TigsTown April Players of the Month

The first month of the season had plenty of stars at the plate; who emerged to take home the player of the month award for each minor league club?

Toledo – Mike Hessman (3B)
Hessman terrorized International League pitchers last month, slugging an impressive .643 in 25 games. With 18 extra-base hits, Mike was circling past first base more often than not. Mike's eight home runs led the team during the month, and his 20 runs driven in were second to first baseman Jeff Larish. In concert with his powerful offensive display, Hessman continued his exceptional defense, playing flawlessly at the hot corner. With his ability to play excellent defense at both first and third base, Hessman could make a strong case for time in Detroit if he continues to crush the ball as he has to date.
Runner-Up: Jeff Larish (1B)

Erie – Wilkin Ramirez (OF)
After drawing high praise from former Erie Manager Matt Walbeck, and garnering further kind words during spring training, Ramirez has showed strongly since coming back from a separated shoulder. With eight doubles and six home runs, Ramirez is slugging the ball while also hitting for a .330 average in 23 games. He has also swiped eight bases in ten attempts, demonstrating his continued progress in using his above-average speed to the team's advantage. In his second season as an outfielder, Ramirez has already managed three outfield assists while playing the majority of his time in left field.
Runner-Up: Danny Worth (SS)

Lakeland – Jeramy Laster (OF)
Laster continues to display prodigious power, along with the ability to rack up strikeouts in big numbers. Through 24 games to start the season, Laster had already blasted five home runs in a very difficult hitter's environment; all while ripping five doubles and a triple to round out his extra-base hit total. With a .289/.326/.533 line, Jeramy is showing a more well-rounded offensive game, but there are still strides to be made.
Runner-Up: Justin Justice (OF)

West Michigan – Joseph Tucker (UT)
Tucker battled a miserable hand injury at the start of last season, but once on the field he showed improvement as the summer progressed to fall. This year, Joe got off to a blazing start with a .369 batting average in the first month of the season. The he has yet to knock the ball out of the park, Tucker does have three doubles and more walks than strikeouts (7:6). Joe's value has extended beyond the batter's box, serving as a ‘jack-of-all-trades' for the ‘Caps, playing games in left field, center field, second case, designated hitter, and even a game at shortstop. With the Whitecaps offense taking a downturn after the first week or two, Tucker's offensive display could earn him a more regular spot in the lineup.
Runner-Up: Kody Kaiser (UT)

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