Cards Minors Players of the Month – May, 2007

The Birdhouse recognizes the top offensive performances in 12 categories across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system for the month of May, 2007. The overall winner this past month in a landslide is Springfield outfielder Colby Rasmus.

The Birdhouse Players of the Month Awards are back. Each month we give awards for those players leading the entire St. Louis Cardinals minor league system that month in various offensive categories and award an overall ‘Player of the Month'.

We let you know which player led each team in that category plus a top five. Those players changing teams during the month are listed by the team with which they ended the month. Their stats are differentiated with the word "combined". Full stats are given the first time a player is listed but only the category-relevant statistics are given any subsequent time they are listed. Remember, we are talking about a player's performance during that month only.

Now, on to the awards –

Methodology for Choosing the Overall Winner
The top five in each of the ten qualifying categories were ranked numerically one through five with a team leader being noted only if he was not in the top five. (‘The Whiffer' is not a qualifying category for obvious reasons.) For May there were 16 players that either placed in the top five in at least one category or was a team leader in at least one category. Although no player ranked in all ten categories, there was one that ranked in the top two in nine of the ten categories. That player also met the additional criteria of age and level at which they are playing, years of professional experience and how many seasons they had played at their current level. He was the clear winner -

Player of the Month for May 2007
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals

.340/.439/.699/1.138, 35-for-103, 29 G, 23 R, 13 2B, 0 3B, 8 HR, 24 RBI, 16 BB, 19 SO, 7 SB, 0 CS, 3 E, 3 HBP, .355 BABIP, 32.51 RC, .359 ISO, 1:6.5 K/PA
Colby Rasmus' offensive performance during May was the most dominating one seen since The Birdhouse Player of the Month awards started. It is rare enough to have a player rank in the top five in seven or more categories. However, Colby Rasmus was first in seven of the nine categories in which he ranked and was second in the other two. He accomplished this at a level which is considered to be a real test of a player's professional potential and at the tender age of 20. Rasmus is the second youngest position player in the Texas League with teammate Bryan Anderson being the youngest player in the league. Rasmus also plays a premium defensive position. The future looks bright.

Honorable Mention
Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter - Swing of the Quad Cities
.389/.426/.657/1.083, 42-for-108, 27 G, 16 R, 9 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 6 BB, 16 SO, 0 SB, 1 CS, 1 E, 1 HBP, .419 BABIP, 29.27 RC, .259 ISO, 1:7.2 K/PA
While there really was no serious competition for Rasmus this month, Brandon Buckman's May performance merits a mention. Buckman is a big (6-foot-6) lefthander out of the University of Nebraska who was drafted in the 19th round last June. Although he is limited defensively and rather slow afoot (to put it mildly), Buckman can flat out hit. He did just that in May and ranked in eight of the ten qualifying categories. Buckman led the system in batting average and was either second or tied for second in the other seven categories in which he was ranked.

Batting Average
The Best
Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities
.389/.426/.657/1.083, 42 hits in 108 at bats

Balance of the Top Five
2. Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals - .340/.439/.699/1.138, 35-for-103, .355 BABIP (Team Leader)
3. Mark Hamilton – First Base/Designated Hitter – Palm Beach Cardinals - .321/.374/.464/.838, 36-for-112, 29 G, 13 R, 7 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 26 RBI, 10 BB, 21 SO, 1 SB, 0 CS, 1 E, 0 HBP, .375 BABIP, 19.81 RC, .143 ISO, 1:5.9 K/PA (Team Leader)
4. Juan Richardson – Third Base – Springfield Cardinals - .318/.375/.473/.848, 35-for-110, 28 G, 13 R, 5 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 9 BB, 24 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 7 E, 1 HBP, .378 BABIP, 19.23 RC, .155 ISO, 1:5 K/PA
5. Sean Danielson – Outfield – Springfield Cardinals - .295/.368/.423/.791, 23-for-78, 23 G, 13 R, 7 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 9 BB, 7 SO, 3 SB, 2 CS, 0 E, 0 HBP, .314 BABIP, 11.95 RC, .128 ISO, 1:12.9 K/PA

Additional Team Leaders
Memphis Redbirds
Nick Stavinoha – Outfield - .291/.314/.436/.750, 34-for-117, 30 G, 9 R, 5 2B, 0 3B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 4 BB, 20 SO, 2 SB, 0 CS, 1 E, 0 HBP, .323 BABIP, 16.36 RC, .145 ISO, 1:6 K/PA

On Base Percentage
The Best
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
.439, 35 H, 16 BB, 3 HBP in 103 at bats.

