New Britain Rock Cats Awards: April

Here is the monthly awards for the New Britain Rock Cats for the month of April. In it, we give a Batter and Pitcher of the Month, while showing who had the slump of the month. We also list some Honorable Mentions:

The New Britain Rock Cats are off to a pretty slow start to their 2007 season, winning only seven of their first 16 games. They have already been through some team issues, but have been getting some good production from some key players. If David Winfree returns to the lineup soon, they should be able to get back over .500.

Batter of the Month: Trevor Plouffe, SS
14 G, .310, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 13 R, 5 2B
I hate to say I told you so, but… Trevor Plouffe is off to a hot start to the 2007 season, just as TCD predicted in Spring Training, and is carrying the Rock Cats offense. One of the young players in the Eastern League, Plouffe is batting .310 early on, and was recently named Twins Minor League Player of the Week. He already has three home runs, against only three errors, and has scored an amazing 13 times. It was only a matter of time before Plouffe began playing up to his potential, and he appears locked in to start the 2007 season. He is hitting the ball to the gaps, hitting with power, and looks real comfortable at the plate.

Honorable Mention: Brian Buscher (.311, 9 RBI), Korey Feiner (.333, 6 RBI), Luke Hughes (Walk-off Home Run, .345 BA)

Slump of the Month: Brandon Roberts, OF
15 G, .148 BA, 2 RBI, 0 SB
Who would have thought Roberts who struggle so badly to start the 2007 season, after such a great year in the Florida State League in 2006. He is not getting on base, which in turn has led to an unbelievable no stolen bases, and is hitting only .148. He is the team's leadoff hitter, so he needs to turn it around if the Rock Cats are going to challenge in a very tough Eastern League.

Pitcher of the Month: Jose Mijares, RP
7 G, 3 SV, 1.69 ERA, 1-0, 10.2 IP, 10K
Mijares has taken a liking to the closer role for New Britain, and is putting together a nice season early on. A member of the Twins 40-man roster, the young left-hander has been lights out coming from the bullpen, and has really been a pleasant surprise in that role. He currently has a 1.69 earned run average, and has allowed no more than one earned run in any of his appearances. Also, he has allowed earned runs in only two of his games this season, and has yet to blow a save opportunity. He also has been dominant against right-handed hitters, as they are batting only .115 against him.

Honorable Mention: Brad Baker, RHP (3.38 ERA 1-0), Jonathan Martinez (6 G, 2.31 ERA), Brian Duensing (4 GS, 2.75 ERA, 2-0)

Slump of the Month: Anthony Swarzak, SP
2 G, 1 GS, 11.12 ERA, 7 K
Swarzak got off to a slow start for the Rock Cats, and then it got really bad, as he was suspended for 50 games for violating the Minor League Baseball's Drug Policy. The drug he used was not a steroid, so hopefully it is something he can get out of his system and start pitching again. This is a blow to his season, as he is going to lose a lot of development time. Hopefully he can right his ship, and get back to being a top-5 prospect in the Twins organization.

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