Well, that month went quickly. All the sudden we're at the beginning of July and it's time for another round of player of the month. So far, we've only matched one guy with the Brewers' official Player Of The Month award (April Pitcher Of The Month Matt Yeatman), but that's OK, different is good. To pique interest, one of this month's players of the month isn't on the Power 50. Who is it? You'll know after the weekly awards.
Offensive Player Of The Week:
Our offensive player of the week this week has come more close more often than any other player who hasn't won the award. The long wait is over for Indianapolis outfielder Izzy Alcantara. Izzy has put together a whole bunch of solid weeks, but this one put him over the top. In 26 at-bats, Alcantara collected 11 hits, one of them a double and three of them home runs, and he drove nine runs, while scoring eight times. He also walked five times (while only striking out twice), was hit by a pitch and stole three bases in three attempts. Alcantara is the second Indianapolis Indian to be named to this award, the only other coming in the second week of the season, when ex-teammate and fellow outfielder Ryan Thompson won. Thompson has since moved on to Milwaukee, so let's hope the trend holds for Izzy.
Last Week: Mario Mendez, OF, Ogden
June 17th: Ralph Santana, 2B, Beloit
June 10th: D.J. Clark, 3B, High Desert
June 3rd: Steve Scarborough, SS, Huntsville
May 27th: 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:
Like Alcantara and the batter of the week award, there has been a guy equally as close to the pitcher of the week award many times, but hasn't won until today. After being promoted to Indianapolis, Jose Garcia struggled for a few starts, but in his third week there, he sparkled. The 6'3, 195 pound righty cruised to a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings pitched over two starts. He gave up three runs (all earned) on nine hits and eight walks, while striking out seven, en route to a 1-0 record. Jose was selected in the 2nd round of the 1996 June draft by the Brewers out of a Southern California high school.
Last Week: Jimmy Osting, SP, Indianapolis
June 17th: Dave Pember, SP, Huntsville
June 10th: Luis Martinez. RP, Huntsville
June 3rd: Ben Hendrickson, SP, High Desert
May 27th: 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
Bernie Brewer is handing me a sealed envelope. Ladies and Gentlemen, your Brewerfan.net June Players Of The Month:
BREWERFAN.NET'S MINOR LEAGUE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE MONTH:
ISRAEL ALCANTARA, OF, INDIANAPOLIS
Sadly, Izzy Alcantara is best known throughout the baseball world as the guy who karate-kicked a catcher in the head last year in a AAA game (as a member of the Pawtucket Red Sox) after getting hit by a pitch. What the baseball world has evidently not yet figured out is that Mr. Alcantara has mastered AAA, and deserves to be in the majors, any possible character issues aside, and his performance in the month of June for the Indianapolis Indians proved that point. During June, Izzy hit .306/.366/.550 for the Indians, in 111 at-bats, splitting time between left field, right field and first base, and was the key element in helping the Indians turn around their season after a horrendous May. Izzy collected 34 hits, 14 of those going for extra bases: seven doubles, a triple and six home runs. On the season, he has 16 doubles, 2 triples and an organizational high 20 home runs. He also collected 22 RBIs and scored 20 runs, while walking 10 times. He was also successful in all 6 of his stolen base attempts, and committed no errors in the field. Izzy was originally signed by Montreal out of the Dominican Republic, his home country, as a 17 year-old back in 1990. He played in the Tampa farm system in 1997 and part of 1998. He also played for part of the 1998 season in the Phillies' chain, on loan from the Devil Rays. He signed with Boston in 1999, and made his first big league appearance in 2000 with Red Sox, and played with them again briefly in 2001. He has 35 major league at-bats and 4 major league home runs. The Brewers signed him as a minor league free agent this past February. Izzy turned 29 in May, is 6'2 and 210 pounds, throws right and bats right.
May's Offensive Player Of The Month: Corey Hart, 1B, High Desert
April's Offensive Player Of The Month: Ryan Knox, OF, High Desert
BREWERFAN.NET'S MINOR LEAGUE PITCHER OF THE MONTH:
PAUL STEWART, SP, HUNTSVILLE
Paul Stewart defines perseverance. Two and a half seasons ago, Paul found himself in Huntsville, playing AA ball for the first time. He also found himself on the 40-man roster and he was considered one of the Brewers' better pitching prospects. Then, disaster struck, in the form of both the 2000 and the 2001 seasons. After a horrible first half in Huntsville in 2000, Paul was demoted to Mudville (the then class-A+ affiliate of the Brewers) and only vaguely righted the ship. He was removed from the 40-man roster in the offseason. When the 2001 season started, he still found himself below AA, this time in High Desert, and again he failed to prove himself. The breaking point for Paul could have came during the first month of the 2002 season. Though back in Huntsville, even less was working than usual for Paul, and he posted a horrific 10.35 ERA in April. Then, one little thing happened. Huntsville manager told Stewart to simply move to the other side of the pitching rubber when he started his windup. The potential breaking point was turned into the turning point of Paul's career. Since this small little adjustment to his delivery, Stewart has been nothing short of spectacular for the Huntsville Stars. In May, Paul finished with a 2.32 ERA, but he was even better in June, and that's why he is the Brewerfan.net Pitcher Of The Month. Paul finished the month with a dazzling 1.59 ERA and a dandy 3-1 record to go with it. In five starts, he pitched 34 innings, an average of almost seven innings per start, which is quite a feat at the AA level, considering the pitch counts imposed on pitchers. Paul allowed 29 hits and walked only four batters, while striking out 27 and allowing only six earned runs for the month, just about one earned run per start. Despite being taken in the 6th round of the 1996 draft, Paul is still only 23, because he was drafted as a 17 year-old high-schooler. He is a big righthander at 6'5, 225. He is a good shot to be re-added to the 40-man roster at the end of the season if he keeps up his current pace, so best of luck to him from Brewerfan.net.
May's Pitcher Of The Month: Ryan Miller, SP/RP, High Desert
April's Pitcher Of The Month: Matt Yeatman, SP, Beloit