Trevor May, rhp, Twins: May’s path to the big leagues has been anything but a straight shot, requiring multiple stints all three full-season levels from low Class A to Double-A, and his 2013 season has been similarly bumpy. The 23-year-old has premium stuff when he’s on though, and he had it dialed in last night for Double-A New Britain, allowing just three hits and two runs over seven innings while fanning six. May’s ERA peaked at 4.62 after a disastrous April 29 outing in which he allowed eight earned runs in four innings, but he’s gradually been bringing it back to respectable levels, currently sitting at 3.88 after last night. May ranks among the Eastern League’s top five in both strikeouts (99) and walks (45), and while he did walk four Monday, he’s been showing better control recently, having handed out only one walk in each of his previous four starts.
Taylor Lindsey, 2b, Angels: Lindsey’s .278 average on the season may not look like anything to get excited about, but don’t be deceived. After struggling to a .208 average in April as one of the Double-A Texas League’s youngest regulars at age 21, Lindsey has hit an even .300 with 10 homers in 66 games since May 1. Lindsey has superb bat control. Even during his April struggles, he struck out just 12 times in 23 games. Ever since then, he’s been finding the barrel with regularity. He was a force on Monday, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a homer for Arkansas against Springfield. Home run power isn’t expected to be Lindsey’s forte, but last night’s long ball was his 12th of the year, already surpassing his 2012 total of nine.
Adam Brett Walker, of, Twins: Power will always be Walker’s best tool, but he’s showing signs of becoming more than an all-or-nothing hitter. Walker hit .250 and struck out in nearly a third (32.8 percent) of his at-bats last year in his pro debut with Rookie-level Elizabethton, though he did homer 14 times in 58 games. He’s improved both his average (.282 after 326 at-bats) and strikeout rate (24.2 percent) without sacrificing power while moving up to low Class A Cedar Rapids for his first full year at age 21. He homered in three straight games last week and added two more on Monday against Bowling Green, a surge that’s propelled him into the Midwest League home run lead with 18. He’s also third in the minors in RBIs with 79.
Will Swanner, c, Rockies: The high Class A California League’s reputation as a hitters’ haven doesn’t apply in Modesto, home of one of the minors’ least homer-friendly parks (For more, BA subscribers can revisit Matt Eddy’s feature from April on large swings in ballpark context). It’s little wonder then that eight of Swanner’s 10 homers this year have come on the road, including one last night in Lancaster (where else?). He also added a double and went 2-for-5 in the game. Like Lindsey, he’s spent most of the year trying to climb out of a hole after an abysmal April, when he hit .150. The 21-year-old has hit a more respectable .267 since May 1. The bad news is on the defensive side, where Swanner’s 10 passed balls are the most among Cal League catchers, coming on the heels of a 2012 season in which he allowed 14 in low Class A.
Sean Nolin, lhp, Blue Jays: Nolin had a nightmarish big league debut on May 24, giving up six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Orioles on May 24, but don’t let that single look convince you to write him off. He’s since gone back to dominating Double-A competition, allowing two earned runs or less in 10 of his 12 Eastern League starts. He’s riding a 19 2/3-innings shutout streak after tossing eight scoreless frames on Monday, fanning nine and allowing just four hits against Portland. He improved to 6-2, 2.09 on the year. Nolin doesn’t have premium stuff, relying more on feel, but the 23-year-old has a 2.83 career ERA in the minors since being a sixth-round pick in 2010.