Balance of the Top Five
2. Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities - .426, 42 H, 6 BB,1 HBP in 108 at bats (Team Leader)
3. Joe Mather – First Base/Right Field – Springfield Cardinals - .275/.378/.422/.800, 28-for-102, 28 G, 12 R, 6 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 14 BB, 13 SO, 0 SB, 0 CS, 3 E, 3 HBP, .291 BABIP, 15.57 RC, .147 ISO, 1:9.2 K/PA
4. Juan Richardson – Third Base – Springfield Cardinals - .375, 35 H, 9 BB, 1 HBP in 110 AB
5. Mark Hamilton – First Base/Designated Hitter – Palm Beach Cardinals - .374, 36 H, 10 BB, 0 HBP in 112 AB (Team Leader)

Additional Team Leaders
Memphis Redbirds
Edgar V. Gonzalez – Second Base - .271/.345/.439/.784, 29-for-107, 30 G, 16 R, 8 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 15 SO, 1 SB, 1 CS, 6 E, 0 HBP, .300 BABIP, 15.98 RC, .150 ISO, 1:7.9 K/PA

Slugging
The Best
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
.699, with 13 doubles and eight home runs in 103 at bats

Balance of the Top Five
2. Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities – .657, with nine doubles, one triple and six home runs in 108 at bats (Team Leader) 3. Allen Craig – Third/First Base – Palm Beach Cardinals - .282/.339/.491/.830, 31-for-117, 29 G, 17 R, 8 2B, 0 3B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 10 BB, 28 SO, 2 SB, 1 CS, 5 E, 0 HBP, .338 BABIP, 18.37 RC, .209 ISO, 1:4.3 K/PA (Team Leader)
4. Juan Richardson – Third Base – Springfield Cardinals - .473, with five doubles and four home runs in 110 at bats
5. Mark Hamilton – First Base/Designated Hitter – Palm Beach Cardinals - .464, with two doubles and three home runs in 112 at bats

Additional Team Leaders
Memphis Redbirds
Edgar V. Gonzalez – Second Base - .439, with eight doubles, two triples and two home runs in 107 at bats

On Base Plus Slugging
The Best
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
.340/.439/.699/1.138

Balance of the Top Five
2. Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities – .389/.426/.657/1.083 (Team Leader)
3. Juan Richardson – Third Base – Springfield Cardinals - .318/.375/.473/.848
4. Mark Hamilton – First Base/Designated Hitter – Palm Beach Cardinals - .321/.374/.464/.838 (Team Leader)
5. Allen Craig – Third/First Base – Palm Beach Cardinals - .282/.339/.491/.830

Additional Team Leaders
Memphis Redbirds
Edgar V. Gonzalez – Second Base - .271/.345/.439/.784

Runs Created
"Runs Created" or RC is a statistic created by Bill James to measure a player's total offensive production. Bill James describes it by saying that scoring runs consists of two actions: First - getting on base or creating base runners and Second - the advancing of those runners around the bases. The formula we used to ascertain each player's RC incorporates the stolen base element of offense.

The Best
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
RC of 32.51

Balance of the Top Five
2. Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities – RC of 29.27 (Team Leader)
3. Mark Hamilton – First Base/Designated Hitter – Palm Beach Cardinals – RC of 19.81 (Team Leader)
4. Juan Richardson – Third Base – Springfield Cardinals – RC of 19.23
5. Allen Craig – Third/First Base – Palm Beach Cardinals – RC of 18.37

Additional Team Leaders
Memphis Redbirds
Nick Stavinoha – Outfield – RC of 16.36

Home Runs
The Best
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
Eight home runs in 103 at bats, 1:12.9 HR/AB

Balance of the Top Five
2. Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities – six home runs in 108 at bats, 1:18 HR/AB (Team Leader)
3. Allen Craig – Third/First Base – Palm Beach Cardinals – five home runs in 110 at bats, 1:22 HR/AB (Team Leader)
4. – tie Juan Richardson – Third Base – Springfield Cardinals – four home runs in 110 at bats, 1:27.5 HR/AB
4. – tie Nick Stavinoha – Outfield – Memphis Redbirds – four home runs in 117 at bats, 1:29.25 HR/AB (co-Team Leader)
4. – tie Rico Washington – First Base – Memphis Redbirds – four home runs in 92 at bats, 1:23 HR/AB (co-Team Leader)

Isolated Power
Isolated Power (ISO) is one of five primary production metrics used in identifying a hitter or pitcher's comparables. PECOTA uses a slightly modified version of Isolated Power that assigns the same value to triples as to doubles (extending a double into a triple is generally an indicator of speed, rather than additional power).

