Rangers bestow honors on two current, former Pelicans

The Texas Rangers announced today the club’s minor league award winners for June, with two current and two former Pelicans making the list.

Pelicans right-hander Kyle Hendricks was named Pitcher of the Month and third baseman Christian Villanueva was named Defender of the Month. Former Pelican third baseman Mike Olt was named Player of the Month,  and right-hander Ryan Rodebaugh was named Reliever of the Month. Both spent last season in Class Advanced A Myrtle Beach.

Hendricks, 22, was 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA (7 ER/35.1 IP) and 27 strikeouts against 4 walks, while holding opposing Carolina League batters to a .178 average (21-118) over 5 games/starts with High-A Myrtle Beach.  The California native recorded the lowest ERA and the 2nd-lowest opponent average among all Carolina League pitchers during the month. The 6-foot-3 right-hander completed at least 6.0 innings in each of his 5 starts during the month, including the first 9.0-inning complete game of his career on June 27 at Lynchburg.

Overall, Hendricks has gone 4-8 with a 2.81 ERA (37 ER/118.2 IP) and 98 strikeouts against 11 walks in 18 games/starts this season. He leads the Carolina League in innings and ranks among the leaders in complete games (T1st, 2), strikeouts (T3rd), ERA (4th), and WHIP (4th, 1.04). Hendricks was selected in the 8th round of the 2011 June draft and signed by Jay Heafner.

Villanueva, 21, started 25 games at third base for High-A Myrtle Beach in June, committing just 2 errors. The Mexico native has the 2nd-most total chances (211) of any third baseman in the Carolina League and has tallied the most putouts (53). He has also been involved in more double plays than any other third baseman on the circuit.

In addition to the defense, Villanueva also contributed 4 home runs and 18 RBI during June. Overall at the plate, Villanueva is batting .272 (88-324) with 18 doubles, a triple, 8 home runs, 46 RBI, and 8 stolen bases in 86 games with the Pelicans this season. Villanueva was signed as a non-drafted free agent on August 17, 2008 by Bill McLaughlin and Mike Daly.

Olt, 23, batted .325 (26-80) with 17 runs, 15 walks, 3 doubles, 10 home runs, and 24 RBI over 22 games with Double-A Frisco in the month of June to claim his 2nd straight Player of the Month award. The Connecticut product led all Double-A players with 10 home runs and a 1.175 OPS during the month, while finishing tied for the 3rd-most RBI.

Olt began June with multiple home runs in each of his first 3 games and totaled 7 long balls through his first 5 contests. Overall, Olt leads the Texas League in home runs (22) and OPS (.977), while ranking among the leaders in RBI (4th, 63) and walks (T6th, 51). Olt was selected in the supplemental round (49th overall) of the 2010 June draft and signed by Jay Heafner.

Rodebaugh, 23, went 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA (1 ER/13.0 IP) and one save over 8 relief appearances for Double-A Frisco in June. The right-hander compiled 18 strikeouts against 7 walks, while holding opposing batters to a .159 (7-44) average. Overall, Rodebaugh has gone 2-3 with a 2.36 ERA (7 ER/26.2 IP), 2 saves, and 33 strikeouts over 21 games.

The monthly award is the 3rd of Rodebaugh’s career, as he also won earned Reliever of the Month honors twice in 2011. Rodebaugh was selected in the 15th round of the 2010 June draft and signed by Ryan Coe.

Photo courtesy of MB Pelicans

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