Position Player of the Month – Manny Machado
Although Manny Machado is the easy choice for this award, I like that I had to consider guys like Jonathan Schoop, Kipp Schutz and Tyler Townsend who are also off to outstanding starts. Machado is doing something that past O’s first round draft picks have failed to do: come out of the gates hot and actually look like the first round pick the Orioles though they were getting. He’s shown power, with 4 home runs through 80 at-bats, and plate discipline that you rarely see from an 18 year old in the South Atlantic League (16 walks vs. 11 strikeouts). As one of the youngest players in the league, Machado has easily been one of the best players in the league. And I wouldn’t expect him to slow down anytime soon.
Starting Pitcher of the Month – Bobby Bundy
Bobby Bundy has been simply overpowering through his first 19 Carolina League innings, with 22 strikeouts and just 1 walk. He has yet to allow a home run and is sporting a 2.09 GO/AO ratio. If you’re worried about his .289 opponent batting average, you shouldn’t be — hitters have benefited from a .407 batting average on balls in play. When his BABIP against normalizes, you should see Bundy’s H/9 drop significantly. His changeup is much improved this season and has been one of the biggest factors in his early season dominance, which should continue into the season.
Relief Pitcher of the Month – Dan Klein
Dan Klein’s dominance as UCLA’s closer has transferred over to the minors, as he posted a 1.15 ERA with 21 strikeouts and just 3 walks in 15.2 innings for the Frederick Keys. He’s held opposing hitters to .161 average and has allowed just 9 hits. Klein could be in line for a late May or early June promotion to Bowie.