CHATTANOOGA -- The Dodgers Double-A affiliate, the Chattanooga Lookouts, have advanced to the Southern League Championship Series, and a big reason why was Chris O`Brien. The switch-hitting catcher was honored on Tuesday by winning the Southern League Player of the Month for August.
He is the first Lookouts player to win the monthly award this season.
O'Brien hit a two-run triple in the sixth inning on Aug. 31 in the second game of a doubleheader to give the Lookouts a lead over the Tennessee Smokies, clinching a playoff spot for Chattanooga. It was the second year in a row O'Brien delivered a playoff-clinching hit for his team, having done so with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2013.
Drafted by the Dodgers in the 18th round in 2011, O'Brien was hitting .261/.335/.399 with three home runs and 24 doubles in 93 games through July 31. But in August, O'Brien hit .282/.361/.592 with four home runs, eight doubles and 15 RBI in 23 games.
On the season, O'Brien hit .266/.341/.438 with 43 extra-base hits, 53 RBI and 44 walks in 116 games. He was sixth in the Southern League with 32 doubles.
O'Brien, who turned 25 on July 24, was especially effective as a left-handed batter in 2014, hitting .270/.352/.453 with six home runs and 27 doubles in 336 plate appearances, compared to .246/.286/.369 with one home run and five doubles in 71 plate appearances as a right-handed batter.
The catcher also hit two home run in five games against Huntsville (a Brewers affiliate) in the North Division playoffs. Chattanooga begins its best-of-five series at home against Jacksonville (a Marlins affiliate) on Wednesday at 4:15 p.m. PT.