday, teachers can receive two free tickets as the Bees celebrate Teacher Appreciation Night, while Saturday marks the Bees' 11th annual Pack the Park Pink Night. As part of Pack the Park Pink Night, fans will see a post-game fireworks show and have the opportunity to purchase pink t-shirts with all proceeds going to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Following their series against Iowa, Salt Lake hits the road for an eight-game road trip to New Orleans and Round Rock before returning home to face El Paso on Tuesday, May 23rd. For tickets and additional information, visit slbees.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.