MadFriars.com Players of the Month: May

Portland had a tough month overall but still found some bright spots. A few started heating up with San Antonio, including one unexpected name. Picking through the madness in Lake Elsinore proved to be challenging. Fort Wayne sees a player reaching his potential, finally. Master sleuth John Conniff solved the mystery of all the successes and failures.

Portland Beavers
Center field
Luis Durango
.333/.433/.333

For someone with no power, all 25 hits this month were singles, he still figures out a way to get on base, adding 13 walks against only nine strikeouts in 88 plate appearances. With his speed he should be putting up a better stolen base percentage than 8-of-13; but still he has come a long way from where he was, which includes playing an errorless center field, particularly with his arm.

Prospect Watch: Despite only having 26 plate appearances, former top Padres' prospect Josh Barfield made his presence known with a blazing .520/.519/.600 line. Lance Zawadski, in the process of gathering frequent flyer miles between San Diego and Portland, rebounded from his early season struggles in the nine games that he was with the Beavers in May, hitting .333/.405/485. Utility man Anthony Contreras also put up some nice numbers with a .327/.383/.400 in 60 plate appearances.

Disappointments: Craig Cooper had a tough month, hitting .185/.241/.285, and catcher Dusty Ryan, whom many thought would be much better than what he has shown so far, hit .103/.161/.172 and still was called up to replace Yorvit Torrieaba for three games. This should give everyone an idea of the Padres catching depth.

San Antonio Missions
Utility
Andy Parrino
.253/.371/.460

Parrino was called up to replace shortstop Beemer Weems early in April and so far has been one of the Missions better hitters. He led the team in walks, was second in hits and third in RBI, and the switch-hitter played second, short, third and even a game in the outfield. With runners in scoring position, he is hitting .302/.377/.528.

Prospect Watch: Cedric Hunter led the team in hits (29) and was third in walks with (15) for a .261/.352/351 line. Away from Nelson Wolff, Hunter is hitting .333/.374/.448. Matt Clark had a big power month with eight home runs for a .248/.303/.535 line. Clark was the team leader in RBI and extra-base hits along with strikeouts with 37 in 108 plate appearances.

Disappointments: Kellen Kublacki continues to struggle with a bad May to go along with a bad April. This month he hit .158/.238/.303.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Center field
Blake Tekotte
.378/.472/.567

Tekotte had his best month of his career in the Padres' system with 11 of his 34 hits going for extra bases, a 15/23 BB/K ratio and he was 13-of-18 in stolen base attempts. Defensively, he may be the organization's best defensive center fielder with his only flaw being an average arm. The left-handed hitting Tekotte is one to watch, he could have the perfect game for PETCO.

Prospect Watch: In any other month Drew Cumberland or Cole Figueroa would have been the player of the month and they both came close, as Cumberland had a .381/.421/.584 line and Figueroa reached base in every single game during the month. Cumberland led the team with 43 hits, including 14 for extra-base hits. Figueroa continues to hit at .336/.429/.425, forming perhaps the best middle infield combo in the Cal League. Figueroa doesn't have the speed of Cumberland but is a little smoother defensively. Cody Decker has continued mashing from the Arizona League last year with 10 home runs this month and a team leading 18 extra-base hits for a .316/.375/.649 line. Daniel Robertson continues to produce after a torrid April, hitting .306/.377/.426 in May and was 10-for-11 in stolen base attempts. Finally, Vince Belnome rebounded from a tough April, hitting .293/.432/414 with a team leading 25 walks in 124 plate appearances.

Disappointments: Jaff Decker had a long layoff in recovering from a pulled hamstring early in spring training and looked rusty, putting together a .140/.210/.263 line in 60 plate appearances.

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Second base
Jeudy Valdez
.288/.341/.464

Valdez led the TinCaps in hits, extra-base hits, home runs and RBI while makind only four errors this month – with Jonathan Galvez and Edinson Rincon in the infield, that is nearly Gold Glove worthy. This is the young Dominican's second trip to the Summit City, and many in the organization believe that his recent strong play is indicative of performance finally catching up with his tools.

Prospect Watch: Catcher Jason Hagerty had a nice month after a slow April with a .253/.379/.400 mark, including a very good 17/20 BB/K ratio. Danny Payne came down from Lake Elsinore and added a solid veteran bat into the TinCaps attack at .319/.435/.478 in 82 plate appearances. Payne, a supplemental first round pick of the Padres in 2007, needs to have regular playing time so the organization can find out if he can become the on-base machine he was in college at Georgia Tech. Utility men Dean Anna and Jonathan Alia put together some nice numbers with a .267/.489/.367 and .297/361/.313 mark, respectivelys.

Disappointments: Rymer Liriano continues to struggle in the Midwest League at .177/.208/.219 with 34 strikeouts in 100 plate appearances.

MadFriars Player of the Month: Blake Tekotte

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