The Best
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
ISO of .359

Balance of the Top Five
2. Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities – ISO of .259 (Team Leader)
3. Allen Craig – Third/First Base – Palm Beach Cardinals – ISO of .209 (Team Leader)
4. – tie Tyler Greene – Shortstop – Springfield Cardinals – ISO of .163
4. – tie Rico Washington – First Base – Memphis Redbirds – ISO of .163 (Team Leader)

Runs Batted In
The Best
Mark Hamilton – First Base/Designated Hitter – Palm Beach Cardinals
26 runs batted in – 112 at bats

Balance of the Top Five
2. – tie Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals – 24 runs batted in – 103 at bats (Team Leader) 2. - tie Brandon Buckman – First Base/Designated Hitter – Swing of the Quad Cities – 24 runs batted in, 108 at bats (Team Leader) 4. Allen Craig – Third/First Base – Palm Beach Cardinals – 17 runs batted in - 110 at bats
5. – tie Juan Richardson – Third Base – Springfield Cardinals – 16 runs batted in – 110 at bats
5. – tie Nick Stavinoha – Outfield – Memphis Redbirds – 16 runs batted in – 117 at bats

Stolen Bases
The Best (Tie) –
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
Seven stolen bases in seven attempts

Tyler Greene – Shortstop – Springfield Cardinals
Seven stolen bases in eight attempts

Balance of the Top Four
3. – tie Dan Nelson – Third Base/Left Field – Palm Beach Cardinals – six stolen bases in eight attempts (Team Leader)
3. – tie Jim Rapoport – Centerfield – Swing of the Quad Cities* – six stolen bases in eight attempts (Team Leader)
3. – tie Brendan Ryan – Shortstop – Memphis Redbirds – six stolen bases in nine attempts (Team Leader)
*Note: Although Rapoport ended the month on the Palm Beach Cardinals, all of his steals were as a member of the Quad Cities team. Hence he is listed as the Swing's team leader.

Best Battin' Eye
The Best
Sean Danielson – Outfield – Springfield Cardinals
1.29 BB/SO ratio, nine walks to seven strikeouts in 90 plate appearances

Balance of the Top Three
2. Bryan Anderson – Catcher – Springfield Cardinals – 1.1 BB/SO ratio, 11 walks to 10 strikeouts in 93 plate appearances
3. Joe Mather – First Base/Right Field – Springfield Cardinals – 1.08 BB/SO ratio, 14 walks to 13 strikeouts in 119 plate appearances

The Whiffer
If it comes near the plate, they start swinging…

The ‘Best' –
Christian Lopez– Middle Infield – Swing of the Quad Cities
27 strikeouts in 89 plate appearances, 1:3.3 K/PA ratio

Balance of the Top Five
2. – tie Dan Nelson – Third Base/Left Field – Palm Beach Cardinals - 29 strikeouts in 116 plate appearances, 1:4 K/PA ratio (Team Leader)
2. – tie Travis Hanson – Third Base – Memphis Redbirds - 25 strikeouts in 100 plate appearances, 1:4 K/PA ratio (Team Leader)
4. Jim Rapoport – Centerfield – Palm Beach Cardinals - 22 strikeouts in 94 plate appearances, 1:4.27 K/PA ratio (combined)
5. Allen Craig – Third/First Base – Palm Beach Cardinals – 28 strikeouts in 121 plate appearances, 1:4.32 K/PA ratio

Additional Team ‘Leaders'
Springfield Cardinals
Tyler Greene – Shortstop - 27 strikeouts in 118 plate appearances, 1:4.37 K/PA ratio

Qualifiers: Bryan Anderson, Brandon Buckman, Allen Craig, Sean Danielson, Edgar V. Gonzalez, Tyler Greene, Mark Hamilton, Travis Hanson, Christian Lopez, Jose Martinez, Joe Mather, Dan Nelson, Jim Rapoport, Colby Rasmus, Juan Richardson, Brendan Ryan, Mark Shorey, Donovan Solano, Nathan Southard, Nick Stavinoha, Rico Washington, Brandon Yarbrough

Non-Qualifiers: Due to the large number of position players in the system, only qualifiers will be listed.



Leonda Markee may be reached at uconncard@yahoo.com.

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