Astros announce Minor League Players of the Month
The Astros’ player development department has named May’s Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Month at each of their four in-season Minor League affiliates. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.
At Triple A Oklahoma City, RHP Jake Buchanan was named Pitcher of the Month after going 3-1 with a 2.08 ERA in five May starts, striking out 22 and walking just five. Buchanan, an eighth-round selection by the Astros in the 2010 Draft, started the month of May with 23 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings across three starts, including his second career complete game shutout on May 20 at New Orleans. OF Domingo Santana was named the club’s Player of the Month after hitting .297 with six doubles, six homers, 16 RBIs and an .899 OPS in 30 games during the month. The 21-year-old ranks tied for seventh in the Pacific Coast League in total bases (109) and has spent the season as the second-youngest player in the league.
LHP Tommy Shirley picked up his second consecutive Double-A Corpus Christi Pitcher of the Month award after going 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA and 18 strikeouts in five May outings. Shirley’s 1.54 ERA this season ranks second in all of Double-A while his 52 strikeouts rank third in the Texas League. The club’s May Player of the Month award went to IF Matt Duffy, who hit .365 with three doubles, four homers, 20 RBI and a .941 OPS across 25 games in May. During the month, he ranked second in the Texas League in batting average, tied for first in hits and fourth in OPS.
LHP Josh Hader earned Class A Advanced Lancaster Pitcher of the Month honors after compiling a 4-0 record with a 1.95 ERA and 33 strikeouts in five May outings. Acquired by the Astros from Baltimore last season in the Bud Norris trade, Hader has been one of the California League’s top pitchers. He currently ranks second in the league in ERA and strikeouts (69), and third in WHIP (0.99). IF Carlos Correa hit .330 with eight doubles, three homers, 31 RBIs and an .885 OPS in 27 May games en route to Lancaster Player of the Month honors. The first overall pick in the 2012 draft is hitting .320 this season, and leads all California League shortstops in fielding percentage (.977) despite being the youngest position player in the league (19 years old).
At Class A Quad Cities, hard-throwing RHP Jandel Gustave was named the River Bandits May Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 2.74 ERA and 20 strikeouts in five outings in May. Gustave, 21, is a product of the Astros Dominican Academy and has posted a 3.70 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 12 walks in his first year with a full-season club. C Brian Holberton, a ninth round selection in last year’s draft, was named the club’s Player of the Month after hitting .388 with nine doubles, three homers, 15 RBI and a 1.063 OPS in 21 games in May. Holberton hit for the cycle in a 5-for-5 performance on May 18 at Kane County, and ranks second in the Midwest League with a .344 batting average (minimum 100 plate appearances).