TigsTown's April Players of the Month

The first month of the season is in the books, and it is time to hand out the awards for the full season stops. First up, which players excelled at each full season stop in the organization?

Toledo – Brent Dlugach (SS)
It's been almost two years since Brent Dlugach played everyday on a full-season squad in the Tigers system, but now that he's back, he's making up for lost time. After surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2007 and subsequent back problems last summer, Brent is back on the field in Toledo and hitting the ball with authority. Displaying the pop and ability to hit for average scouts have predicted for years, Dlugach finished the season's first month with a .323/.375/.538 line that included five doubles and three home runs. The 26-year old Dlugach played in 17 games for the ‘Hens in April and posted what easily amounts to the best month of his professional career. There's little at the big league level locked in beyond this year in the middle of the infield, and a continued strong showing from Dlugach could put him right in the 2010 infield mix in Detroit.

Runner-Up: Ryan Raburn (UT)

Erie – Max Leon (UT)
Max Leon is the consummate utility player, capable of playing second base, third base, and shortstop in a pinch, and even adding the outfield to his arsenal so far this season. He does his job every day without fan fare, and slowly garners recognition as a solid prospect. That all changed in April, as Leon announced himself with authority as someone to watch in 2009 and beyond. On the heels of a .356/.406/.729 run in 16 games, Leon belted four doubles, three triples, and four home runs while driving in 19 ‘Wolves teammates. Leon's return to Erie to start this season has seen improvement across the board and has many prospect watchers excited about his versatility and offensive potential.

Runner-Up: Scott Sizemore (2B)

Lakeland – Andy Dirks (OF)
Dirks is making a name for himself within the organization, entering the system out of Wichita State last year and wasting no time establishing himself as one of the most tireless workers around. His desire to learn and improve has allowed him to be pushed to High-A Lakeland for his first full season and he's started off hitting at a solid clip. His .280 average and more walks than strikeouts are examples of the staples of Dirks' game where many view him as a guy that does whatever is needed to win games. He's also showing off his speed by swiping eight bags in nine tries so far this season. Dirks has the attitude, ability, and work ethic to improve rapidly and move quickly.

Runner-Up: Michael Bertram (1B/3B)

West Michigan – Billy Nowlin (1B)
The day Billy Nowlin was drafted out of Golden West College, all you heard about was his bat. He showed flashes of that offensive potential as a rookie last season, but has really put on a display so far in 2009. In 13 games for the Whitecaps in April, Nowlin mashed at a .362/.415/.511 clip. For a slugger he only struck out respectable seven times in 47 at-bats and managed five walks along the way. His 15 RBI put him among the league leaders early in the season and he has been a true catalyst of the ‘Caps offense as they got off to a roaring start.

Runner-Up: Jordan Newton (C)

Tigs Town Top Stories