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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Minor League Baseball Announces its May Players of the Month

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball today announced the Player of the Month Award winners for each of the 10 full season leagues for the month of May. Each winner will receive an award from Minor League Baseball in recognition of the honor. 

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies) right-hander Tom Eshelman was 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA and two complete games in five starts and led the International League in innings pitched (38.2) despite making his first start of the month with Double-A Reading. In his first month at the Triple-A level, Eshelman worked seven or more innings in four of his five starts (worked 6.2 innings in the other) and struck out 25 batters while walking four. Eshelman, 22, was originally selected by the Houston Astros in the second round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal-State Fullerton. 

Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) right-hander Luke Weaver was named Pacific Coast League Player of the Month after posting a league-best five wins. Weaver’s 2.19 ERA and his 37.0 innings pitched were good for second in the PCL and he struck out 37 batters in May while issuing just six walks. Weaver, 23, was selected in the first round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida State University. 

Reading Phillies second baseman Scott Kingery batted .325 in May and led the Eastern League in home runs (10), runs (30), total bases (84), extra-base hits (20), OPS (1.055), slugging (.667) and stolen bases (eight). He posted 13 multi-hit games in May, including six straight from May 25-30. Kingery, 23, was selected by Philadelphia in the second round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Arizona. 

Chattanooga Lookouts (Twins) shortstop Nick Gordon led or tied for the Southern League lead in runs (22), total bases (58), extra-base hits (17), doubles (11) and triples (three). Over half of Gordon’s hits for the month (17 of 32) went for extra bases and he recorded nine multi-hit games. Gordon, 21, was selected by Minnesota in the first round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Olympia High School in Orlando, Florida. 

Springfield Cardinals right-hander Matt Pearce was brilliant in five May starts, leading the Texas League in wins (five), ERA (0.69), innings pitched (39.0), complete games (two) and shutouts (one). Pearce held opponents to a .194 average and allowed just two earned runs over his last 33.0 innings. Pearce, 23, was selected by St. Louis in the 13th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Polk State College. 

Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies) shortstop Brendan Rodgers led the California League in average (.409), hits (47), extra-base hits (21), total bases (86), home runs (eight), RBI (29), slugging (.748) and OPS (1.182) in May. His 21 extra-base hits and 86 total bases led the minors in May. Rodgers notched 14 multi-hit games in May (seven straight to end May) and posted a 13-game hitting streak from May 2-15 and finished the month on a 10-game streak. Rodgers, 20, was the third overall pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft by the Rockies out of Lake Mary (FL) High School. 

Salem Red Sox third baseman Michael Chavis destroyed Carolina League pitching in May, leading the league in average (.368), hits (42), runs (24), doubles (12), homers (seven), RBI (30), extra-base hits (20), total bases (77), slugging (.675) and OPS (1.101). He recorded 14 multi-hit games and posted two seven-game hitting streaks and a six-game streak. Chavis, 21, was selected by Boston in the first round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of the Sprayberry High School in Marietta, Georgia. 

Daytona Tortugas (Reds) second baseman Shed Long batted .359 in 27 games in May to claim Player of the Month honors in the Florida State League. Long recorded 14 multi-hit games during the month of May, including five games with three hits. Long, 21, was selected by Cincinnati in the 12th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Jacksonville (AL) High School. 

Kane County Cougars (Diamondbacks) right-hander Jon Duplantier was dominant in the Midwest League in May, going 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in six starts. Duplantier allowed just one unearned run over his last five starts (29.0 innings). He scattered 17 hits over his 34 innings of work in May, holding opponents to a .149 average and his 34 strikeouts in May were third-best in the league. Duplantier, 22, was selected by Arizona in the third round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Rice University. 

Lakewood Blue Claws (Phillies) left-hander Nick Fanti handcuffed the South Atlantic League in four April starts, going 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA and held opponents to a league-best .136 average. Fanti did not allow more than one run in any of his outings and worked the first 8.2 innings of a May 6 no-hitter at Columbia. Of the 12 hits he allowed over 25.2 innings in May, only three went for extra bases (two doubles and a triple). Fanti, 20, was selected by the Phillies in the 31st round of the 2015 First Year Player Draft out of Hauppauge (NY) High School. 

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