MadFriars April Pitchers of the Month

Each level gave us plenty of pitchers worthy of being pitchers of the month. In Tucson and Lake Elsinore it was mainly relievers, but outstanding numbers are great no matter where in the game you pitch. It was a tough task but John was up to the challenge.

Tucson

RHP/SP Jon Leicester 1-0 2.84 ERA

The good news in Tucson was that the "TPadres" hit .302/.380/.457; the bad news was the pitching staff had an ERA of 5.75. The PCL Pacific has some amazing hitter's parks in Salt Lake, Albuquerque and Colorado Springs where the air is light and ball likes to fly. in addition to Tucson So there will be some changes here as compared to last season in Portland.

Leicester played the past few years in Japan and is the type of guy that you will frequently see in AAA, a player that is being kept in reserve in case of injury. In April he had three starts to go along with 2 other appearances where he allowed 14 hits in 19 IP against only 8 walks. While the numbers may not seem overwhelming, holding batters to a .212 batting average in the conditions that he pitches in is. .

Prospect Watch: RHP/RP Samuel Deduno pitched well out of the pen with a 2.13 ERA striking out 12 in 12.2 innings. He held batters to a .156 average the only negative was a rather high 9 walks. LHP Aaron Poreda showed some promise with a 3.38 ERA and a pair of wins to go along with 11 strikeouts in 13.1 innings and, for him, not a too extreme 8 walks. Closer RHP Evan Scribner had two bad outings where he allowed two and three runs, but was perfect in his other four outings holding opponents scoreless with five strikeouts against no walks in 8 IP before being called up to the big club. .

Disappointments: RHP/SP Simon Castro, MadFriars #1 prospect in 2011, had as tough a month as he ever had in professional baseball. Although he was 2-1, Simon had 9.00 ERA and gave up 5 home runs and 25 earned runs in 5 starts. .

San Antonio

RHP/SP Anthony Bass 3-1 3.45 ERA

The Wayne State alum is doing at AA what he has been his entire time in the organization putting his team in a position to succeed and winning games. Bass won three of his five starts and allowed slightly over two earned runs an outing. Bass throws three quality pitches, but mainly relies upon a hard four-seam fastball that he can consistently throw in the 92 to 94 range and occasionally go a little higher. Bass will pound the zone and occasionally gets into a little trouble with being around the plate too much. This month he gave up 4 home runs but it is a bit aberrational since 3 of them came in a game at Midland with the wind blowing out. He posted a good 18/7 K/BB ratio and held batters to a .245 batting average. .

Prospect Watch: RHP/SP Casey Kelly had a nice start to his Padres' career with a 2-0 record and a 19/9 K/BB ratio. Kelly, who also was a victim of a windy night in Midland that artificially inflated his ERA to 4.00, but had a much better month than his statistics indicate. He has smooth delivery and his two-seamer is particularly tough with the movement that he gets on it. . Closer RHP/RP Brad Brach continues to do what he has done since he was drafted; get batters out and close games. Since one night in Tulsa where he blew the save and gave up four earned runs, he has only allowed a single run in 11 other appearances with 19 strikeouts against one walk in 11.1 innings pitched. Brach was 7 for 8 in save situations and ended the month leading the Texas League in saves; which would put him on track for leading his third different league in as many years. The San Antonio bullpen has been particularly strong with RHP Nick Vincent, LHP Josh Spence, RHP Alexis Lara and LHP Colt Hynes doing solid work. Vincent, Hynes and Lara are all in the top 5 of the league in the "holds" stat. Vincent, in particular has been especially impressive with 16 strikeouts to 2 walks in 13.2 innings pitched. .

Disappointments: RHP/RP Craig Italiano continues to struggle after coming back from shoulder problems last year. Italiano had an 8.10 ERA and allowed 9 earned runs in 10 innings pitched. .

Lake Elsinore

LHP/RP Zach Herr 0-1 1.26 ERA

The left-hander out of Nebraska put together a solid month in the "Thunderdome" arenas of the Cal League only giving up 2 earned runs in 14.1 IP and holding the opposition to a .235 batting average and even lower, .182, with runners on base. .

Prospect Watch: RHP/SP Matt Lollis has pitched better than his 1-4 5.13 ERA record indicates. In 26.1 IP he gave up 22 hits with a 29/8 K/BB ratio holding batters to a .232 batting average. What is the big reason for the high ERA? The long ball. Lollis has given up a home run in every start he had this month. RHP Jerry Sullivan won three of his four starts for a 3-1 record and a 3.32 ERA. His most impressive statistic this month was only giving up 7 earned runs in 19 innings but he also caught a little too much of the plate as the opposition hit .282 against him. RHP/SP Chris Fetter also had impressive secondary numbers with a 22/2 K/BB ratio and only giving up 8 earned runs in 5 starts. RHP/RP Erik Hamren put up good numbers in limited action with a 1.69 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched against only one walk and six hits. Closer RHP Miles Mikolas was 2 for 2 in limited save chances but still held batters to a .214 batting average in seven innings. .

Disappointments: RHP/RP Stiven Osuna had a tough month giving up 23 hits in 13.2 innings along with 14 earned runs for a 9.22 ERA. .

Fort Wayne

RHP/SP Keyvius Sampson 3-1 1.29 ERA

In three of his four starts Sampson did not allow an earned run. He struck out 28 batters in 21 innings against only 8 walks and even fewer hits (6). Best stat for the month, Midwest League batters could only manage an anemic .091 batting average against him. .

Prospect Watch: LHP Mark Hardy has pitched better than his 1-3 won-loss record indicates. He has bounced between relief and starting this season and has only given up 6 earned runs in 27 innings pitched for a 2.00 ERA. LHP/SP Andrew Werner secondary stats also indicate a better effort than his 1-3 record shows. In four starts he allowed 8 earned runs with a 21/6 K/BB ratio and held the opposition to a .222 batting average. Big RHP/RP Matt Jackson continued to provide effective relief as he struck out 21 in 20.1 innings pitched against only 17 hits. .

Disappointments: RHP/SP Adys Portillo, a top prospect, struggled in his first month in the Midwest League with an 0-3 record and a 7.15 ERA. In three starts he failed to go five innings in any of his outings. .

April Pitcher of the Month: Keyvius Sampson


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