Dodger left fielder Jerry Sands opened last year for the Single-A Great Lakes Loons by receiving the Dodger Pride Award in each of the season’s first two months.
Aided by the confidence of the fast start, Sands found himself in the big leagues a year later.
The award, put in place by GM Ned Colletti in 2008, is given to the outstanding minor league position players and pitchers each month.
Jonathan Garcia, a 19-year old out of Puerto Rico received the Dodger Pride Award this April for Great Lakes. Garcia got off to a fast start, belting seven home runs in his first 25 games.
His performance earned him Midwest Player of the Week honors in mid-April, and he finished the month with 16 runs batted in in 22 games.
Not much is expected out of a player drafted in the 30th round, but Shawn Tolleson, the Dodgers’ 30th round selection in the 2008 draft completed April in grand style.
Pitching for the Loons, Tolleson tied for the Midwest League lead with eight saves and did not allow an earned run in his ten April appearances.
So far in May, it’s more of the same, as he’s pitched in four more games and still sports the 0.00 ERA. The 23 year-old was a Rookie-level Pioneer League All Star a year ago and finished 2010 with 17 saves and a 0.63 ERA.
At Triple-A Albuquerque, pitcher Dana Eveland, a 27-year old non-roster invitee to Spring Training won the award for his April performance.
The left-handed Eveland led the Pacifc Coast League in wins during the month, posting a 3-1 record with a 3.86 earned run average.
Former Crenshaw High School standout, Trayvon Robinson hit .342 with four home runs and 19 runs batted in during his 20 games in April for Albuquerque. Robinson hit .375 with runners in scoring position for the Isotopes.
The 23-year old returned to his high school alma mater on April 15th as part of the Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson Day panel discussion, speaking to students about Jackie’s historical impact and legacy.
The Dodger Pride Award position player for the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts boasts Major League bloodlines. Scott Van Slyke, son of five-time Gold Glover Andy Van Slyke, ranked among the Southern League leaders in batting average, extra-base hits, double, homers, RBI, and slugging percentage.
The 24-year old was selected the league’s Hitter of the Week for April 18-24, when he hit .519 with seven doubles, a triple, three homers, and 12 RBI.
Javy Guerra received the award as the pitcher for the Lookouts by giving up just one run in April. During the month, he compiled a 0.90 ERA and limited opposing hitters to a .116 batting average, including a 0.69 EAR against right-handed hitters. The 25-year old Guerra was the Dodgers’ fourth-round pick in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft.
Right handed pitcher Steven Ames of Single-A Rancho Cucamonga finished April tied for the California League lead with eight saves, limiting hitters to a .188 batting average while posting a 1.35 ERA. Since the month ended, the 23-year old has lowered his ERA to 1.17. For the year, Ames is averaging 16.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
Rounding out the Dodger Pride Award winners for April was Ames’ teammate, Tony Delmonico. The Dodgers’ sixth-round selection in the 2008 draft completed the first month of the season with eight doubles, two homers, 18 RBI, and a .406 in eighteen April contests. Delmonico currently has a .475 on base percentage.
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