Friday, May 10, 2013

Here are April's Dodger Pride Award Winners - Minor League Players of the Month for April

The future of the Dodgers rest with the players in the minor leagues.  So, if you want to get a glimpse at how the Dodgers might perform down the road it's best to look there.  Fortunately, the Dodgers make note of who are the best young studs by awarding their best players every month, called the Dodger Pride Awards.  Here are April's award winners, via a Dodgers press release:

Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes
(credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers)
Pitcher - RHP Chris Withrow did not allow a run in eight relief appearances for the Isotopes in April, going 2-0 while striking out 14 and walking five in 9.2 innings. The 24-year-old limited opponents to a .125 batting average and did not allow a hit in three road appearances (3.1 IP). Overall, the Odessa, Texas, native is holding right-handers to a .160 batting average (4-for-25) and has excelled with runners in scoring position, limiting the opposition to a .188 average (3-for-16). Withrow was selected by the Dodgers in the first round (20th overall) of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

(credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers)
Player - 1B/OF Scott Van Slyke's eight homers led the Pacific Coast League during April and he also ranked among the league leaders in nearly every offensive category during the month, including batting average (.419, 3rd), runs (24, T-3rd), hits (39, 2nd), extra-base hits (16, T-1st), total bases (72, 1st), RBI (26, 4th), on-base percentage (.477, 5th), slugging percentage (.774, 2nd) and OPS (1.251, 2nd). To start the month, the slugger strung together a 10-game hitting streak from April 4-13, hitting .559 (19-for-34) during that span and recorded 13 multi-hit performances in April, including six games with three or more hits. Van Slyke made his Major League debut last year after being drafted by the Dodgers in the 14th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.
UPDATE: BTW, recent rumors suggest that Van Slyke is about to brought up to the Dodgers.  If this is the case it is likely Adrian Gonzalez will go on the DL due to his aggravated neck.

Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts
(credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers)
Player - OF Joc Pederson ranked tied for seventh in the Southern League with a .304 batting average while hitting a Southern League-leading six home runs in 24 games in the month of April. Pederson also ranked among the league's best in several other offensive categories, including RBI (16, 6th), hits (28, T-3rd), doubles (7, T-5th) and stolen bases (7, T-6th) while leading the league in both slugging percentage (.620) and OPS (1.001). The 21-year-old posted a 17-game hitting streak from April 7-24 and hit safely in 19 of 24 April games. Pederson was named the Southern League Offensive Player of the Week for April 15-21, batting .407 (11-for-27) with five RBI in seven games during the stretch. The Palo Alto native was selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

(credit: Jon SooHoo0/LA Dodgers)
Pitcher - RHP Zach Lee posted a 2-1 record with 2.42 ERA, striking out 23 against seven walks in five April starts. Lee posted quality starts in three out of five April games, allowing just one earned run or less in four of those starts. On the year, Lee ranks sixth in the Southern League in ERA (2.15), ninth in innings (37.2) and 10th in strikeouts (30). The 21-year-old was selected 28th overall by the Dodgers in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
(Ogden Raptors)
Player - 1B O'Koyea Dickson batted .305 (29-for-95) with three home runs and 16 RBI in 25 April games. Dickson ranked among the best in the California League in both doubles (9, T-3rd) and hits (29, T-5th) last month. The 23-year-old is in his third professional season after being selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Pitcher - LHP Michael Thomas led the California league with eight saves in the month of April, going a perfect 8-for-8 in save opportunities. The left-handed reliever posted a 0.87 ERA (1 ER/10.1 IP) while limiting opposing batters to a .184 batting average and striking out 15 without surrendering a walk in 10.1 innings. The Maryland native is in his third professional season after being selected in the 35th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.

Single-A Great Lakes Loons
Player - C Tyler Ogle batted .338 (22-for-65) with four homers and 15 RBI in 22 April games, leading the Great Lakes Loons in all three categories. Overall, the 22-year-old ranks fifth in the Midwest League with a .463 on-base percentage and is hitting .309 in 30 games, including a .296 mark with runners in scoring position (8-for-27). The Portland, Maine native is in his third professional season after being selected in the ninth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma.

Pitcher - RHP Carlos Frias posted a 3-0 record with a 1.14 ERA (3 ER/23.2 IP) and 21 strikeouts in four April starts, tying for the most wins in the Midwest League. Overall, the 23-year-old has posted a 0.91 ERA (1st, Midwest League) and is limiting opposing hitters to a .210 batting average, having yet to allow a home run in 29.2 innings this season. Frias is in his seventh professional season after signing with the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on Jan. 3, 2007.

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