CHICAGO, IL - The Chicago Cubs today named former South Bend Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis and right-handed pitcher Luis Devers as the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Both Mervis and Devers were a part of the 2022 Midwest League Championship Cubs roster, each at
CHICAGO, IL - The Chicago Cubs today named former South Bend Cubs first baseman Matt Mervis and right-handed pitcher Luis Devers as the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively. Both Mervis and Devers were a part of the 2022 Midwest League Championship Cubs roster, each at different times in the season.
The 24-year-old Mervis took the Cubs minor league system by storm with his breakout 2022 season. In a season that spanned three levels, he started the year with the South Bend Cubs as part of the club's Opening Day Roster. In what was the most productive Minor League offensive season by a player since Pete Alonso in 2018, Mervis crushed 36 home runs and brought in 119 RBI in time spent between High-South Bend, Double-A Tennessee, and Triple-A Iowa.
After being inked by Chicago in 2020 after the shortened five-round MLB Draft that season, Mervis went right to work. As Chicago Cubs Director of Hitting Justin Stone said in the South Bend radio booth earlier in the 2022 season, the Cubs were thrilled to have signed a player like Mervis.
Mervis' time with the South Bend Cubs was always about quality over quantity. The former Duke Blue Devil played in 27 games with the Cubs and had an even 100 at-bats at High-A. In that time, Mervis hit .350 with seven home runs and 29 RBI. In his first road game with the Cubs, Mervis had a three RBI night against the Fort Wayne TinCaps at Parkview Field.
A few weeks later, he walloped a walk-off home run versus Fort Wayne on May 10. That was part of a multi-home run game where Mervis went yard early in the contest, then won it on the walk-off. Also with South Bend, Mervis had three straight games with a home run from April 30 through May 4 against both Quad Cities and Peoria.
After being called up to the Tennessee Smokies, Mervis displayed the same sense of power and clutch ability, which earned him a spot to end the season with the Iowa Cubs. Since finished the 2022 campaign, Mervis has been assigned to the Arizona Fall League, where his talents are now being spotlighted with the Mesa Solar Sox.
Devers, who was promoted to the South Bend Cubs from the Low-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans on July 4, had a highlight packed season. The 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic now ends this year with the Chicago Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year honor, both a Cubs and Midwest League Minor League Pitcher of the Month accolade, and a Midwest League Championship Ring.
With Myrtle Beach, Devers went 9-3 in 15 games and put up a 2.58 ERA. Immediately after being called up to South Bend, Devers became a key part of the pitching staff. The tall right-hander had to pitch out of the bullpen initially, but once he was put in the starting rotation, Midwest League hitters were consistently sent down quickly.
His numbers in South Bend would finish at a 4-0 record in 11 games, a 1.05 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 51.1 innings with only 12 walks, and batters hit .167. Devers helped the South Bend Cubs clinch the Second Half Western Division Championship and was arguably the ace of the staff pitching South Bend into the postseason. To end the regular season, Devers went nine straight appearances of at least four innings and one or less runs allowed.
In the playoffs, Devers was the Game 1 starter in the Midwest League Division Series versus the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Pitching in his first career postseason game, Devers went six innings of one run baseball and had four strikeouts to help the Cubs pick up a crucial win. He also was on the mound in the Midwest League Championship Series for Game 2 against the Lake County Captains. Again, Devers gave South Bend a chance to win with four strong innings.
Devers celebrated with the South Bend Cubs on September 21 as the team hoisted their second Midwest League Championship crown in three seasons.
This is the fourth straight season that two former South Bend Cubs have swept both the Chicago Cubs Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year awards. In 2018, infielder Jared Young and right-handed pitcher Matt Swarmer were honored as the recipients. In 2019, it was outfielder Brennen Davis and right-hander Cory Abbott. Lastly in 2021, Davis once again took home Player of the Year, while DJ Herz was the Pitcher of the Year.
About the South Bend Cubs
The South Bend Cubs are the High-A affiliate of the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs. Over the past 34 years, the team has won five Midwest League titles, most recently in 2022, and has captured nine division titles. In 2022, Four Winds Field, home of the South Bend Cubs, was voted Best High-A ballpark in the country by Ballpark Digest, having also won the award as a Low-A ballpark in 2017. In 2019, the South Bend Cubs hosted the final Midwest League All-Star Game. In 2015 the team was named Ballpark Digest's Team of the Year and received the John H. Johnson President's Award, the highest award in minor league baseball. The team is owned and operated by Swing-Batter-Swing, LLC whose principal shareholder is Andrew T. Berlin of Chicago, Ill.