The chapter has closed on the opening month of the 2017 season, and the AEL’s monthly player awards have been announced.
AEL BAtter of the Month (MAY 2017)
Calgary slugger Cody “Crime Spree” Martin has left a trail of destruction among opposing pitcher’s ERA’s and records, as he blasted through May with a .358 average, 7 homers, and 17 RBIs. The 29-year-old 3B-man tore through the month with two 3-hit games, and two 4-RBI games among his exploits.
Martin led the AEL in home runs last season with 26, and will likely break the 30 mark this season with the extra 18 games tagged on to this year’s schedule. Although he is still without an MVP award, Martin placed in the top 3 for MVP voting in two of the last three seasons and could be in the running for it again this year if he keeps up his numbers.
AEL Pitcher of the Month (MAY 2017)
Dallas Deputies hurler Bob Finney has taken the Pitcher of the Month Award for the AEL for May this season, surprising many pundits who had once again written off the Dallas team for another year.
So far the team is holding a 7-10 record, just 3 games below .500, but only 2 games behind division leader Norfolk, in what is shaping up to be a very tightly knotted AEL East division. Some of that success is due in part to Finney, who finished May 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA, a 0.79 WHIP, and holding opposing batters to a .184 average in his four starts.
His highlight reel game was his opening day complete game shutout masterpiece against Arizona, a 1-hitter that saw him walk just 2 batters, while striking out 8. Finney is up for free agency at the end of the year, and with more months like May he could well find himself among the top paid starters in the Bull League.
AEL Rookie of the Month (MAY 2017)
Newcomer Jose “Flinch” Soto was an easy choice for the AEL’s Pitcher of the Month for the opening month, as he consistently demonstrated veteran temperament in slicing down batters and shutting teams out of scoring. In his three outings since signing as an undrafted free agent two days into the season, Soto already tallied two shutouts, including a complete game 4-hitter on opening day against the Inferno. He has been credited with 3 of Anchorage’s 8 wins thus far this month.
Having only allowed one earned run in May, Soto’s ERA has been maintained at a minuscule 0.36. His only run allowed was a solo shot by Denver’s Roberto Lozano back on May 22nd.
Soto is not only well into the running for Rookie of the Year, but is also a serious contender for the AEL Sandy Koufax Award if he keeps his dominant pitching at this high level.