CINCINNATI - Class A Bakersfield SS Billy Hamilton and LHP Tony Cingrani have been named the Cincinnati Reds' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for April.
Hamilton, 21, in 23 games in April led all of professional baseball with 29 stolen bases and led all Reds farmhands in batting average (.398). He also led the California League in batting average, stolen bases, on-base percentage (.481), triples (4) and runs scored (24) and ranked among the leaders in hits (T-2nd, 35) and total bases (T-4th, 52).
The switch-hitter entered the 2012 season ranked No. 48 on Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list and was rated the second-best prospect in the organization. Hamilton was selected by the Reds in the second round of the 2009 first-year player draft out of Taylorsville (MS) High School.
"This is a great honor," Hamilton said. "I've worked extremely hard to get better at the plate, be more patient and pick my spots. Another goal now is to keep this up for the whole year and I'll work hard to make that happen."
Cingrani, 22, led all Reds minor leaguers and tied for second among all minor league pitchers with a 0.39 ERA in April. He ranked fourth in the organization with 28 strikeouts in 23.0 innings while leading the California League in ERA, batting average against (.117) and WHIP (0.61). Cingrani allowed just 1 earned run on 9 hits and 5 walks while posting a 2-1 record.
Cingrani was selected by the Reds in the third round of the 2011 first-year player draft out of Rice University.
"It's taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, and I'm really honored to receive this award," Cingrani said. "We are only through one month, there is a ton of work ahead of us and this month was the beginning of a great season for me, Billy, and the team."
Bakersfield Manager Ken Griffey Sr. said: "Working with these kids so far this year has been outstanding. They play hard, they play the right way and the results are definitely there. It's just a lot of fun to manage this group of guys, and Tony and Billy are both very deserving of the award."