Friday, May 08, 2015

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

The Dodgers just announced their April 2015 Dodger Pride Award Winners.  These awards celebrate the franchises best performers in the Minor Leagues for the month of April.  This year, instead of naming a fielder and pitcher for each Minor League club they are classifying the awards into three categories: “Strong Mind Pitcher of the Month,” “Strong Mind Position Player of the Month” and “Strong Mind Teammate of the Month.”  Per the press release:
The winners of the pitcher and position player of the month are selected based on a strict statistical method incorporating several baseball measureables, including best first-pitch strike percentage, best 1-1 count strike percentage, best overall strike percentage, best walk-strikeout ratio, best swing percentage on strikes and lowest chase rate. The teammate of the month is voted on by players, coaches and staff. 
Quantification is what it's all about. Check out the winners below.

Strong Mind Pitcher of the Month

RHP Scott Baker- Triple-A Oklahoma City: In three starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, he went 1-1 with a 1.06 ERA (2 ER/17.0 IP) and struck out 16 against just one walk. The 33-year-old veteran was had great command, throwing 73.4% of his pitches for strikes, ranking near the top in the Dodger minor league affiliates. He would get ahead in the count against most batters he faced, throwing 70.5% of his first pitches for strikes and 66.7% for strikes on a 1-1 count. He led the Pacific Coast league with a 0.65 WHIP and a .169 opposing batting average. The right-hander earned a call-up to Los Angeles and made two starts for the Dodgers, after having his contract selected on April 26.

I am such a flake.  I had failed to make a fantasy Baseball card for Scott Baker when he initially joined the Dodgers 25-man roster a few weeks ago, so this is a bit belated.  Shown above is Baker's card featuring a photo originally taken by Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo/LA DOdgers 2015 and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.


Strong Mind Position Player of the Month

(Pic via MiLB)
IF/OF Jarek Cunningham - Single-A Rancho Cucamonga:  The 25-year-old infielder/outfielder topped the California League with 21 RBI and tied for second with three triples in April, while posting a .325 batting average (25-for-77) with 11 runs, six doubles, three triples and a home run in 19 games. Cunningham was swinging at 74.7% of pitches thrown for strike, while ranking second among all Dodger minor leaguers swinging at 75.0% of in-zone fastballs on the first pitch.  Cunningham posted a 14-game hitting streak from April 14-29, hitting .345 with three doubles and 15 RBI during that span. He was originally signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on Jan. 20, 2015.


Strong Mind Teammate of the Month

(pic via MiLB)
IF/OF Mike Ahmed – Single-A Great Lakes: The Springfield, Massachusetts, native batted .290 (20-for-69) with five doubles, one triple, four RBI and seven steals in 17 games. He posted an eight-game hitting streak from April 12-20, batting .333 with three doubles and seven runs during that span. The 23-year-old was originally selected by the Dodgers in the 20th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft out of the College of the Holy Cross.

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