Though there were a few solid performances from hitters in the organization this April, none were greater than that of Clinton third baseman John Whittleman.
The 20-year-old native Texan hit .343 with eight doubles and three home runs in 21 games this past month. Whittleman, who hit just .227 with the LumberKings in 2006, finished the month ranked third in the Midwest League with an OPS (on base plus slugging percentage) of 1.003. He also ranked first in walks (14) and second in on base percentage (.447). The 6-foot-2 slugger hit for a high average, good power, and displayed outstanding patience at the plate.
|April 2007||Clinton (A)||.343||70||8||3||12||11||1||14||15||.447||.586|
Honorable Mention: Victor Diaz, OF (Oklahoma), Steve Murphy, OF (Frisco), Taylor Teagarden, C (Bakersfield)
Garnering honorable mention for their April performances were outfielders Victor Diaz and Steve Murphy and backstop Taylor Teagarden. Diaz, 25, hit .356 with 28 RBI in just 23 games with Triple-A Oklahoma. Murphy, a 23-year-old product of Kansas State, hit .341 with eight doubles in his first month at the Double-A level. Though Taylor Teagarden appeared in just ten games before being placed on the disabled list, he batted .324 with two home runs and 13 walks in April.
Pitcher of the Month: Eric Hurley, RHP, Frisco
After posting a 1.95 ERA in six starts with Frisco towards the end of 2006, top prospect Eric Hurley appears to have picked up exactly where he left off.
The 6-foot-4 right-hander allowed just five earned runs in 30 April innings, leading to a miniscule 1.50 earned run average. Hurley, who held opposing hitters to a .219 clip, walked just four while striking out 23. The 21-year-old allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his five appearances this past month.
|April 2007||Frisco (AA)||3-0||30.0||25||4||23||1.50|
Honorable Mention: Ezequiel Astacio, RHP; Willie Eyre, RHP; Frank Francisco, RHP; Wes Littleton, RHP; A.J. Murray, LHP; Steven Rowe, RHP (Oklahoma), Kendy Batista, RHP (Bakersfield), Omar Poveda, RHP; Glenn Swanson, LHP (Clinton)
Plenty of others deserved recognition for their performances in April, including six different pitchers out of the Oklahoma bullpen. Ezequiel Astacio, Willie Eyre, Frank Francisco, Wes Littleton, A.J. Murray, and Steven Rowe combined to post an eye-popping 0.16 ERA in 54.2 innings. The group allowed just 20 hits while recording 50 strikeouts. In Clinton, both Omar Poveda and Glenn Swanson posted phenomenal months. The 19-year-old Poveda possessed a 2.03 ERA while southpaw Glenn Swanson held a 1.80 earned run average in four April starts.