Hoffpauir, Atkins Recognized

CHICAGO – The Chicago Cubs today announced first baseman Micah Hoffpauir and right-handed pitcher Mitch Atkins have been named the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.

Hoffpauir, 28, split the 2008 campaign between Triple-A Iowa and Chicago. In 71 games at Iowa, he set career highs with 25 homers and 100 RBI, along with a .362 batting average (105-for-290), 34 doubles, two triples and a 1.145 OPS after missing the first month of the season with a strained left oblique.

Originally selected by the Cubs in the 13th round of the 2002 Draft, Hoffpauir was named Topps Pacific Coast League Player of the Month for both July and August and Topps PCL Player of the Week for the periods ending July 6 and August 10.

Hoffpauir homered in his first four at-bats August 9 at Round Rock, tying the team and PCL records. He owned a season-high 13-game hitting streak July 27-August 9, batting .446 (25-for-56) with nine doubles, seven homers, 16 runs scored and 22 RBI over the streak.

In four stints with the Cubs this season, Hoffpauir is batting .314 (16-for-51) with six doubles, 11 runs scored and two RBI in 26 games. Originally selected from Triple-A Iowa May 18, he made his major league debut that night vs. Pittsburgh (0-for-1). He collected his first big league hit May 21 at Houston, going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles.

Hoffpauir has appeared in five games in left field, four games at first base and three games in right field for the Cubs. He is 2-for-11 (.182) with a walk and an RBI as a pinch-hitter.

Atkins, who turns 23 on October 1, combined to go 17-7 with a 4.00 ERA (73 ER/164.1 IP) and 132 strikeouts in 28 starts between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa. He surrendered 50 walks while limiting opponents to a .246 batting average. He allowed three or fewer earned runs in 22 of his 28 starts.

Atkins began the year with Tennessee and went 9-6 with a 3.76 ERA (46 ER/110.0 IP) in 18 starts. He held Southern League hitters to a .250 average while winning his last five starts before his promotion to Iowa July 11. He posted an 8-1 record with a 4.47 ERA (27 ER/54.1 IP) in 10 starts for Iowa, limiting opponents to a .236 average while striking out 44 in 54.1 innings of work.

The six-foot, three-inch Atkins won his first seven starts at Iowa and 12 in a row (June 15-August 14) including his final five outings at Tennessee. He led all Cubs minor leaguers in wins and strikeouts and was named a Southern League mid-season All-Star.

Atkins was selected by Chicago in the seventh round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and is in his fifth professional season.


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