Toledo – Andrew Oliver (LHP)
Tiger fans are most likely to remember Oliver's lone start in Detroit last month rather than his four very solid starts for Triple-A Toledo. In those four starts for the ‘Hens last month, Oliver finished with a 2.86 ERA despite earning just a 1-2 record. Across 22 innings, Oliver allowed seven runs on 22 hits while walking eight and striking out 18 hitters. For all those glowing numbers, hitters found some success against him last month, as they hit a solid .275 off of him. With another solid month in the books, Oliver enters June with a 3.31 ERA in nine starts and he could be in line for more time in Detroit as the summer continues.
Runner-Up: Duane Below (LHP)
Erie – Jacob Turner (RHP)
Two months into the minor league season and top prospect Jacob Turner has won his second consecutive Pitcher of the Month award. After posting a 2.70 ERA in April, Turner came back with a 2.67 ERA in five May starts. He allowed only 27 hits in 33 2/3 innings of work and he walked just ten hitters. Turner struck out 28 hitters and posted a ground out to fly out ratio of nearly two to one. Despite his dominance, Turner picked up just one win in May and fell to 1-2 on the season, but he sits with a 2.69 ERA in nine starts after just turning 20 years old. Without a doubt, Turner is cementing himself as one of the elite pitching prospects in baseball.
Runner-Up: Austin Wood (LHP)
Lakeland – Jay Voss (LHP)
After a disastrous 2010 season, his first with the Tigers, Jay Voss has returned to form as the Tigers have returned him to the rotation in 2011. Voss' performance with Lakeland last month earned him a promotion to Double-A where he has continued to perform well. Voss made four starts for the Flying Tigers in May, picking up two wins and two no decisions. In three of his four starts, he allowed two or less runs including a seven inning, one-run gem where he allowed only four hits and struck out seven. For the month, Voss walked just one hitter in 23 innings while fanning 19 members of the opposition.
Runner-Up: Kenny Faulk (LHP)
West Michigan – Patrick Cooper (RHP)
Possibly the most unsung hero for the 2011 Whitecaps, Cooper matched super stud prospect Jacob Turner in earning his second Pitcher of the Year honor in as many months. Cooper was again stellar in May, posting a tiny 1.40 ERA in eight outings (one start). He was 2-1 while pitching across 19 1/3 innings, allowing only 13 hits and two walks. Cooper struck out twenty hitters last month, giving him more than one per inning, and bringing his season total to 35 whiffs in just over 33 innings. Turner has yet to allow a batting average against over .200 this season and he is now 2-3 with a 2.41 ERA 14 games.
Runner-Up: Kyle Ryan (LHP)