The New Britain Rock Cats nearly played at a .500 level during the month of May, as they won 15 of their 31 contests. Though the pitching staff struggled mightily, the bats led the way, and they have the kind of lineup that could make some serious noise in the Eastern League. Here is a look at our Batter and Pitcher of the month for the month of May for the New Britain Rock Cats.
Batter of the Month
Erik Lis, Outfield/ First Baseman
Erik Lis has long been one of the better bats in the Twins organization, and now he is starting to show that he can crush the ball in Double-A, which is usually a make or break level for some prospects. The sweet-swinging lefty batted .360 in 27 May games, and did not make an error while playing the outfield and first base. He hits the ball to all fields, can hit for power, and is a real terror in any lineup.
In total, Lis hit two home runs, drove in 13, and collected 36 hits in 27 games. He was a doubles machine, collecting 18 doubles, which is a great number for a whole season, let alone one month. After batting only .202 in April, Lis has taken off, and is showing the kind of offensive prowess that made him one of the more polished hitters in the Twins organization the past couple of seasons.
Honorable Mention: Luke Hughes (.321, 4HR, 12RBI), Dustin Martin (.292, 23RBI, 7SB), Steven Tolleson (.375, 21RBI, 7SB)
Pitcher of the Month
Jay Rainville, Starting Pitcher
Rainville is once again showing the kind of presence on the mound that drew comparisons to Roger Clemens early in his career, and he really carried the Rock Cats in May. The young right-hander made six starts for the Rock Cats, winning four of his six decisions, and posted a 3.41 earned run average. On a team that had a collective earned run average of 5.29, Rainville’s starts really stuck out.
The most impressive part of Rainville’s solid May was his rough start in April. Coming into the month of May, Rainville had an earned run average over 10.00, and he did not look comfortable on the mound. Now fully cemented in the Rock Cats starting rotation, Rainville’s season is taking off, and it could not happen to a better kid.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Mullins (6GS, .248BAA, 4W), Ben Julianel (1.80ERA, 12G, 6SV), Zach Ward (11G, 1.59ERA, .206BAA)