Its that time, again. In a few short paragraphs, Brewerfan.com will announce their second set of Players Of The Month. But, first we'll get to the players of the week.
Offensive Player Of The Week:
The last team not to have an offensive player of the week was the Huntsville Stars, and their drought ends this time around. Steve Scarborough takes home the cake this week, and Steve is also the first middle infielder to win the award, so he's breaking barriers all around. He has been among minor league leaders in doubles all season, and currently he has the third most doubles of anyone in the minors. This past week, Steve didn't hit a lot of doubles, but he did a lot of other things. He batted .381/.536/.667 in 21 at-bats, which included a double, a triple, a home run, seven walks, 5 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Steve bats and throws righty, is 6'0, 160 and plays both second base and shortstop. He was drafted in the 18th round of the 1999 draft out of college and turned 24 in March.
Last Week: Corey Hart, 1B, High Desert
May 20th: Brad Nelson, 1B, Beloit:
May 13th: DJ Clark, 3B, High Desert
May 6th: Pete Zoccolillo, OF, High Desert
April 29th: Corey Hart, 1B, High Desert
April 22nd: Ryan Thompson, OF, Indianapolis
April 15th: Ryan Knox, OF, High Desert
Pitcher Of The Week:
High Desert continues it's string of dominance in both the player of the week catagories with yet another pitcher of the week this week, a testament to the tutelage of manager Mike Caldwell and coach Dave Osteen. This time around, Ben Hendrickson put up the outstanding numbers, as he has been doing fairly consistently all season. Last week was an especially good one: he started 2 games and pitched 14 innings on a pretty tight pitch count, giving up only one run (0.64 ERA) on a scant seven hits and one walk. He added to opposing hitter's headaches by striking out twelve of 'em last week. Ben is a lanky 6'4, 185 and throws righty. He was selected in the 10th round of the 1999 draft out of a Minnesota high school. He turned 21 in February.
Last Week: Jimmy Osting, SP, Indianapolis
May 20th: Derek Lee, SP, Huntsville
May 13th: Ryan Miller, SP, High Desert
May 6th: Doug Dent, SP, High Desert
April 29th: Justin Gordon, SP, High Desert
April 22nd: Brian Nielsen, SP, Beloit
April 15th: Andrew Lorraine, SP, Indianapolis
And now, drum roll please, the free Brewerfan.com bumper stickers go out to:
BREWERFAN.COM'S MINOR LEAGUE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE MONTH:
COREY HART, 1B, HIGH DESERT
While High Desert is widely referred to the Coors Field of the minors, and in fact is the second best offensive ballpark in the world, behind only Coors, you can't help but notice the numbers put up by Corey the past month. Even if you figure in park factors, he still out-dueled his closest competitors, teammate Pete Zoccolillo and Beloit first baseman Brad Nelson. "Monster" doesn't quite describe Corey's month, especially considering he was skipped right past Beloit and only turned 20 in March. He has been shooting up prospect lists everywhere, earning attention from Baseball America and spiking up 9 places on the Power 50, moving from #15 to #6, with no end to the rise in sight. Highest praise has come from Jim Powell, the Brewers' radio co-host, who recently called him the best prospect in the Brewers' organization. Now, to the mind-boggling stats. Corey had 116 at-bats in the month of May, and posted the following: .319/.398/.716. Breaking it down, the first baseman hit eight doubles, four triples and ten home runs. He drove in 35 runs, scored 29 more, walked times and stole nine bases. He is also in the process of trying out at third base, and if he makes the switch full time, his value will skyrocket even higher. When the Brewers drafted him in the 11th round of the 2000 draft out of Greenwood High School in Bowling Green, Ky., they almost immediately referred to him as a miniature Richie Sexson, but there is nothing mini about Corey. He is 6'6 and adding muscle to a 180 pound frame. He still has room to get a little taller, too. He has a fairly long, but quick swing that generates a boatload of power, mainly to left field, but he has the ability to hit the ball hard anywhere. Comparisons to Sexson are valid, but with his quickness, and especially if he can play third, a comparison to a more powerful Corey Koskie might be closer at this point.
April's Offensive Player Of The Month: Ryan Knox, OF, High Desert
BREWERFAN.COM'S MINOR LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE MONTH:
RYAN MILLER, SP/RP, HIGH DESERT
This is probably going to be the only time this season this happens: a guy gets demoted from the rotation after three starts to begin the month and then goes on to win our Pitcher Of The Month award. This is what happened to Ryan Miller. He began the month in the High Desert rotation and made three very good starts. For whatever reason, when J.M. Gold came back from injury and claimed a rotation slot, the Brewers decided that Miller was the odd man out, despite having the second best rotation ERA. Ryan didn't pout, though, and made five strong relief appearances after his three starts and finished up the month with a sparkling 1.57 ERA in 28.2 innings pitched. He allowed only five earned runs on 19 hits and 9 walks, and he struck out 25. To make matters worse, when Justin Gordon was dropped from the rotation in late May, they still didn't give the job back to Ryan, instead throwing George Perez out there. I'm not sure if there some thought to move him to a closer role or something eventually, but it really doesn't make sense to me, since he has never had a problem with durability or injury. He was the Brewers' 9th round pick out of the University of Evansville in the 2000 draft, and although he had a below average season last year, really seemed to be putting it together this season in High Desert, which is not an easy pitcher's park or league. Hopefully, he will be returned to his rightful role in the rotation before long, or we'll get a good explanation as to why he isn't there any more. Ryan is a 6'1, 200 pound righty and turned 24 before the season.
April's Pitcher Of The Month: Matt Yeatman, SP, Beloit