MadFriars' Players of the Month: April

Some brutal months by players like Matt Clark and Jaff Decker who normally put up big numbers as only Lake Elsinore had a winning record by what many believed is one of baseball's top farm systems going into the season.

Tucson: SS/3B Everth Cabrera .316/.365/.380

Cabrera lost the utility role to Andy Parrino in the spring but since coming back to the minors is attempting to reinvent himself as a utility man and seeing time at four positions and stealing eleven bases in eleven attempts.

Prospect Watch: CF Blake Tekotte hit .278/.305/.494 with 11 extra-base hits. Catcher Yasmani Grandal was out most of the month but really hit in the seven games that he played hitting .409/.536/.773 and perennial MadFriars' favorite LF Dan Robertson hit .286/.343/.352.

Disappointments: After a big spring 1B Matt Clark had a tough month .169/.286/.221with two extra-base hits in 90 plate appearances.

San Antonio: 1B Nate Freiman .308/.364/.692

Freiman hit ten home runs to lead the Texas League and was also one of the leaders in slugging percentage as the 6'7" Duke graduate crushed the competition. The big man led the team in hits was second in doubles and posted another clean slate defensively with no errors.

Prospect Watch: CF Reymond Fuentes is still striking out a little too much with 21 wiffs in 93 plate appearances but still hit .298/.366/.429 and swiped five bags in six attempts. Cody Decker saw time in the outfield and hit 9 extra-base hits with six home runs but struggled to make consistent contact striking out nearly a third of the time (20) in 75 plate appearances.

Utility man Dean Anna had a nice April hitting .288/.360/.318 along with catcher Ali Solis with a .280 batting average but his on-base percentage wasn't helped out with only one walk in 51 plate appearances.

The biggest news was Jedd Gyorko became the everyday second baseman with Jonathan Galvez out. Gyorko still got on base at a .376 clip but his batting average, .261 and slugging percentage, .391 were less than expected.

Disappointments: RF Jaff Decker just had a brutal month with a .153 batting average. Decker still led the team in walks with 17 but only had 9 hits in 76 plate appearances. 3B/LF Edison Rincon also struggled at .198/.218/.222 but only had no errors in fourteen games in the outfield.

Lake Elsinore: CF Rico Noel .318/.381/.375

Noel stole 13 bases in 13 attempts.

Leading the organization with 13 stolen bases in thirteen attempts along with leading the Storm in runs scored and hits is impressive enough, but doing it while learning to be a switch-hitter in professional baseball is especially tough. Throw in the fact that Noel is a gifted outfielder capable of playing all three spots, he is someone to watch.

Prospect Watch: With B.J. Guinn out, Chris Bisson has been seeing most of his time at shortstop and so far the left-handed hitting Canadian has been coming through with a .292/.354/.361 line. 1B Connor Powers is hitting at .284/.357/.392 but not showing the power he would like with only one home run in 81 plate appearances.

The Storm overall had one of their toughest hitting months as a team hitting only .239/.291/.333 despite a winning record.

Disappointments: RF Rymer Liriano at .198/.272/.321 sometimes just tries to do too much, especially early in the season when he usually struggles. This April was no exception as he struck out 28 times in 86 plate appearances.

OF Everett Williams, a second round pick in 2009 who missed nearly all of last season with injuries, struggled in his first month back at .194/.253/.299.

Fort Wayne : 1B/2B/3B Travis Whitmore .326/.381/.535

The late round Pitt grad led the TinCaps in hits, extra-base hits and RBIs and tied for the lead in home runs with two. The left-handed hitter is a versatile infielder and can probably play all four infield positions. A solid player with plus make-up his only knock is that he is a bit old for the league at twenty-three but then again he looks more than ready for the California League at any position.

Prospect Watch: Some of the most encouraging news in the system particularly in the superb play of shortstop Jace Peterson who hit .308/.406/.473, stole 10 bases in 12 attempts and got better defensively by the day.

Peterson has been solid for the TinCaps.

Catcher Austin Hedges briefly went on the disabled list but continued to show, as the Padres' brass told anyone who would listen many times over the winter, that he was a better hitter than most people expected with a .319/.396/.553 line in 13 games. His backup, Brown grad Matt Colantonio looked good too at .314/.400/.429 and Fort Wayne will need to find a way to get his bat into the line-up more.

Disappointments: OF Donavan Tate played well in spurts last year but this month wasn't one of them as he hit .205/.284/.218 with only one extra-base hit, a double, in 86 plate appearances before going on the disabled list.

Aussie outfielder Corey Adamson also had a tough go at it with a .132/.277/.208 line and was just killed by a 1-20 start to the season.

Player of the Month: Nate Freiman

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