The Tulsa Drillers stumbled out of the gate in 2009, as they finished the month of April with a winning percentage under .500. They got some good contributions from a number of players, including Cole Garner, Jeff Kindel, Daniel Mayora, and Mike Paulk. On the bump, Shane Lindsay was great out of the bullpen, and Keith Weiser and Chaz Roe were two of a handful of starters that did well in April. If they can get more consistency from their bullpen, the Drillers have the firepower to challenge in the Texas League.
Daniel Mayora led the Drillers in batting during the month of April, as the middle infield prospect batted .340 in 17 games. Playing mostly as the team’s second baseman, Mayora had five extra-base hits, and drove in 11. Jeff Kindel batted .328, and was an extra-base hit machine, as eight of his 21 hits went for extra-bases. He was one of the main run producers on the team, and even stole two bases.
Cole Garner had three triples in the month, as he batted .313, and Mike Paulk hit .318, though he did not have the power numbers people come to expect from him. Chris Nelson provided some great pop from the shortstop position, and although he hit only .269, he led the team in runs batted in (13), and home runs (4).
Keith Weiser was arguably the best pitcher in the Texas League in April, as he held the opposition to a .198 batting average. He went 1-1, posted a 2.74 earned run average, and struck out nearly a batter per inning. Chaz Roe was just as impressive, though he struggled with his command at times. Still, batters barely hit over .200 against him, and he was 1-0.
Shane Lindsay and Adam Bright were the most consistent arms from the Drillers’ bullpen, as they were the only relievers to post earned run averages under 3.25. The rest of bullpen really struggled, notably Andy Graham, Xavier Cedeno, and Andrew Johnston, who all had ERAs above 7.50. They are all great pitchers, so they should bounce back in May.
The Drillers have been getting some good efforts from a number of prospects, and they should have a very good season if they can get some guys to turn it around. Some of these prospects are notorious slow starters, so well have to see where their seasons take them. Either way, they have some of the best talent in organization, and should have a very successful season.
Top Prospect Watch: Jhoulys Chacin’s statistics do not tell the story of his April, as he pitched well in every start but one. Had it not been for a seven earned run aberration against Springfield on April 26, he would have much better statistics. In his last time out, Chacin allowed two hits in 5.2 innings of work, striking out seven.