TigsTown Players of the Month: May 2015

It was another month that featured a few outstanding performances from the Tigers farm system. Whitecaps outfielder Michael Gerber continues to lead the way with his second straight excellent month.

AAA Toledo - OF Steven Moya
108 AB | .250 AVG | .738 OPS | 9 2B | 0 3B | 4 HR |
Despite missing an extended stretch of games to start the year, Steven Moya made it to Triple-A and picked up right where he left off in 2014, hitting for plenty of power and striking out a ton. Blessed with the most impressive power in the Tigers’ minor league system, Moya slugged four home runs and nine doubles in 28 games last month, while hitting .250 and fanning 30 times. Moya is always going to strike out plenty, and he has little chance to hit better than about .240, but when his ability to drive the ball could still result in 20-25 home runs over the course of an entire season. Moya will need to stay on the field the rest of this year in order to continue his development, and with progress, he could be in line for a big league job next year.
Runner-Up: IF Corey Jones

AA Erie - OF Wynton Bernard
99 AB | .354 AVG | .885 OPS | 11 2B | 0 3B | 1 HR | 5 SB
Signed off the scrap heap prior to the 2014 season, Bernard tore through the Midwest League and was shockingly added to the Tigers’ 40-man roster during the off-season. Pushed to Double-A, Bernard has continued hitting at a high clip, posting a .347 batting average in 26 games last month. He backed up his lofty batting average with eleven doubles and a single home run, giving him a little more than an empty average. Bernard is also swiping some bases, picking up five thefts in May, and he now has 13 for th season. Many in the scouting community continue to question Bernard’s potential as a Major League player, but the more he performs at Double-A, the more likely he is to get a chance at a reserve role in Detroit.
Runner-Up: DH Dean Green

A+ Lakeland - 2B Javier Betancourt
116 AB | .284 AVG | .701 OPS | 5 2B | 2 3B | 0 HR | 1 SB
While he didn’t have the sexiest numbers on the Lakeland roster in May, Betancourt’s .284 average as a 20-year old in a league filled with players two to three years his elder, is extremely impressive. In addition to boosting his average (Betancourt hit just .215 in April), he began to find the gaps with some of his hits, notching five doubles and two triples to round out his offensive performance. Perhaps the most impressive piece of Betancourt’s performance last month was his walk-to-strikeout ratio where he picked up ten free passes against just five strikeouts. Betancourt is a rising prospect in the Tigers system with the potential to develop into a hit-tool driven second baseman that fits very well as a second division player.
Runner-Up: IF Curt Powell

A West Michigan - OF Michael Gerber
113 AB | .381 AVG | 1.011 OPS | 8 2B | 1 3B | 3 HR | 10 SB
Gerber took home top honors for West Michigan in April and he hasn’t let up since, bettering his .333 average that month with a massive .381 number in May. Gerber ripped 43 hits, including eight doubles, one triple, and three home runs en route to the most impressive offensive display in the organization during May. Gerber even began walking more than ever before in his professional or amateur career, working 19 walks against just 16 strikeouts, and with his solid-average speed he managed to steal ten bases in eleven tries. Gerber was named to the Midwest League All-Star team last week and after playing in that game, he should receive a promotion to High-A Lakeland for the second half.
Runner-Up: 3B Zach Shepherd

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