I am great believer in “get ’em on and drive ’em in”. Those two are the offensive categories I look at to see if a player is generating any runs for his team. To create a measure of offensive contribution for a player I use a hockey term, the “plus/minus” system. It’s a simple formula for baseball. Just add up the runs scored and runs driven in by a player and compare the number to his games played. For the month of April, one of Reading’s swing men, Carlos Alonso, has the highest plus/minus score in the Phillies minor league system with a plus seven.
Alonso, who won the minor league Gold Glove for second base last year, has started in left field, third base, shortstop and second base so far this season. The constant flip flopping of positions has affected his defense but not his offensive contributions. He is third in the Eastern League in runs scored with 19 to go with his eight RBIs to give him 27 points. He has played in 20 games to give a his plus seven for April.
In last night Reading 3-2 win Alonso showed how valuable he is to Reading’s attack. He scored the second run and drove in the third run which turned out to the winning run. It was just enough for him to win the prestigious plus minus monthly award.
In leading the Phillies minor league organization in plus/minus for April, Alonso just nipped two of his teammates: outfield/first baseman Cameron Perkins and catcher Tommy Joseph with a plus six each.
Lehigh Valley’s Reid Brignac and Cameron Rupp came in next with a plus four each. Clearwater Threshers’ Pete Lavin was next with plus three. Lakewood BlueClaw had no player with a positive plus/minus who played more than one game for them. In one game in April for the BlueClaws, third baseman Mitch Walding had a plus two by scoring a run and picking up two RBIs in his one late April start. First baseman Willians Astudillo had a zero score and shortstop J. P. Crawford had a minus one to lead Lakewood for the month.
I guess it does not take a rocket scientist to realize that the Phillies minor league system did not produce much offense in April. Only Reading with a 12-11 record had over a .500 record The hapless Threshers finished the month 5-21 including a 20-0 loss in the next to final game of the month. All four teams combined finished 26 games under .500 for the month.
There you have it for the first month of the five month minor league season. I’ve got Ken Giles as the pitcher of the month in my previous blog and Carlos Alonso as the offensive player of the month for April in this blog.