LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the May winners of the Dodger Pride Awards. The Dodger Pride Awards were created in 2008 by General Manager Ned Colletti, and are issued on a monthly basis to the players at each level of the club's minor league system who play the game with a hustling, smart, aggressive style. The players and staff on each respective club vote for the awards.
The winners for May are as follows:
Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes
Pitcher - RHP Blake Johnson posted a 3-2 record with a 1.96 ERA (8 ER/36.2 IP), striking out 32 batters against eight walks in six May starts. Johnson had quality starts in five out of six games in the month and is currently on a run of five straight quality starts. The 27-year-old was among the Pacific Coast League leaders in ERA (1.96, 5th) and wins (3, T-9th) in May. Johnson was selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft.
Player - IF/OF Elian Herrera posted a .363 (33-for-91) batting average, which tied for eighth-best in the Pacific Coast League during May, with 33 hits, three home runs and 10 RBI in the month. On the season, Herrera has come through consistently in big moments, batting .348 (16-for-46) with a homer and 20 RBI with runners in scoring position. The switch-hitter was signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on May 14, 2003.
Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts
Pitcher - LHP Rob Rasmussen posted a 2-1 record with a 1.97 ERA (7 ER/32.0 IP), fanning 29 batters against seven walks in six May games (five starts). The Pasadena native recorded quality starts in four of his five starts in the month and struck out at least five batters in each start, holding the opposition to a .200 batting average. Rasmussen went 13 consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run from May 15-31 and is 3-3 with a 2.42 ERA through 12 games (11 starts) this year. The Dodgers acquired Rasmussen in a trade with the Astros on Dec. 20, 2012 and was originally selected by Houston in the second round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of UCLA.
Player - OF Yasiel Puig posted a .301 batting average with 28 hits, nine doubles, four home runs, 26 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 26 May games to take home the May Dodger Pride Award for Chattanooga. The outfielder ranked among the league's best in RBI (26, T-2nd), stolen bases (11, T-3rd) and doubles (9, T-8th). Puig recorded an RBI in five games in a row from May 25-30, totaling 12 RBI during that stretch. Puig, who was signed as a free agent on June 29, 2012 out of Cuba, was recalled by the Dodgers and made his Major League debut on June 3 and finished his first week in the Majors with a .464 batting average (13-for-28), four home runs and 10 RBI in seven games (including five multi-hit efforts) to earn NL Player of the Week honors.
Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Player - LHP Jarret Martin went 3-1 in May with a 2.41 ERA (9 ER/33.2 IP) in six starts. In the month, the 24-year-old collected 37 strikeouts against 16 walks while limiting the opposition to a .236 batting average. Martin was originally selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 18th round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and was acquired in a trade with the Orioles on Dec. 8, 2011.
Player - OF Noel Cuevas batted .336 (34-for-93) in May, driving in 24 runs and clubbing three homers. On the year, the native of Puerto Rico has a .314 batting average, the fifth-best overall mark in the California League, including a .333 (17-for-51) batting average with runners in scoring position. The 21-year-old was selected by the Dodgers in 21st round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.
Single-A Great Lakes Loons
Player - RHP Jharel Cotton posted a 3.67 ERA (14 ER/34.1 IP) in six May starts. Cotton limited opposing hitters to a .206 average with 31 strikeouts, while limiting left-handed hitters to a .160 batting average. Cotton was recently named to represent the Loons in the Midwest League All-Star team alongside teammates Carlos Frias and Tyler Ogle before being promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. The right-hander was selected by the Dodgers in the 20th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of East Carolina University.
Player - INF Kevin Taylor posted a .263 (20-for-76) batting average with a homer and seven RBI in 21 May games. On the season, the 21-year-old is batting .321 (9-for-28) with runners in scoring position and .309 (25-for-81) against right-handed pitchers. A native of Portland, Oregon, Taylor was drafted by the Dodgers in the 26th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft from Western Nevada Community College.