The future third-baseman for the Detroit Tigers had an amazing month of May for the West Michigan Whitecaps. photo:JAYRC

Down on the Farm: The Best and Worst Batters of May


The month of May is officially in the books, bringing us to yet another monthly prospect report. Following the same outline as before, I will highlight the previous months best and worst performances in a who’s hot and who’s not format. The monthly review will break down into two parts, the pitchers first followed by a separate report on the batters. With the at-bats and innings piling up, the prospects true colors are beginning to show. With that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at last months performances.

Low-A West Michigan Whitecaps:

WHO WAS HOT

  • Hernan Perez batted .330 with 9 doubles, 1 triple and a homerun in 109 at-bats last month. The 20-year-old second-baseman was recently named a member of the MidWest League All-Star team. The 6′ Venezuelan native was signed by the Detroit Tigers as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2007.
  • Nick Castellanos rebounded from a less than stellar April by hitting .303 in May. Last month he hit 7 doubles, 3 triples and 2 homeruns with 15 RBI. The 6′ 4″ third-baseman of the future is now batting .261 this season. Castellanos was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Archbishop McCarthy High School in Davie, Fla.
  • Rob Brantly continued to rake last month. The left-handed catcher hit .289 with 6 doubles 2 triples and 15 RBI last month. Brantly was kind enough to chat with me last weekend and was recently named to the MidWest League All-Star team. The 21-year-old top catching prospect was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the third round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California-Riverside.

WHO WAS NOT

  • Dixon Machado hit just .189 in 95 at-bats in May. The 19 year-old Venezuelan native is batting .220 with just three extra-base hits this season. Machado has a very high ceiling and is very young so I wouldn’t read to much into the numbers at this point in his career.

Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers

WHO WAS HOT

  • Avisail Garcia hit .263 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR and 13 RBI in the month of May. The 20-year-old raised his batting average 50 points last month. Garcia was signed by the Tigers as a non-drafted free agent on July 6, 2007 and is widely thought of as a top ten Tigers prospect.
  • Gustavo Nunez continued his impressed 2011 campaign by hitting .279 last month. Nunez recorded 2 doubles, 3 triples and 1 homerun in the month of May. Nunez posted a 13/15 walk to strikeout ratio continuing his much approved approach at the plate this season. The 23-year-old was signed by the Detroit Tigers as a non-drafted free agent on May 3, 2007. He is currently hitting .296 this season and is considered one of the Tigers top shortstops down on the farm.
WHO WAS NOT 
  • Wade Gaynor hit .204 8 doubles, 1 triple, 3HR and 9 RBI in 108 at-bats. The production was discouraging after a solid first month of the season. The 23-year-old third-baseman was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the third round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft out of Western Kentucky University.
AA Erie SeaWolves

WHO WAS HOT

  • Francisco Martinez batted .333 with 4 doubles, 1 triple and 3 homeruns in 78 at-bats last month. After a slow start last May, things clicked for Fransico and once again he’s performing in a league composed of much older prospects. The 20-year-old Venezuelan native is hitting .275 for the SeaWolves this season. Martinez was signed by the Detroit Tigers as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2007.
  • Justin Henry hit .340 with 6 doubles and a triple in 100 at-bats last month. Justin is batting .333 with a .444 on-base percentage this season for Erie. He has also struckout just 19 times in 156 at-bats. The 26-year-old outfielder was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the ninth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Mississippi. At 26-years-old I’d like to see what Justin can do in AAA-Toledo. Perhaps a promotion is on the horizon for the the left-handed batter.

WHO WAS NOT
  • Bryan Holaday hit .194 last month and is hitting just .221 on the season. He’s walked just 3 times and has struckout 36 times in 140 at-bats this season. Holaday was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the sixth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Christian University. The bat has not come around but Holaday is by far the Tigers best defensive catcher down on the farm. Don’t write the 25-year-old quite yet!

AAA-Toledo Mud Hens

WHO WAS HOT

  • Argenis Diaz hit .342 in 73 at-bats last month for the Mud Hens. The 24-year-old Venezuelan native has drawn rave reviews for his defense as a corner infielder this season. He’s batting .304 this season and has potential to perhaps see time in a utility infielder role down the road.
  • Will Rhymes hit .281 with 4 doubles and a triple in 96 at-bats last month. Will is currently batting .312 for the ‘Hens and should eventually see time again for the Tigers this season.

WHO WAS NOT

  • Ryan Strieby hit just .231 with 9 extra base hits in 104 at-bats last month. He’s batting just .254 this season and is quickly falling out of the prospect category. The 25-year-old was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the fourth round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
  • Cale Iorg batted .206 with 9 extra base hits in 97 at-bats last month for the ‘Hens. The “shortstop of the future” has committed a league high 15 errors this season. Cale Iorg was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the sixth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

 

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Tags: Argenis Diaz Avisail Garcia Bryan Holaday Cale Iorg Dixon Machado Down On The Farm Francisco Martinez Gustavo Nunez Hernan Perez Justin Henry Nick Castellanos Rob Brantly Ryan Strieby Wade Gaynor Will Rhymes

  • stephen grosberg

    GREAT POST!! Mike Rockett could be added. See Justin Henry as first up to Kelly. He Rhymes, or Bryan Pounds is fine. Seeing Erie this weekend.

    • Chris Hannum

      A good 9-game stretch in AA does not automatically make him a prospect. Prior to that 9-game stretch, Rockett had never put up an OPS above .700 at any stop in the minors, as a corner outfielder at that.