A pair of Midwest League players were honored Tuesday for their performances on the field.
Fort Wayne TinCaps OF Nick Schulz was named the Midwest League Player of the Month for August. He led the league in slugging percentage (.765) and on-base percentage (.472), was second in home runs (7) and extra-base hits (14), third in runs (20), and fourth in runs batted in (24).
Schulz batted .341 with 8 HR and 30 RBI in 49 regular-season games with the TinCaps.
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers C/DH Clint Coulter was named the Milwaukee Brewers’ Minor League Player of the Year. He batted .287 with 22 HR and 89 RBI in 126 games during the regular season. He finished in a three-way tie for the most home runs in the Midwest League, and tied Wisconsin’s single-season record for homers (set by Khris Davis in 2010 and matched by Victor Roache in 2013). He finished second in the league in RBI, trailing only TinCaps 2B Fernando Perez, who drove in 95 runs.
(Click here to read my post about the 2014 Midwest League leaders in the 10 major batting and pitching categories.)
Milwaukee’s assistant general manager, Gord Ash, told reporters Tuesday that a position change is likely for Coulter, with first base, third base and left field being considered.
Additionally, the Brewers announced that RHP Jimmy Nelson — a former Timber Rattler — is their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He went 10-2 with a 1.46 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 111 IP for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds this year. He also made 11 starts for the big-league club and was moved to the Brewers bullpen on Tuesday.
Nelson went 8-9 with a 4.38 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 146 IP for the 2011 Timber Rattlers.
Ex-Kernel’s homer helps win FSL title
Minnesota Twins OF prospect Jason Kanzler hit a go-ahead home run Monday that ended up giving the High-A Fort Myers Miracle an 11th-inning win and the Florida State League championship.
Kanzler began the 2014 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, batting .286 with 9 HR, 48 RBI and 15 SB in 84 games. He finished the regular season by batting .267 with 3 HR, 11 RBI and 12 SB in 27 games with the Miracle.
Another 100-RBI season for Cabrera
On Sunday, Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera reached the 100-RBI plateau for the 11th consecutive season, becoming only the fifth player to achieve that feat. Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx and Alex Rodriguez drove in 100 runs in 13 consecutive seasons; Al Simmons did it in 11 straight years.
Cabrera batted .268 with 7 HR and 66 RBI in 110 games with the 2001 Kane County Cougars. That team, which also included future major-leaguers Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Willingham, won Kane County’s only Midwest League championship.
This year’s Cougars squad will attempt to win the franchise’s second championship in their series against the Lake County Captains this week. Click here to read my preview of that series, including the projected starting pitchers for both teams.
Earlier this month, the Cougars announced plans for improvements to their ballpark. You can read about them here.