- Pitcher of the Month: Andrew Albers- It really came down to two guys for this award in Andrew Albers and Tom Stuifbergen. Albers was just a little bit better than Stuifbergen in the month of May. That is not to take anything away from Stuifbergen who put togeter a very a good month of May. Albers was just dominant in the month so that is way he earned the award. Albers went 2-1 with an awesome 1.80 era in six outings including a couple spot starts and a save for the Miracle. Albers pitched 21.2 innings and gave up 22 hits so about a hit an inning which is normal for a pitch to contact pitcher like Albers is. The key though is if you are going to give up hits you can not give up walks and he was excellent in that part of his game as he only walked three batters in those 21.2 innings which is like 1.5 walks per 9 innings. He also struck out fifteen batters so that was impressive as well. The stat that won me over was his ground ball rate of 4.38 which means he is a ground ball machine and why you can give up some hits if you throw ground balls you will get a lot of double plays. The only thing about him that concerns me is he is 25 years old and still in Fort Myers. I would love to see him get a chance in New Britain to see if he can continue to pitch like this because if he spends the whole year in Fort Myers guys will start to pass him by and he is way too talented for that to happen.
- Hitter of the Month: Aaron Hicks- After getting off to another rough start in April he came on strong in May and is doing even better in June. Every year since he was drafted Hicks has struggled in May, remember last year when he started 1-31 at the plate. It was not that bad in April this year, but he definately is a streaky hitter who was the class of the lineup for the Miracle in May to keep them in the pennant race. In May Hicks hit .286 up from .211 in April with two homeruns and twelve rbi's along with seven doubles and fourteen runs scored. He also had an impressive 14 walks along with 22 strikeouts. Hicks also stole six bases in seven attempts. He had a stat line of .286/.390/.440/.830 which is quite good. The reason that Aaron Hicks doesn't go into prolonged slumps is his good eye at the plate and will take walks. As he moves forward that will be a big thing for him. The Twins like to go a year at a time for promotions with him so you are still looking late 2013 or early 2014 before you see Aaron Hicks patrolling the outfield for the Twins.
Beloit Snappers 28-30 11.5 games back
- Pitcher of the Month: Clint Dempster- The left handed reliever for the Snappers has been excellent all year for Beloit, but was even better in May. Dempster has a 2.40 era on the year so its not like it was just one good month that did it for him. However, in May he took it to the next level for the Snappers as he went 2-1 with an awesome 1.50era in eleven games including picking up two saves. Dempster worked eighteen innings for the month and only gave up eleven hits. He had a impressive walk to strikeout rate as he only walked four batters in those eighteen innings while striking out a batter an inning with ninteen strikeouts. At only 21 years old Dempster is still young for his level and I look for him to get a callup to Fort Myers at the All-Star break as he has definately earned it. He has put behind him the disappointment of struggling as a starter in 2010 and has become the best pitcher out of that bullpen for the Snappers and a key to them trying to make it to the playoffs.
- Hitter of the Month: Nate Roberts- Nate Roberts had quite a month of May after coming up to Beloit after the injury to Oswaldo Arcia. Roberts hit .302 with seven doubles and a triple along with twelve rbi's and an incredible 25 runs scored. He showed great patience at the plate with sixteen walks while only striking out only 13 times. Roberts also stole four bases in five attempts. He had a stat line of .302/.456/.396/.852 and the thing that impresses me the most is the .456 on base percentage. Roberts has struggled in June, but in May he showed he can be a good table setter and get on base and score a lot of runs. At age 22 Roberts is about right for Beloit, but you would think he needs to get up to Fort Myers by the end of the year in order to stay on the proper age track. But you can't take his month of May away and see if he can build on it going forward.