Monday, June 2, 2014

Astros Minor League Players and Pitchers of the Month for May

Narrowing down the list for Pitchers and Players of the Month for May turned out to be a rather daunting task! Too many excellent performances, but I suppose that's a good problem to have.

First up let's look at the nominees for Player of the Month. Before I proceed, I would like to send a special shout out to James Ramsay who had a whopping 11 doubles in the month of May!

OF Preston Tucker (Corpus Christi)
29G .267/.346/.509
15R 7-2B 7HR 19RBI 2SB 1CS 13BB 21SO

OF Ronnie Mitchell (Quad Cities)
28G .271/.333/.521
15R 3-2B 7HR 22RBI 3SB 1CS 9BB 29SO

3B Rio Ruiz (Lancaster)
29G .290/.412/.439
20R 7-2B 3HR 18 RBI 0SB 2CS 23BB 12SO

OF Brett Phillips (Quad Cities)
28G .308/.353/.500
25R 9-2B 4-3B HR 15RBI 7SB 0CS 7BB 22SO

3B Tyler White (Quad Cities)
24G .318/.384/.471
12R 7-2B 2HR 16RBI 0SB 0CS 8BB 14SO

OF Jordan Scott (Lancaster)
26G .333/.365/.485
17R 4-2B 4-3B HR 18RBI 4SB 3CS 4BB 9SO

3B Matt Duffy (Corpus Christi/Oklahoma City)
29G .333/.383/.479
17R 3-2B 3B 4HR 20RBI 1SB 1CS 6BB 22SO

OF Domingo Santana (Oklahoma City)
30G .297/.386/.514
16R 6-2B 6HR 16RBI 2SB 1CS 15BB 35SO

SS Carlos Correa (Lancaster)
27G .330/.389/.496
18R 8-2B 3B 3HR 31RBI 9SB 2CS 8BB 19SO

IF Nolan Fontana (LAN)
25G .325/.505/.438
14R 6-2B HR 15RBI 1SB 3CS 29BB 23SO

All excellent performances, but my top two came down to two very different types of players with outstanding months. In the end, the winner played in several more games and struck out far less. First the runner-up:

OF Teoscar Hernandez (Lancaster)
23G .344/.421/.634
21R 7-2B 3B 6HR 24RBI 7SB 1CS 13BB 35SO

And our winner has not only had an outstanding month, he has had an outstanding season, hitting .336/.425/.467 with 64 runs scored, 13 doubles, four triples, three home runs, 27 RBI, 20 stolen bases and 31 walks to 25 strikeouts.

2B Tony Kemp (Lancaster)
29G .369/.446/.459
32R 6-2B 3B HR 14RBI 9SB 2CS 16BB 13SO


Tony Kemp - May 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As a reminder, Players of the Week for May were:

Andrew Aplin
Teoscar Hernandez
Domingo Santana
Brian Holberton
Ronnie Mitchell


Next up, we look at Starting (Tandem) Pitchers who had good starts. Again, there were many pitchers who really stood out for the month. The following are my nominees (in no particular order). I didn't pick a runner up because I found the task to be impossible. I would like to give a special shout-out to Michael Feliz for his fantastic month. I didn't include him in the list of nominees because he pitched several innings less than the rest of the group.

RHP Nick Tropeano (Oklahoma City)
5 Games/5 Starts    28.1IP    1-3 record
2.54 ERA/0.882 WHIP   6BB:33SO    .184 BA

RHP Jake Buchanan (Oklahoma City)
5 Games/5 Starts   34.2IP   3-1 record
2.08 ERA/1.010 WHIP    5BB:22SO    .233 BA

RHP Mike Hauschild (Corpus Christi)
6 Games/6 Starts    32.2IP   2-0 record
2.76 ERA/0.949 WHIP   4BB:27SO    .233 BA

RHP Mike Foltynewicz (Oklahoma City)
5 Games/5 Starts   31.2IP   2-2 record
2.27 ERA/0.916 WHIP   11BB:36SO    .171 BA

LHP Tommy Shirley (Corpus Christi)
5 Games/4 Starts   24.1IP   3-0 record
1.85 ERA/1.110 WHIP  9BB:18SO    .207 BA

RHP Jandel Gustave (Quad Cities)
5 Games/3 Starts   23IP   4-0 record
2.74 ERA/1.087 WHIP  7BB:20SO    .214 BA

Our winner not only had a great month, but his six no-hit innings in the May 13th combined no-hitter put him over the top.

