September 20, 2011 - Pacific Coast League (PCL) - Iowa Cubs
CHICAGO - The Chicago Cubs today announced infielder/outfielder Bryan LaHair and left-handed pitcher Jeff Beliveau have been named the organization's Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.
LaHair and Beliveau (pronounced BELL-eh-voh) will be honored tonight during an on-field ceremony prior to the Cubs contest at Wrigley Field against the Milwaukee Brewers.
The 28-year-old LaHair was named the 2011 Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player after leading all of minor league baseball with an Iowa franchise-record 38 home runs, leading the PCL with 76 extra-base hits, 303 total bases, a .664 slugging percentage, a 1.070 OPS and ranking tied for first in the league with 109 RBI. In addition to PCL Most Valuable Player honors, LaHair was named to the all-PCL Team and was named Iowa Cubs MVP. LaHair was also a mid-season PCL All-Star and participated in the Triple-A Home Run Derby.
LaHair's 38th home run set the Iowa franchise record, surpassing Joe Hicks in 1984, and he joined Mel Hall (1982) as only the second player in franchise history with at least 30 homers and 30 doubles in the same season. LaHair became only the seventh PCL player in the last 15 seasons to record at least 300 total bases.
The left-handed batter and right-handed thrower had his contracted selected by the Cubs on September 2 and he has batted .424 (14-for-33) with four doubles, one triple, two home runs and six RBI in 13 games. LaHair has a .512 on-base percentage and a .788 slugging percentage, good for a 1.300 OPS.
This season marks LaHair's second-career stint in the big leagues, as he hit .250 (34-for-136) with four doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI in 45 games with Seattle in 2008. He was originally selected by Seattle in the 39th round of the 2002 Draft. LaHair is the second Iowa Cubs player to earn Pacific Coast League MVP honors in the last five seasons, joining Geovany Soto (2007).
Beliveau, 24, combined to go 6-2 with five saves and a 1.57 ERA (13 ER/74.1 IP) in 53 relief appearances between Single-A Daytona and Tennessee, his first-career stop at the Double-A level. The lefthander combined to strike out 89 batters and issue only 19 walks in 74.1 innings, an average of 10.8 strikeouts and only 2.3 walks per nine innings, and limited opponents to a .192 batting average against.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Beliveau began the season with Daytona, where he went 0-1 with two saves and a 0.52 ERA (1 ER/17.1 IP) in 12 relief outings to earn the promotion to Double-A. Beliveau went 6-1 with three saves and a 1.89 ERA (12 ER/57.0 IP) in 41 relief appearances to help the Smokies to the Southern League championship round. With Tennessee, Beliveau limited opponents to a .183 batting average, including a .169 mark by lefties and a .191 by righties.
Originally selected by the Cubs in the 18th round of the 2008 Draft out of Florida Atlantic University, the Providence, R.I. native is 17-9 with 10 saves and a 2.69 ERA (81 ER/270.2 IP) in four professional seasons in the Cubs organization.
Beliveau will pitch for Team USA this Fall.