The Cardinal Nation May Player of the Month

Memphis second baseman Kolten Wong is our choice as the top position player across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system last month.

The seven primary competitors for The Cardinal Nation's selection for Player of the Month for May each had strengths, as noted in bold below.

Jackson Mem 0.345 28 110 17 38 11 0 2 14 13 21 2 0.408 0.500 0.908
Peterson Mem 0.320 28 100 13 32 9 0 6 18 13 25 0 0.409 0.590 0.999
Wong  Mem 0.375 25 104 23 39 9 2 4 8 8 15 4 0.420 0.615 1.035
Scruggs Spr 0.286 26 77 18 22 5 0 7 25 18 29 1 0.434 0.623 1.058
O'Neill Spr 0.323 25 93 15 30 3 1 1 9 17 9 5 0.423 0.409 0.832
Melker Spr 0.304 17 56 13 17 3 1 5 10 6 10 0 0.375 0.661 1.036
Rodriguez PB 0.329 23 82 7 27 9 1 1 10 7 17 9 0.396 0.500 0.896

Ryan Jackson isn't letting his time in Memphis go to waste, batting .345 in May, including 11 doubles. His teammate Brock Peterson put up a balanced performance with a .320 batting average, six home runs, 18 RBI and a .999 OPS.

Springfield's Mike O'Neill did what he always does – reached base at a high rate, in this case, .423. The outfielder fanned just nine times in 93 at-bats. His fellow Texas League outfielder Adam Melker had a strong month as evidenced by his .661 SLG and 1.036 OPS, but missed a week due to injury. Having only 56 at-bats lowered his counting stats.

His power diluted by strikeouts in the past, Palm Beach first sacker Jonathan Rodriguez was a different player in May. Hitting for average, .329, he struck out just 17 times in 82 at-bats. The right-handed hitter launched only one long ball, with almost as many stolen bases, nine, as RBI, 10. In his first four professional seasons, Rodriguez had just 13 steals in total.

That leaves two very worthy finalists.

Springfield first baseman Xavier Scruggs delivered, with seven home runs and 25 RBI, both best among this group. 18 walks in 26 games led to a .434 on-base percentage. On the downside, his batting average was under .300 and he fanned 29 times in 77 at-bats, a 38 percent rate.

That leaves Memphis second baseman Kolten Wong standing on our top step. The former first-rounder has hit safely in 25 of his last 27 Pacific Coast League games and logged an amazing .375 batting average in May.

The left-handed hitter got stronger as the month progressed, with seven extra-base hits over his last 10 games (three home runs, a triple and three doubles). Leading off, Wong helped the first-place Redbirds get ahead often, with two homers, a triple, and three singles in the first inning of six of his last 10 contests. His 23 runs scored in 25 games during May leads this group and his 15 extra bases ties him with Peterson.

Playing a premium defensive position, Wong has committed just four errors this season. Across the PCL, Wong is tied for third in triples (five), third in hits (66), and tied for seventh in total bases (99).

Coming out on top in a tight competition, especially with Scruggs, Kolten Wong is hereby named The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month for May.

Last month's winners

How did the April Players of the Month fare? Last month, The Cardinal Nation's selection was Memphis' Jamie Romak while the St. Louis Cardinals organization's official designee was Springfield outfielder Tommy Pham.

Romak stumbled to a .211 average and .707 OPS, though he did hit four home runs and drove in 14 this past month. Pham's luck was even worse, as he spent part of May on the disabled list, interrupting his hot start. Still, in 16 games, the right-handed hitter batted .288, plated 12 and logged a respectable .801 OPS.

Previous winners: Click on the highlighted links to be taken to earlier articles about the monthly selections by both The Cardinal Nation and the Cardinals organization.

  Player of Month   Pitcher of Month  
2013 The Cardinal Nation Cardinals organization The Cardinal Nation Cardinals organization
April  Jamie Romak Tommy Pham John Gast John Gast
May Kolten Wong Kolten Wong Kevin Siegrist Kevin Siegrist

Coming soon: Our monthly update to the Cardinals prospect rankings from one through 40 along with the explanation why, exclusively for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation will follow our selection as The Cardinal Nation Pitcher of the Month for May. Once the Cardinals organization announces their official Pitcher and Players of the Month, we will share that news, as well.

Monday afternoon update: Wong also received the Cardinals organization official designation as their Player of the Month for May.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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