Jeff Baisley was a top performer in May.
With the second month of the season in the books, we take a look back at May and identify the players who had the most outstanding months in the Oakland A's system. We hand out our awards for the system's best infielder, catcher, outfielder, starting pitcher and relief pitcher in May.
Infielder of the Month: Jeff Baisley
Baisley blew away the competition this month by hitting .373 with six homers and 27 RBI in 27 May games. He had a 1110 OPS for the month and finished the month as the A’s organizational leader in homeruns and RBIs with 11 and 44, respectively. He walked 15 times against 20 strikeouts and even stole two bases for good measure. A sure-handed third baseman, Baisley currently leads the Midwest League in fielding percentage for the hot corner. Baisley was a 2005 draft pick out of South Florida and seems poised for an early season call-up to High-A Stockton.
Vasili Spanos, .333/.456/.514. What is it that they say? Twice a bridesmaid, never a bride? Spanos has been in the honorable mention category for two straight months, but that shouldn’t be a negative. His consistency has been remarkable thus far and he seems in-line for the next call-up to AAA whenever the River Cats need another infielder/power bat.
Mike Rouse, .309/.387/.464. Rouse came out of nowhere to post an excellent month offensively. The middle infielder has been strong on defensive for awhile, but his bat had disappointed in recent years. If he keeps up this production, he might get a chance in Oakland while Mark Ellis is out.
Tom Everidge, .315/.407/.478. After a slow start to the season, Everidge redeemed himself nicely in May. He drove-in 20 runs and hit two homers for the Stockton Ports.
Catcher of the Month: Anthony Recker
Kane County had the best record of any A’s affiliate in May and when you read these awards, you begin to see why. Recker, another 2005 draft choice, had a big offensive month for Kane County. The lanky right-hander hit .316/.409/.474. He drove-in 12 and had 24 hits in 21 games played. He has caught 37 percent of all possible base-stealers and he caught a no-hitter.
Jed Morris, .350/.395/.550. Morris actually spent some time in the outfield in May, otherwise he probably would have owned this award. The Nebraska alum was exactly what the Rockhounds needed in a month where they lost key players due to injury or promotion and saw other key players struggle. The more he keeps hitting, the more he will continue to get playing time somewhere on the diamond.
John Baker, .309/.365/.382. He hasn’t shown much power yet, but Baker has regained his line-drive stroke which alluded him last season. Baker wasn’t playing much in April, but with Jeremy Brown’s promotion to Oakland mid-month, Baker saw increased playing time and took advantage of it with a strong month at the plate.
Outfielder of the Month: Travis Buck
Buck began the month in A-Stockton, where he ripped off a .455 batting average and had nine RBIs in 10 games. That quickly earned him a promotion to AA-Midland, where he hasn’t missed a beat. In 19 games with the Rockhounds, Buck hit .325 with an 871 OPS and drove-in 12 runs, giving him 21 for the month. He leads the minor leagues in doubles and is quickly becoming the prospect to watch in the A’s system.
Jose Pineda, .284/.375/.461. Pineda is quietly putting together a strong season for Kane County. He was second on the Cougars to Baisley in homeruns for the month with five, including one off of Cubs’ right-hander Mark Prior in a rehab start.
Richie Robnett, .282/.383/.544. With Buck’s departure to Midland, Robnett became the most feared hitter in the Ports’ line-up. He responded with an outstanding power month that saw him collect 12 extra-base hits, including seven homeruns. He also walked 15 times and drove-in 15 in 26 games.
Hiram Bocachica, .452/.486/.806 (for Sacramento). Bocachica only got into eight games for Sacramento (and four rehab games with Stockton), but he made his presence felt in May. He hit three homers, drove-in nine and stole four bases in those eight games.
Starting Pitcher of the Month: Jason Windsor
Windsor was perfect in May, going 5-0 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts between two levels. Four of those starts came with AAA-Sacramento, where he struck out 22 batters in 22.1 innings pitched. Windsor was the only effective starting pitcher for Sacramento for a brief period in the middle of the month and his poise and command has been impressive. The 2004 draft choice appears to be knocking on the door of the Major Leagues.
Michael Rogers, 4-0, 2.10 ERA in 30 innings pitched. Rogers is quietly turning into the pitcher that the A’s hoped he’d be when they picked him in the second round in 2004. He struck out 28, walked 10 and held batters to a .170 BAA in May for Stockton.
Jared Lansford, 4-2, 1.54 ERA in 35 innings pitched. Lansford had quite a debut month, tossing a no-hitter and allowing no earned runs in four of his six starts for Kane County. He held batters to a .159 BAA. The only blemish on his month was a poor K:BB ratio of 16:19.
Relief Pitcher of the Month: Mike Mitchell
Mitchell filled some big shoes when he took over for Marcus McBeth as the Stockton Ports’ closer upon McBeth’s promotion in late April. Mitchell has answered the call, saving eight games in May. Most impressive has been his control. Mitchell has struck out 12 and has walked only one in 13.2 innings. He had a .198 ERA for the month and held hitters to a .216 BAA.
Steven Sharpe, 0-1, 1.98 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched. Sharpe saved six games for Kane County in May and held opposing batters to a miniscule .140 BAA. He struck out 15 and didn’t allow a homer.
Jared Burton, 3-0, 2.16 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched. The tall right-hander had a big month in the Rockhounds’ bullpen. Burton saved one game, struck out 21 and held batters to a .193 BAA.