Maybe it’s the weather, but t’s hard to believe that we are now in May. One month of the season is already complete. That means that it is time to determine our Hitter and Pitchers of the month. If you’ve been following the Twins Minor League Reports each day of the season, you’ve noticed that there are seemingly great starts each night, often two or three. And hey, pitching is what wins games, right? So let’s start with the starting pitchers. We'll get the the top relievers and hitters in the next day or two.
As we have done in past years, aside from just picking the top pitcher, we’ll count down a top five performers for the month. It’s always nice when we have a few extra strong performers. This month, it was difficult to rank the pitchers. There were a lot of strong, solid performers, so feel free to discuss the rankings and even comment your own rankings or thoughts.
With that, let's jump to the starting pitchers. Here are the Top 5 Starting Pitchers for the month of April:
Number 5 – Rochester – Kris Johnson - 4 GS, 2-2, 2.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 22.0 IP, 18 H, 18 BB, 20 K
Number 4 – Ft. Myers – Brett Lee - 5 GS, 3-1, 2.93 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 31 H, 7 BB, 15 K
Number 3 – Cedar Rapids – Aaron Slegers - 5 GS, 2-0, 3.14 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 28.2 IP, 24 H, 4 BB, 27 K
Number 2 – Rochester – Alex Meyer - 5 GS, 1-0, 2.70 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 26.2 IP, 11 H, 11 BB, 35 K
I asked Dan Rohlfing, the talented catcher who caught those last two starts about Meyer, and he’s what he had to say. “Alex is electric! There’s definitely not many guys who can do what he does with a baseball. It’s awesome to watch him go from a thrower to a pitcher. He is really starting to figure a lot of things out. By him learning (and trusting) to pitch inside and developing a quality change up makes him that much more dangerous. We all know his curveball is filthy, and it’s becoming much more consistent as well. By him being a three-pitch pitcher now, who knows how to mix it up, makes it extremely unfair for hitters. His last two outings were dominant, to say the least.”
And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is:
Rochester – Logan Darnell - 4 GS, 0-0, 1.69 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 15 H, 7 BB, 21 K
Last June, following his promotion to AAA, he talked to Twins Daily about what he throws, what he’s learned, pitching in the Arizona Fall League and much more.
There were a lot of very good starting pitching performances in April. It was difficult to rank the five above, and here are a few more starters who were strongly considered:
- Pat Dean – New Britain – 5 GS, 25.2 IP, 2-1, 3.51 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 27 H, 7 BB, 20 K
- Jason Wheeler – Ft. Myers – 5 GS, 30.0 IP, 2-1, 2.70 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 32 H, 7 BB, 14 K
- Tyler Duffey – Ft. Myers – 4 GS, 22.1 IP, 3-0, 2.82 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 22 H, 5 BB, 13 K
- Ethan Mildren – Cedar Rapids – 4 G, 3 GS, 18.0 IP, 0-1, 2.50 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 17 H, 2 BB, 18 K
We’ll be back tomorrow to discuss the Relief Pitcher and Hitter of the Month. Please feel free to comment and ask questions.
In the next 24 hours or so, Twins Daily will post it's Top Relievers and Hitters for April. However, there is a lot going on at Twins Daily, including:
- SD Buhr writes about Zack Larson and Tanner Vavra of the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Larson is probably the team's top hitting prospect. Vavra, son of the Twins 3B coach, has one of the top batting averages in the Midwest League.
- It was a quiet night in the Twins Minor League system, but it will be a busy day on Thursday.
- Minnetonka native, former Gopher and current New Britain Rock Cats starting shortstop AJ Pettersen wrote a new article called The Greatest Gift.
- Speaking of Pettersen, he joined Seth and Jeremy on this week's Twins Hangouts podcast and talked about life in the minor leagues, his promotion from Ft. Myers to New Britain and a little about Alex Meyer.
- Twins Daily's Parker Hageman along with friend Dan Anderson have started a new podcast, the New Juice Podcast. Give it a chance too.
- How much longer will Alex Meyer and Twins fans have to wait for Alex Meyer to get called up?
- A Reminder, you can now "adopt" any Twins minor leaguer and start up a forum for that player. It's fun and you can brag up a player or two or three.