Minor League Mid-Month Top Performers

Here is a look at the hottest hitter and pitcher so far this month for each level of the Twins' farm system. Some of these guys are big name players, while some are still making a name for themselves within the organization. Take a look at who is turning their season around in the second month of this long full-season slate.

Here is a look at the top performing batter and pitcher so far in the month of May:

Rochester Red Wings:

Batter:

Jason Bartlett, SS
Key Stats: 12 G, .362 BA, 8 R, 6 RBI, 7 2B, 1 3B
The Twins have to be happy with the way Bartlett is hitting the ball this month, as he has hit safely in ten of his 12 games in May. In those ten games, Bartlett has picked up seven multi-hit games, including his last four starts. He also has stroked six doubles, giving him the International League lead with 16. He has also been steady with the glove, committing only one error this month.

Pitcher:

Patrick Neshek, CL
Key Stats: 6 G, 9.2 IP, 16 SO, 2 BB, 3 SV, .189 BAA
Had it not been for him getting lit up for three runs on Sunday, Neshek would have an unblemished earned run average so far this month. However, he has had a great May this month, as he has pitched more than one inning in picking up his three saves. In his six games, Neshek has struck out two or more batters in every appearance, and is currently one of the league leaders in strikeouts.

New Britain Rock Cats:

Batter:

Daniel Matienzo, 1B/DH
Key Stats: 12 G, .309 BA, 2 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R
Matienzo seems to have found his power stroke, and he already has ten runs batted in this month. Considering he only had 12 ribbies in May, that is a good sign for New Britain fans. On May 8, the slugger posted five hits, two of which were home runs. If the Cats are going to make any noise in the Eastern League they need Matienzo to provide the same kind of pop he did in 2005.

Pitcher:

Nick Blackburn, SP
Key Stats: 3 G, 3 GS, 2-0, 3.50 ERA, 18 IP, 12 SO, 4 BB
Blackburn had a terrible month of April, posting a 7.71 earned run average in his four starts. He also lost all four games, and was really struggling to find his command. One of the key pitchers on the New Britain pitching staff, the fact that he has won two out of his three starts this month is very encouraging. After batters hit .347 against him in April, they are only batting .209 against him this month, and he has dropped his ERA over two points already.

Fort Myers Miracle:

Batter:

Alexi Casilla, INF
Key Stats: 11 G, .378 BA, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 7 R, 9 SB
Casilla has been an absolute spark plug at the top of the Fort Myers lineup, and he is really producing in a lineup that has struggled so far this month. He has already swiped nine bags, giving him 14 for the season, and has hit safely in nine of his 11 starts this month. He also has put together eight multi-hit efforts, and has raised his batting average from .286 to .315. For the season, he is batting .393 when leading off an inning.

Pitcher:

Kevin Slowey, SP
Key Stats: 2 G, 2 GS, 1-1, 0.75 ERA, 12 IP, 19 So, 0 BB, .128 BAA
Slowey has continued his hot pitching into the month of May, and has yet to walk a batter through his first 12 innings of work. He has been handcuffing Florida State League batters all season long, and many Twins' fans are hoping he receives a promotion very soon. During this month, he has allowed only one earned run, and he set a season-high with ten strikeouts on May 5. For the season, he has struck out 53 batters in 41.1 innings of work, and he has only walked two.

Beloit Snappers:

Batter:

Erik Lis, 1B/LF
Key Stats: 11 G, .351 BA, 5 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 6 R
Lis has been the top bat in the Snappers' lineup so far this season, and he is carrying a hot bat into May. After batting a respectable .308 during April, he has kicked it up a notch, and has hit safely in eight of his first 11 games this month. He has four multi-hit games, has driven in a run in five games, and has only struck out four times in 37 at-bats. It is clear that he prefers playing first base, as he is batting .361 in that role for the season, as opposed to only .206 as a left-fielder.

Pitcher:

Brian Duensing, SP
Key Stats: 2 G, 2 GS, 0-0, 0.56 ERA, 16 IP, 14 SO, 2 BB, .237 BAA
Duensing has quietly been putting together a great season in Beloit, as he has taken over the role of the team's Ace. After posting a 2.67 earned run average in the month of April, he has been almost touchable in May, and has only allowed one earned run so far this month. He has lowered his season earned run average from 2.67 to 1.94 during his last two starts, and set a season high with a nine inning effort in his last outing.


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