Dodgers Name Top Minor Leaguers 

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that Single-A Inland Empire catcher Lucas May has been named the organization's player of the month while Single-A Great Lakes' pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Francisco Felix have been selected as the co-pitchers of the month for April, according to Dodgers' Director of Player Development De Jon Watson.

    "We are really pleased with the progress to this point of all three players," said Watson. "Lucas has been swinging the bat really well while making an extremely tough transition to a demanding position. The two pitchers have thrived in a cold environment that they are not used to and we're impressed with their ability to make adjustments."    

May finished the month leading all Dodger minor leaguers with eight home runs, 31 RBI and a .667 slugging percentage. The converted infielder also batted .333 (34-for-102) with 21 runs scored, six doubles and two triples in 25 games played during April. The 66ers backstop began the season on fire, homering in three consecutive games, including a grand slam, from April 6-8 and also ripped two home runs in a one-run victory on April 14 over Lancaster.  

The Missouri native hit his final and most dramatic home run of the month on April 29, when his walk-off three-run blast in the 10th inning gave Inland Empire a come-from-behind win over Modesto. May collected a hit in 20 of his 25 games and at one point had a 13-game hitting streak (Apr. 14-27). The eighth-round selection in the June 2003 First-Year Player Draft led the 66ers to a 13-12 record while starting 17 games behind the plate and eight contests as the designated hitter.       

Kershaw, the Dodgers' first-round pick (No. 10 overall) in last year's draft, baffled Midwest League hitters, going 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA (3 ER/25.0) and 35 strikeouts in five starts during April. Opponents hit just .188 against the hard-throwing left-hander and the Loons were 4-1 in his starts.  

The 19-year-old's most dominating start came on April 24 against Cedar Rapids, when he went 6.0 innings and gave up just one run, three hits and a walk while striking out a season-high 12 batters. His first victory came in his second outing on April 12, when he tossed 5.0 shutout innings and allowed just one hit against Fort Wayne. The Texas native also won on April 30, when he held Quad Cities scoreless for 6.0 innings.   

Felix was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2003 and began his fifth year as part of the Dodger organization in spectacular fashion, allowing just one earned run in 18.2 innings for an organization-best 0.48 ERA in the month of April. Batters hit a paltry .145 against the right-hander and he struck out 23 batters while walking just three in six games.  

The Mexico native was the winning pitcher on April 21, when he came on in relief to toss 4.2 scoreless innings while striking out six against Cedar Rapids. Felix picked up his first save of the season on April 10, firing 2.0 hitless innings while striking out four to close out Fort Wayne.  

Every Dodger minor league manager nominates players from his team for the monthly honors with the minor league coordinators selecting the winners. Other candidates up for consideration were: Triple-A Las Vegas – Infielder Tony Abreu (.344, 31 hits, 22 runs, .406 on-base percentage) and pitcher Matt White (1.23 ERA, 14 strikeouts); Double-A Jacksonville shortstop Chin-lung Hu (.337, 33 hits, 11 doubles) and pitcher John Meloan (3-1, 2.03 ERA, 3 saves, 19 strikeouts); Single-A Inland Empire pitcher Cory Wade (4-0, 1.93 ERA, 23 strikeouts) and Single-A Great Lakes infielder Francisco Lizarraga (.354).