The Texas Rangers announced today the club's minor league award winners for April. Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff was named Pitcher of the Month, outfielder Luke Tendler was named Player of the Month, outfielder Jared Hoying was named Defender of the Month, and left-hander Cody Ege was named Reliever of the Month.
Tendler, 23, batted .346 (27-78) with 11 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs, 10 RBI, 4 walks, and 18 runs over 20 games in April with Low-A Hickory. The outfielder led the South Atlantic League during April in extra-base hits (17), doubles, and runs, while also ranking among the leaders in hits (2nd), batting (4th), and home runs (T4th). Tendler finished the month with multiple hits in 5 of his final 8 contests, posting a .400 average (14-35) in that stretch. Overall, Tendler is batting .309 (42-136) with 12 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, and 16 RBI in 35 games with the division-leading Crawdads. The Wilmington, North Carolina product was selected in the 29th round of the 2014 June Draft out of North Carolina A&T.
Eickhoff, 24, combined to go 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA (8 ER/23.1 IP) over 4 starts with Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock in April. The right-hander held opponents to a .195 average (16-82) and averaged 12.34 strikeouts per 9.0 innings during the month. Eickhoff went 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA (3 ER/10.0 IP) and 14 strikeouts in his first 2 starts with Frisco before a promotion to Round Rock on April 23. In his Triple-A debut on April 24 vs. Colorado Springs, Eickhoff carried a no-hitter into the 9th inning and recorded a career-best 11 strikeouts. Overall, Eickhoff has combined to go 4-2 with a 4.33 ERA (20 ER/40.2 IP) in 7 starts this season. He was selected in the 15th round of the 2011 June draft out of Olney Central (IL) Community College.
Hoying, who turns 26 today, started 16 games in the outfield for Round Rock in April, including 13 in center field. Hoying has committed just one error in 77 total chances this season. At the plate, Hoying leads the Express in triples (5), home runs (6), and RBI (21). He is currently tied for 3rd in all of the minor leagues in triples. Hoying was selected in the 10th round of the 2010 June draft out of the University of Toledo and signed by Roger Coryell.
Ege, who turned 24 on May 8, went 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA (2 ER/11.2 IP) and 24 strikeouts in 7 relief appearances for High-A High Desert in April. The southpaw held opponents to a .163 average (7-43) and fanned multiple batters in 6 of 7 outings, including a season-high 5 twice. Ege was promoted to Frisco on May 7 and has combined to go 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA (4 ER/20.0 IP) and 33 strikeouts in 13 relief appearances overall. The Iowa native has held left-handed batters to a .156 average (5-32) with one extra-base hit (2B) and 17 strikeouts this season. He was selected in the 15th round of the 2013 June draft out of the University of Louisville.