HOUSTON, TX - The Houston Astros Player Development Department has named May's Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Month at each of their four full-season minor league affiliates. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.
At Triple A Oklahoma City, LHP Brett Oberholtzer was named Pitcher of the Month after going 2-2 with a 2.42 ERA (7ER/26IP) and 27 strikeouts in five starts in May. He was named the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 6-13 and held opponents to a .198 (18x91) batting average during the month. IF Brett Wallace was named the RedHawks Player of the Month after hitting .324 (34x105) with six doubles, six homers, 26 RBI and a .403 on-base percentage in 28 games in May. Wallace is hitting .319 (51x160) with eight homers and a .948 OPS in 41 total games at OKC.
RHP Jake Buchanan went 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0ER/27.2IP) in six May outings to earn Double A Corpus Christi's Pitcher of the Month honors. The Astros 2011 Minor League Pitcher of the Year currently leads all of minor league baseball with a 0.85 ERA and has allowed just five walks all season in 63.1 innings pitched. He was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 29-May 6. IF Erik Castro was named the Hooks Player of the Month after hitting .360 in 24 May games, raising his season batting average by 88 points from .206 to .294. Castro added 10 doubles, four homers, 20 RBI and a 1.031 OPS (.424 OBP/.607 SLG) during the month.
LHP Theron Geith was named Lancaster Pitcher of the Month after going 3-0 with a 2.35 ERA (4ER/15.1IP) and 10 strikeouts in 10 relief outings for the JetHawks. Geith has posted a 5-0 record with a 2.22 ERA (6ER/24.1IP) on the season. He was acquired by the Astros last year as a PTBNL in the Ben Francisco trade with Tampa Bay. Lancaster's Player of the Month award went to OF Preston Tucker, who leads all of minor league baseball with 57 RBI. A seventh round draft pick by the Astros last year, Tucker hit .342 (39x114) with seven doubles, one triple, five homers, 30 RBI and a .400 OBP in 29 games in May. He recently had a 17-game hitting streak from May 16-June 2.
A pair of Astros 2012 first-round draft picks earned May awards for Class A Quad Cities, with RHP Lance McCullers receiving Pitcher of the Month honors and IF Carlos Correa receiving Player of the Month honors. McCullers earned his first career win while posting a 1.88 ERA (5ER/24IP) and 26 strikeouts over seven outings in May. The 41st overall selection in last year's draft currently leads the Midwest League with a 1.70 ERA. Correa hit .349 (30x86) with six doubles, one triple, 18 RBI and a .423 on-base percentage in 22 May games. Last year's first overall selection in the draft entered the season as the third-youngest player in the Midwest League and is hitting .275 (47x171) with 10 doubles, one triple, three homers, 34 RBI, five stolen bases and 26 walks (.380 OBP) in 44 total games this season. Both players were also named Midwest League All-Stars.
The Astros five active minor league affiliates have combined to post a 137-98 (.583) record, which ranks first out of all Major League organizations. Each of the four domestic affiliates are over .500, and three of the four are currently in first place in their divisions.