TigsTown Players of the Month: April 2014

Each month, TigsTown debates and awards the title of best player and best pitcher for each minor league club. With the first month of the season well in the books, check inside to see which players excelled in the season's first month.

Toledo Mud Hens: OF Ezequiel Carrera

Carrera took missing a spot on the big league roster in stride, and continued to produce in Toledo even after he was bypassed by a fellow outfielder in Toledo for a call-up opportunity. Carrera hit .326 in 24 games for the Mud Hens, showing good patience with almost as many walks (13) as strikeouts (21). Carrera also ripped seven extra-base hits and drove in 15, while swiping 13 bases. Carrera's .856 OPS over 24 games gave him the nod over J.D. Martinez, who while impressive, only played in 17 games before being called up to Detroit.

Honorable Mention: OF J.D. Martinez

Erie Seawolves: SS Eugenio Suarez

It's hard to argue with the start that Suarez turned for the ‘Wolves in the first month of the season. Suarez hit .268 in 22 games for Erie, and ripped 13 extra-base hits in just 82 at-bats (he's also a shortstop, remember). Suarez has been among the league leaders in the Eastern League in many offensive categories so far this year, and has yet to show signs of slowing down.

Lakeland Flying Tigers: OF Jeff McVaney

The Flying Tigers offense hasn't been packing plenty of power so far this year, but McVaney was very productive in April, hitting for power and average with a .292 average on top of six doubles, three triples, and a home run as he drove in 18 runs. McVaney only struck out 12 times while walking eight, and he along with Lance Durham were one of only two members of the roster to post an OPS over .800 in the first month. Dixon Machado used a strong second half of the month to get close, hitting .284 with 14 walks in April.

Honorable Mention: SS Dixon Machado

West Michigan Whitecaps: OF Wynton Bernard

After being signed by the Tigers in early March after impressing at an open tryout camp, Bernard surged in the Midwest League, hitting over .300 while showing great patience and some pop, despite not being a traditional power hitter. Bernard still managed six doubles and a home run in 23 games, and walked (12) more than he struck out (11). Among the others, Javier Betancourt was challenged with a Midwest League assignment, and also hit over .300 in his first month of full-season pro ball.

Honorable Mention: SS Javier Betancourt

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