Baseball is back and a lot of White Sox fans are wishing it wasn't (or at least that they could forget April). The Pale Hose are off to a record setting poor start. They aren't the only ones in the organization struggling, Charlotte is 9-14 and Winston-Salem is 8-15. It's not all bad though, Birmingham is above .500 at 12-11 and Kannapolis is 14-9. Somehow with that record the Intimidators are in fourth in their seven-team division. Anyway, the season's first month is in the books so let's take a look at the individuals that stood out in April.
Hitter of the Month: Jose Martinez
Stats: .382/.427/.528, 7 RBI, 7 R, 8 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR with 6 BB and 9 K in 89 AB
Now healthy, Martinez is showing why Baseball America ranked him No. 4 in the White Sox organization in 2008. Granted that year was probably the thinnest the system has been, but his leg injury in 2008 knocked him from the consciousness until now. He doesn't have the speed he used to and he's not a power hitter, but don't compare him to Jon Gilmore. Martinez makes a lot of contact. He struck out just 9 times in 89 at-bats. We complain a lot about guys who strike out a lot and with Martinez you can see what happens with a low strikeout rate: a high batting average. (Photo credit: Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)
Tyler Kuhn (AA): .348/.403/.561 with 5 BB and 10 K in 66 AB
Dan Black (Low-A): .333/.400/.630 with 6 BB and 17 K in 81 AB
Ian Gac (High-A): .305/.370/.634 with 9 BB and 23 K in 82 AB
None of these three are major prospects at the moment, but Kuhn could be pushing his way into the top 25. He's 24 and repeating AA, but he's supposedly improved defensively and has good pop for a middle infielder. Black turns 24 in July and needs to be promoted soon to see if his fantastic start is talent or experience. Of course Gac is the first baseman above him.
Pitcher of the Month: Jacob Petricka
Stats: 2-0, 2.05 ERA, 29 K, 6 BB, 17 H in 22 IP
Petricka is a bit old for the South Atlantic League, but he's doing what he should. Regardless, with Addison Reed in the bullpen, it's pretty clear that Petricka is the best starting pitching prospect in the system. He could be destined for the bullpen as well, but he has time to develop secondary pitches and change scouts' minds. The 6'5" righthander has one of the best fastballs among White Sox prospects and should be able to handle the jump to High-A this season.
Jhonny Nunez (AAA): 2-0, 0.73 ERA, 17 K, 1 BB, 5 H in 12.1 IP
Dan Remenowsky (AA): 1-0, 1 SV, 0 R, 15 K, 1 BB, 3 H in 11 IP
Addison Reed (Low-A/High-A): 1-0, 1.38 ERA, 16 K, 2 BB, 5 H in 13 IP
Steven Upchurch (Low-A): 1-0, 1.56 ERA, 19 K, 2 BB, 8 H in 17.1 IP
Each of these relievers is on here because of fantastic strikeout to walk ratios. Conveniently, they're all also prospects to some level. Nunez got rocked on Sunday to ruin his numbers, but he could be a bullpen addition for the Sox if they get desperate.