TigsTown Players of the Month: April 2012

Most Tigers fans are familiar with the incredible month from Brad Eldred that resulted in his call-up toward the end of the month. But beyond Eldred, quite a few players had big months down on the farm. Who performed well enough to earn player of the month honors? Find out inside!

Toledo – Brad Eldred (1B)

Eldred was far and away one of the most impressive stories of the first month of the minor league season. Before a brief call-up to Detroit, Eldred terrorized the International League for 20 games. Eldred hit a whopping .388 in that span and that may not be his most impressive statistic. Eldred pounded out nine doubles and an incredible 13 home runs for a 1.013 slugging percentage and 1.457 OPS. His home run total, slugging average and OPS were all tops in the minor leagues through the first month, along with his 35 runs driven in. Eldred has since returned to the Hens lineup and he should continue to rake and help the club win ball games along the way.

Runner-Up: Quentin Berry (OF)

Erie – Rob Brantly (C)

Catcher Rob Brantly was a high pick in the draft for the Tigers in 2010 and he has moved quickly since that time. After a mid-season promotion to High-A last year, Brantly struggled and seemed destined to return to Lakeland to start this season. A strong spring performance pushed him to Double-A Erie and he's done nothing since then to make people question that move. The left-handed hitting Brantly ripped the ball to the tune of a .373 average in 17 games last month, including ten doubles and two home runs, pushing him up to a .612 slugging average. Brantly also walked five times last month while only striking out seven times. He also drove in 17 runs and scored ten more.

Runner-Up: Jordan Lennerton (1B)

Lakeland – Nick Castellanos (3B)

The Tigers top position player prospect, Castellanos has cemented that reputation with a blazing hot start to the 2012 season. Known for his knack for hitting, Castellanos turned it up a notch last month with a .398 batting average in 22 games. Since the month ended he's continued to rake and pushed his average up over the vaunted .400 mark and taken the minor league lead in hitting. A year after leading the Midwest League in hits (158), Castellanos picked up 35 more in the first month of this season, ten of which were of the extra-base variety. At this rate, Castellanos won't be long for the Florida State League, and the 20-year old third sacker could be on his way to Erie around mid-season.

Runner-Up: Avisail Garcia (OF)

West Michigan – Steven Moya (OF)

Though he has since hit the disabled list with a bum hamstring, Moya came out of the gates strong in April. After struggling to a .204 average with the Whitecaps last year, Moya hit .377 through the first 19 games of the 2012 season. The massive – 6-foot-7, 240 pounds – has slugged six doubles and one home run already after popping 13 bombs last year. Arguably the most impressive piece of Moya's game this spring has been his reduced strikeout rate, with only ten in 19 games after fanning 127 times in 86 games last year. If Moya can come back healthy, he could be a key cog for the ‘Caps all summer long.

Runner-Up: Eugenio Suarez (SS)

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