The Texas Rangers announced minor league player of the month awards for April. Right-handed starter Nick Tepesch is the pitcher of the month, third baseman Joey Gallo is player of the month, outfielder Lewis Brinson is defender of the month and right-handed pitcher Matt West is reliever of the month.
Here's more on these guys from the club's release:
Tepesch, 25, went 4-1 with a 1.82 ERA (7 ER/34.2 IP) and 27 strikeouts against 6 walks over 5 starts with Triple-A Round Rock in April. The right-hander ended his month with a 5-hit shutout on April 26 vs. Memphis, one of just 3 shutouts in the PCL this season. The shutout came in the midst of a 22.0-inning scoreless streak that lasted into his second start in May. The Blue Springs, Missouri native ranked among the April Triple-A leaders in wins (T2nd), ERA (3rd), WHIP (4th, 0.92), and opponent average (5th, .208). With the Express, Tepesch went 6-1 with a 1.58 ERA (8 ER/45.2 IP) and 41 strikeouts against 9 walks. Tepesch was recalled from Round Rock yesterday and allowed just one run over 5.1 innings in a start at Houston last night. The Missouri product was selected in the 14th round of the 2010 June draft and signed by Dustin Smith.
Gallo, 20, batted .317 (26-82) with 9 home runs and 22 RBI in 24 games with High-A Myrtle Beach in April. The third baseman had the 2nd-most home runs in all of minor league baseball during the month and also ranked among the overall leaders in SLG (2nd, .744), total bases (T8th, 61), extra-base hits (T9th, 15), and RBI (T16th, 22). Gallo matched a career-best with 3 home runs on April 23 at Frederick and homered 5 times in a 5 game span from April 10-14. Overall, Gallo is batting .326 (44-135) with 5 doubles, 3 triples, 14 home runs, 32 RBI, 28 walks, and 37 runs in 38 games with the Pelicans. He is currently tied for the overall minor league lead in home runs. This is the 2nd straight Player of the Month award for the Las Vegas native, who also won the monthly honor for August/September 2013. He was selected in the supplemental first round (39th overall) of the 2012 June draft and signed by Todd Guggiana.
Brinson, who turned 20 last week, appeared in 22 games in centerfield for Low-A Hickory in April. The Florida native committed just one error in 55 total chances and tallied an outfield assist. Brinson has won Defender of the Month honors twice in his career, as he also claimed the award in July 2013. At the plate, Brinson batted .287 (25-87) with 3 doubles, 3 home runs, 11 RBI, 4 stolen bases, and 17 runs for the Crawdads. Brinson was selected in the first round (29th overall) of the 2012 June draft and signed by Frankie Thon.
West, 25, went 2-0 with a 0.68 ERA (1 ER/13.1 IP) and 3 saves in 8 relief appearances with Double-A Frisco in April. The Houston native recorded 10 strikeouts and issued just a pair of walks. West also held Texas League batters to a .156 average (7-45) and stranded all 4 inherited runners. The right-hander was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock on May 3 and has combined to go 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA (6 ER/17.0 IP) and 15 strikeouts against 3 walks in 12 outings with the ‘Riders and Express. He was selected in the 2nd round of the 2007 June draft and signed by Randy Taylor.