Title: Brewerfan Minor League Players of the Month for May
May was a pretty successful month for the Brewers' affiliates. Three of the four squads in action during the month of May posted records at or above .500, and the teams combined to finish with a 62-58 record. Indianapolis, Huntsville, and Beloit all put themselves in strong position for a playoff run by the end of the season, and even High Desert had a better than normal month.
The month was a little bit spottier in terms of player production. A number of players went out down with injury for extended periods, including top prospects Dave Krynzel, J.J. Hardy, Mike Jones, Matt Ford, and Jorge de la Rosa. In addition to the injuries, some usually productive players like Rickie Weeks, Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, Khalid Ballouli, and Manny Parra had substandard months.
There were some bright spots, too, including breakouts from a number of players that had been struggling for some time. Here are the nominees from each team, with position and OBP/SLG/OPS for the batters and ERA/WHIP/K:BB for the pitchers. If a nominee played at more than one affiliate, the player is selected from the team with which he received the most playing time.
Batter of the Month: Jeff Liefer, 1B, .394/.609/1.003
Pitcher of the Month: Travis Phelps, SP, 2.86/1.06/20:8
Batter of the Month: Brad Nelson, LF, .403/.563/.966
Pitcher of the Month: Jeff Housman, SP, 1.91/1.06/35:12
Batter of the Month: Ozzie Chavez, SS, .437/.495/.931 (includes Huntsville statistics)
Pitcher of the Month: Dave Bradley, SP/RP, 3.86/1.19/17:9
Batter of the Month: Adam Heether, 3B, .336/.571/.908
Pitcher of the Month: Tim Dillard, RP, 2.45/1.09/12:4
Those are the nominees, and here are your Brewerfan Minor League Players of the Month:
Batter of the Month: Brad Nelson, LF, Huntsville , 21 years old
A frustrating 2003 season behind him, Brad Nelson is starting to show the form that made him the #1 prospect in the Brewers' system a few years ago. He put together a great month in May, and he is your Brewerfan Batter of the Month. Nelson dominated the pitching-friendly Southern League to a tune of .313 batting average over 112 at-bats. He smacked thirteen doubles and five home runs, and also walked fifteen times, drove in sixteen runs, and scored twenty-one times.
Nelson, a first baseman until last year, was drafted in fourth round of the 2001 June amateur draft out of an Iowa high school. He has hit well at every level he's been at, and boasts a career minor league batting average in the mid .280's. Nelson also has almost 100 career doubles in just over two full minor league seasons. He projects to hit for a ton of power in the big leagues some day, though he's not just a home runs crusher. He currently stands at #4 on the Power 50.
Pitcher of the Month: Jeff Housman, SP, Huntsville, 22 years old
Jeff Housman has continued to climb his way up the prospect ladder in 2004, and he pitched superbly in May. He's the consensus Brewerfan/Milwaukee Brewers Pitcher of the Month for May. While he only won one game (he finished May with a 1-1 record), Housman was on fire for virtually all of his six starts in the month, and in 33 innings pitched, he allowed only twenty-three hits, seven runs (for a 1.91 ERA), and twelve walks, while striking out thirty-five batters.
The left-handed Housman was drafted by the Brewers in the 33 rd round of the 2002 June amateur draft as a junior out of Cal State