Yesterday the Dodgers announced the May winners of the Dodger Pride Awards, which were created by GM Ned Colletti in 2008, and are given on a monthly basis to players at each level of the club’s minor league system who play the game with a hustling, smart, and aggressive style. The players and staff on each respective club vote for the awards.
Cruz, 28, hit .317 (32-for-101), scoring 18 runs, hitting four home runs and 20 RBIs in 26 games, and was tied for fourth in the Pacific Coast League with 18 extra-base hits for the month of May, including a tie for the league lead with 13 doubles. A native of Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico, Cruz is having quite the season, hitting .309 with five home runs and 32 RBIs in 53 games, including a PCL-leading 21 doubles. He is killing left-handed pitching, hitting .429 (27-for-63), and thrives in the clutch, where he possesses a .389 average (21-for-54) with runners in scoring position. He is in his first season with the Dodgers organization after signing as a free agent in the offseason. He hit .308 with a home run and eight RBIs in 24 Spring Training games for the Dodgers.
Ely, 26, went 2-2 with a 2.52 ERA (ranked fifth in the PCL), allowing 11 runs in 39 1/3 innings across six May starts. He limited opposing hitters to a .236 batting average in the month, limiting hitters to a .236 batting average while striking out 43 and walking 10. He made five quality starts, which included an 11-strikeout effort on May 10 at Tacoma, and another on May 26 in which he limited Oklahoma City to four hits in 8.0 scoreless innings. Ely leads the PCL with 78 strikeouts in 72 2/3 innings and ranks seventh among league qualifiers with a 3.22 ERA in 12 starts
The winners for the Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A) were OF Blake Smith and RHP Matt Magill.
Smith, 24, is in his fourth professional season after the Dodgers selected him with their second round pick in 2009 out of the University of California. In the month of May he hit .295, and ranked among the Southern League leaders with 20 runs scored (t-3rd), four home runs (t-6th), 18 RBIs (t-6th), and a .516 slugging percentage (5th) in 28 games. Blake was recently named to the Southern League North Division All-Star team, thanks in part to being tied for second overall in the league with 36 runs scored, and for eighth with his team-leading seven home runs, and for 10th with 31 RBIs.
Magill, 22, went 3-1 and ranked among the SL leaders with a 2.33 ERA (6th), 35 strikeouts (2nd), and a BAA of .188 (4th) across five starts in May. He earned his selection as the league’s Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 21-27, striking out 10 and allowing just two hits in 7.0 scoreless innings on May 24 against Jacksonville in his only start of that week. Magill posted two double-digit strikeout games during the month, increasing his lead in the league to 71 Ks in 58.0 innings pitched. A native of Simi Valley out of Royal High School, Magill is in his fifth professional season with the Dodgers, who selected him in the 31st round of the 2008 draft. He too will represent the SL’s North Division All-Star team with an overall record of 5-3 and a 3.72 ERA in 11 starts.
Landry, 22, a native of Baker, Calif, is tied for the California League lead in triples (4) and led the Quakes in batting average (.310) and stolen bases (5) in 20 games across May. Landry had an 11-game hitting streak stemming from May 6-17 in which he hit .417 (20-for-48) with five doubles and four triples. Overall he leads the Quakes with 11 steals, and is hitting .294 in 34 games, including a .333 mark with runners in scoring position.
Sanchez, 22, notched three wins in May, which was tied for second among all California League pitchers. In his six starts for the month he struck out 32 batters and walked only seven, a K/BB ratio of 4.57 across 39.0 innings pitched. He is trying to chase his stats from last year, struggling thus far with a 4-3 record and 4.87 ERA, this after going 8-4 with a 2.82 ERA for the Loons last season.
Schebler, 21, led the team in multiple offensive categories in May, racking up 18 runs scored and three triples in 28 games. Overall he is tied for the Midwest League lead with six triples, for 10th in the league with 16 doubles, and for the team lead with 34 RBIs. A 26th-round selection in the 2010 draft, Schebler is hitting .333 (22-for-66) with runners in scoring position and .400 (2-for-5) with the bases loaded this season.
Thomas, 23, held opponents to a .164 average and posted a 1.59 ERA, allowing three runs in 17.0 innings pitched across 10 appearances out of the bullpen. He did not allow an earned run in 13.0 innings over eight appearances stemming from May 3-25, striking out 17 in the timeframe. Overall, the native of Maryland has limited opposing hitters to a .146 batting average, which includes a .106 mark against left-handed hitters, and has 40 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched.