Top 100 Baseball Blog

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Minor League Baseball Announces April Uncle Ray’s Players of the Month

Four outfielders, three infielders, two pitchers and a catcher claim April honors 

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 7, 2019 — Minor League Baseball today announced the Uncle Ray’s Player of the Month Award winners for each of the 10 leagues for the month of April. In recognition of the honor, each winner will receive an award from Minor League Baseball and Uncle Ray’s, the “Official Potato Chip of Minor League Baseball.” 

Louisville Bats (Reds) third baseman Josh VanMeter led the International League in hits (34), home runs (11), runs (24), RBI (28), total bases (72), slugging percentage (.758) and OPS (1.204) and was fifth in batting average (.358). VanMeter recorded nine multi-hit games, including a five-hit game on April 26 against Norfolk and a four-hit game April 29 at Toledo. VanMeter, 24, was originally selected by San Diego in the fifth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Norwell High School in Norwell, Indiana. 

Round Rock Express (Astros) outfielder Yordan Alvarez batted .347 in April and led the Pacific Coast League in home runs (11), was second in RBI (29), slugging percentage (.867) and OPS (1.310), and fourth in total bases (65). Alvarez, 21, was originally signed by Los Angeles (NL) out of Las Tunas, Cuba, on July 15, 2016. 

Harrisburg Senators (Nationals) outfielder Rhett Wiseman batted .321 in April and led the Eastern League in home runs (nine), RBI (22) and total bases (60) and was second in slugging percentage (.741) and OPS (1.121). Wiseman hit safely in 14 of the Senators’ first 15 games and hit safely in 18 of 23 games in April. Wiseman, 24, was selected by Washington in the third round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University. 

Biloxi Shuckers (Brewers) infielder Weston Wilson led the Southern League in runs (20), total bases (52), slugging percentage (.591) and OPS (.971). He finished second in home runs (six) and RBI (18) and tied for fifth in hits (26) and doubles (six). Wilson, 24, was selected by Milwaukee in the 17th round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Clemson University. 

Tulsa Drillers (Dodgers) second baseman Omar Estevez led the Texas League in batting average (.385), hits (30) and doubles (eight) and was third in on-base percentage (.449) in OPS (1.014) and fourth in total bases (44) and slugging percentage (.564). Estevez posted four straight multi-hit games to start the year and had 11 total for the month. Estevez, 21, was signed by Los Angeles out of Matanzas, Cuba, on Nov. 21, 2015. 

Modesto Nuts (Mariners) right-hander Ljay Newsome went 4-1 with a 1.47 ERA (36.2 IP, 6 ER) in six starts. Newsome’s 36.2 innings pitched and 54 strikeouts led Minor League Baseball, while his four wins led the California League and his 1.47 ERA and 0.85 WHIP were also tops in the league among pitchers with four or more starts. In his lone loss, Newsome did not allow an earned run. Newsome, 22, was selected by the Mariners in the 26th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Chopticon High School in Morganza, Maryland. 

Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox) outfielder Luis Robert led the Carolina League in batting average (.453), home runs (eight), RBI (24), triples (three), extra-base hits (16), total bases (69), on-base percentage (.512), slugging percentage (.920) and OPS (1.432). Robert, who was promoted to Double-A Birmingham on April 30, posted 12 multi-hit games in April. A native of Havana, Cuba, the 21-year old was signed by the White Sox as a free agent on May 27, 2017. 

Palm Beach Cardinals outfielder Justin Toerner led the Florida State League in average (.394), runs (20), on-base percentage (.531) and OPS (1.081). He finished third in slugging percentage (.549) and fourth in hits (28) and RBI (16). He recorded eight multi-hit games and hit safely in 17 of his 21 games. Toerner, 22, was selected by St. Louis in the 28th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of California State University, Northridge. 

Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals) right-hander Tommy Parsons went 3-0 with a 0.30 ERA (30.0 IP, 1 ER) in four starts to claim Midwest League Player of the Month honors. Parsons held opponents to a league-best .106 batting average and allowed just 11 hits in his league-best 30.0 innings of work. He threw a nine inning, two-hit shutout on April 22 against Quad Cities, the only complete game in the Midwest League in April. Parsons, 23, was signed by St. Louis as a free agent out of Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan, on June 12, 2018. 

Hickory Crawdads (Rangers) catcher Sam Huff led Minor League Baseball with 12 home runs in April and led the South Atlantic League in total bases (66), slugging percentage (.825), OPS (1.190). His 18 runs scored in April were third in the league. Huff homered in both games of an April 20 doubleheader, homered in four straight games April 23–26 and finished the month homering in the final two games on April 28 and April 30. Huff, 21, was selected by Texas in the seventh round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Arcadia High School in Phoenix, Arizona.

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