LHP Josh Hader (Lancaster)
5 Games/4 Starts   27.2IP   4-0 record
1.95 ERA/0.940 WHIP  9BB:33SO    .172 BA


Josh Hader - May 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As a reminder, the Starting Pitchers of the Week for May were:

Lance McCullers
Jake Buchanan
Josh Hader
Jake Buchanan
Michael Feliz


Now for our Relief Pitchers. Again, the nominees are in no particular order as I found selecting a runner up to be a tad bit difficult. Frederick Tiburcio and Alex White both had excellent numbers, but weren't with their teams for the full month so I hedged a little in favor of those who spent the entire month with their teams.

RHP Andrew Robinson (Corpus Christi)
9 Games    16IP    1 win & 1 save
1.13 ERA/1.250 WHIP   6BB:16SO    .207 BA
3 inherited runners/2 scored

RHP Daniel Minor (Lancaster)
6 Games   11IP    3 wins & 1 save (no-hitter save)
1.13 ERA/1.375 WHIP  4BB:11SO    .158 BA
2 inherited runners/0 scored

RHP Frederick Tiburcio (Quad Cities)
5 Games   9IP   1 loss & 2 saves
0.00 ERA/0.667 WHIP   1BB:13SO    .156 BA

RHP Alex White (Oklahoma City)
4 Games   5IP   1 win
0.00 ERA/0.400 WHIP   0BB:3SO    .118 BA

LHP Kevin Chapman (Oklahoma City)
13 Games    12.2IP    2 saves
0.71 ERA/1.737 WHIP   14BB:17SO    .182 BA
8 inherited runners/2 scored

LHP Patrick Urckfitz (Corpus Christi)
10 Games  14.2IP    1 win & 1 save
1.23 ERA/1.364 WHIP   4BB:14SO    .276 BA
3 inherited runners/2 scored

Our winner may not be the flashiest reliever in the system, but in May he was that rarest of rare commodities ... a consistent reliever. He only gave up one earned run, stranded six of eight inherited runners, got a ton of ground ball outs and converted all three of his save opportunities.

RHP Jason Stoffel (Oklahoma City)
11 Games    12.2IP     3 saves
0.71 ERA/1.263 WHIP   8BB:12SO (2 of the walks were intentional)
8 inherited runners/2 scored


Jason Stoffel - June 2013
Photo by Jayne Hansen

As a reminder, the Relief Pitchers of the Week for May were:

Josh Zeid
Chris Cotton
Daniel Minor
Albert Minnis
Andrew Robinson


If you remember, I decided to create separate categories for catchers since they generally play in fewer games and are judged as much if not more by their defensive contributions as they are by their offense.

Last month, Roberto Pena was my Defensive Catcher of the Month due to his gaudy caught stealing numbers. This month I'm going to go in a little different direction. Jake Rodriguez was behind the dish in Lancaster for the May 13th no-hitter and again for a 2-hitter at the end of the month in Quad Cities. For that, he gets this month's nod as the Defensive Catcher of the Month.


Jake Rodriguez - March 2014
Photo by Jayne Hansen

Jobduan Morales was my offensive catcher of the month in April and received a mid-May promotion to Lancaster from Quad Cities. This month another Quad Cities catcher has turned a few heads as Brian Holberton hit for the cycle on May 18th and put up a .388/.425/.638 batting line. He scored 14 runs during the month and collected nine doubles, a triple, three home runs and 15 RBI. Roberto Pena deserves honorable mention for his .267/.325/.507 line for the month.


Brian Holberton
Photo Courtesy of Bryan Green

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