Minor League Pitcher and Hitter of the Month: April 2024

Two top 100 prospects lead the pack for the monthly honors, both serving as bright spots for underperforming AL teams.

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - MARCH 16, 2024: Carson Williams #80 of the Tampa Bay Rays rounds third base to score during the third inning of a spring training Spring Breakout game against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium on March 16, 2024 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)

Believe it or not, we are approaching the conclusion of the first full month of Minor League Baseball.

I know I have alluded to this a few times throughout this series highlighting the top performers in the Minor Leagues each week, but it has been an incredible start to what looks to be a bright future full of highly impactful players at the Major League level.

As I have done with Players of the Week, I want to reference the players who not only may have had a strong week, but were able to maintain a strong start throughout the first full month of the season. The narrative of “small sample size” is thrown out in certain instances, but an entire month of production cannot be ignored.

Now, without further ado, here are the Minor League Pitcher and Hitter for the month of April and, as done in previous articles, I will have an honorable mention for each as well.

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For more information on the Top Prospects that find themselves on Just Baseball’s Top 100, you can find that list here.

Pitcher of the Month: Drew Thorpe (RHP) – Chicago White Sox (Double-A Birmingham Barons)

April Stats: 4 GS 24.0 IP, 16 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 0.75 ERA, 2.15 FIP, 23.9% K%

What the White Sox currently have cooking down in their farm system is something that should make their fanbase excited for what is to come soon. Drew Thorpe is the latest example of that, having just dominated during the month of April down in Birmingham.

Thorpe made his way to Chicago in the Dylan Cease trade right before the start of the year and is consistently mentioned when talking about the best changeups in all of the Minor Leagues. In a recent interview with Scott Merkin of MLB.com, Thorpe referenced the success of the pitch as being a result of how well it plays off of his fastball and the fact that he can command it at such a high rate. It is also a factor in his ability to generate soft contact consistently.

While the strikeout numbers do not pop off the page this year, he is coming off a 2023 season where he struck out 182 hitters in 139.1 innings across two different levels. As I referenced above, the current White Sox roster might not be what the south side of Chicago wants to see right now. But, what they do have coming soon should keep the fan base around to reap the rewards of their patience the past couple of seasons.

Hitter of the Month: Carson Williams (SS) – Tampa Bay Rays (Double-A Montgomery Biscuits)

April Stats: .370/.403/.603 (1.005 OPS), 3 HR, 10 RBI, .233 ISO, 201 wRC+

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After making his way through three different levels in 2023, Carson Williams dedicated himself in the offseason to making tangible improvements to show that he was ready for his first big league camp in Spring Training. Well, after nearly a full month of play in Double-A, it seems to be working.

Coming off of being named the Minor League Player of the Week in the Southern League by MiLB.com, Just Baseball’s No. 37 overall prospect is another product of not only a strong development system in Tampa but the immense upside he has possessed since being selected by the Rays in the first round of the 2021 draft.

While the Rays are notorious for having their players develop positional flexibility throughout their time in the Minor Leagues, Williams seems to be the one who is going to break that trend and find his future at the shortstop position. It comes at a great time for a team that could use another option behind their current No.1 prospect in Junior Caminero, who is likely destined for third base when that role becomes available.

Honorable Mentions:

Pitcher: Cade Povich (LHP) – Baltimore Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk Tides):
April Stats: 5 GS, 26.1 IP, 10 H, 10 BB, 40 K, 1.08 ERA, 2.30 FIP, 13.7 K/9

Pitcher: Jonah Tong (RHP) – New York Mets (Single-A St. Lucie Mets):
April Stats: 4 G, 18.2 IP, 7 H, 5 BB, 36 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.99 FIP, 17.4 K/9

Hitter: Joey Loperfido (1B/OF) – Houston Astros (Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys):
April Stats: .287/.393/.713 (1.106 OPS), 13 HR, 27 RBI, .426 ISO, 152 wRC+

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Hitter: Emmanuel Rodriguez (OF) – Minnesota Twins (Double-A Wichita Wind Surge):
April Stats: .294/.507/.686 (1.193 OPS), 4 HR, 10 RBI, .392 ISO, 215 wRC+