Toledo – Eddie Bonine (RHP)
Bonine just keeps getting the job done, no matter where the Tigers place him. With a promotion to Triple-A in hand, Bonine proceeded to toss up a sparkling 5-0 record in the season's first month. His stellar performance included a 3.03 ERA and 1.10 WHIP, along with just five walks in 33 innings of work. As Eddie continues to develop as a more complete pitcher, he continues to look more and more like someone that could help the Tigers staff sooner rather than later. Don't be surprised if his name starts floating to the surface of promotion discussions in the coming weeks and months.
Runner-Up: Blaine Neal (RHP)
Erie – Josh Rainwater (RHP)
In his sixth season with the Tiger organization, righty Josh Rainwater finally made the jump to Double-A, where he didn't waste any time impressing those around him. Slated to work out of the Seawolves' bullpen for the year, Rainwater was pushed to the starting rotation after just one relief appearance, and he has excelled. With a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings, Rainwater has given Eastern League hitters fits. Josh has been a touch wild with eleven walks and five wild pitches, but as long as he continues to get outs at exceptional rates, he should remain in high regard.
Runner-Up: Casey Fien
Lakeland – Luis Marte (RHP)
With tons of hype and an outstanding start to his career, there was a common belief that Rick Porcello might run away with this award, but someone managed to upstage him. Right-hander Luis Marte has dominated the Florida State League, as he puts his own name on the prospect map. In five April starts, Marte managed 32 strikeouts against just ten walks, in 29 innings on the hill. His 1.24 ERA and 0.83 WHIP indicate his record should be better than 2-1, but it is difficult to complain with his performance. Marte has been electric thus far, and Tiger fans should take notice in short order.
Runner-Up: Rick Porcello
West Michigan – Alfredo Figaro (RHP)
Yet another young, strong-armed right-hander has come out of the gates strong this season, as Alfredo Figaro has blown away his competition in West Michigan. With a perfect 3-0 mark to start the year, Figaro carried an extensive streak of not allowing an earned run through his first few starts of the year. He ended this first month with a mind blowing 0.60 ERA in an even thirty innings of work. Figaro has only allowed 18 hits in that time, while striking out 29 Midwest League batters. At his age (23), don't be surprised if Figaro is pushed up the ladder at some point this season.
Runner-Up: Ramon Garcia (LHP)