- Pitcher of the Month: Carlos Gutierrez- Carlos had a very solid month for the Red Wings in May as he has gotten on the cusp of a call-up with the Twins. After getting off to a slow start in April Gutierrez was much better in May. Carlos went 1-1 with a very good 2.75 era in the month. He pitched in 12 games while working 19.2 innings and only gave up 16 hits so he was very strong. There are times the era can be a mirage if someone is giving up a lot of hits, but in May Carlos gave up less than a hit an inning which is very good for a pitch to contact pitcher who relies on guys pounding the ball into the ground. He cut the walk total down as he only walked seven guys in 19.2 innings. The walk total is the thing that he needs to work on and the thing that has kept him from the Twins so this is a positive step. The stat that impressed me most was his 4.22 ground out rate which is unbelievable and just shows you how many ground balls he gets. Gutierrez has the chance to be very special for the Twins and if he can keep his walk total in managable levels then he can be a big part of the Twins future out of that bullpen.
- Hitter of the Month: Aaron Bates- Aaron Bates signed with the Red Wings and just started hitting and hasn't stopped since. He was out of baseball to start the season and has been the best hitter for the Wings. In May he was awesome as the backbone of the Wings offense. In 19 games with the Wings he hit .317 with four doubles along with two homeruns and 11 runs scored. He also drove in five runs for the Wings. However, the stat that impressed me was the fact that he had more walks then strikeouts and that is a big stat in my mind. He walked twelve times while only striking out ten times. His OBP was a healthy .434 thanks to the twelve walks he accumulated. His stat line was .317/.434/.476/.910 OPS which is very good for a month. Bates is 27 years old and was out of baseball to start the year so he is not a prospect by any means, but he is putting together some very good numbers especially at the plate. He is a very good AAA player and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up as the spring turns into summer.
New Britain Rockcats 30-25 4.5 games back
- Pitcher of the Month: Brett Jacobson- I know some will argue that guys like Liam Hendriks, Steve Hirschfeld, and Bobby Lanigan deserved it over Jacobson. They will say look at the walk rate out of Jacobson and I can't disagree with that statement. However, the name of the game in pitching is to not give up runs and he did that awesomely in May. Jacobson split the month between the bullpen and the rotation after the injury to David Bromberg. Jacobson appeared in eight games while getting four starts and was just awesome. Jacobson went 1-0 with a miniscule 1.54 era in 23.1 innings while only giving up 14 hits that says how hard he is to hit. The problem with Jacobson and the reason that could derail his prospect status is the walks as he has walked 26 batters in 37.2 innings which is way too many. In May he walked 17 in only 23.1 innings which is about 7 walks per 9 innings. There is no sugarcoating it that needs to change or he won't be anything. The flipside is he strikes out 7 per 9 innings as well which is very good. The thing about Brett Jacobson is if he can get his control improved he can be dominant and one of the top relief prospects in the Twins organization, but if he can't he will end up playing overseas so it really is all up to him.
- Hitter of the Month: Evan Bigley- Evan Bigley was quite streaky in May, but when he was on he hit the cover off the ball. Bigley got off to a slow start in April, but really turned it on in May and led the Rockcats offensive attack. In May Bigley hit .301 with three homeruns and 18 rbi's along with an incredible ten doubles and three triples and an impressive 17 runs scored. He put up a very good .301/.363/.544/.907 line. The slugging percentage was the most impressive thing as he put up sixteen extra base hits for the month. That is a great month for just about anybody. For those of you who had given up on Bigley as a prospect you were wrong and he will continue to improve and improve. I think another good month out of Bigley could fine himself being promoted up to Rochester as he has developed into a legit prospect for the Twins and someone I am excited to see developed and see if he can make it up to the Twins before the end of 2012.
- Tommorrow I will conclude my look at the month of May with looking at the Fort Myers Miracle and the Beloit Snappers so come back to look at it.