John Nester, Tommy Collier Earn American Association July Honors

John Nester, Tommy Collier Earn American Association July HonorsIn American Association Daily, the Minor League Sports Report names their American Association Player and Pitcher of the Month for July, as Robert Pannier and Kevin Luckow select Wichita Wingnuts catcher John Nester as the Player of the Month and Kansas City T-Bones RHP Tommy Collier the Pitcher of the Month in the league.

Minor League Sports Report Names Tommy Collier, John Nester July Honorees

On Wednesday, the Minor League Sports Report and This Week in the Association named their Player and Pitcher of the Month for July in the American Association, selecting Kansas City T-Bones starter Tommy Collier as the top pitcher and Wichita Wingnuts catcher John Nester as the top player for July

Player of the Month – July: John Nester: Wichita Wingnuts

After hitting .367 in July with 5 homers and 24 RBI, Wichita Wingnuts catcher John Nester was named by the Minor League Sports Report as the Player of the Month for July in the American Association. Nester appeared in 27 games, scoring 19 runs, recording 36 hits, and totaling 13 extra base hits.

The Wichita Wingnuts were 18-9 in the contests that Nester appeared in during July. It started with a loss to the Sioux City Explorers on July 1, where the catcher was 0-4. Next up was a three-game set with the Lincoln Satdogs, where Nester finished 3-9 with 3-runs and 3-RBI.

While it was not a particularly auspicious start to the month, the two-hit performance in the second game of the series against Lincoln started a 12 game hitting streak which, ironically, came to an end against the Saltdogs 13 days later. During the streak, the catcher was 18-46 (.391), scoring 12 runs and driving in 13.

Following the 0-5 contest on July 17, John Nester had four straight 2-hit games, which came to an end following an 0-3 night against the Cleburne Railroaders. During July, the catcher had hits in 21 of the 27 games, including three hit performances on July 8, 27, and 29. He saw his average raise 45 points during the month.

Nester joins LHP Casey Harman as the second Wichita Wingnuts player to receive month end honors, as Harman was named the top pitcher in May. Two Wingnuts players have received Player of the Week honors (Fernando Perez and Tony Thomas) and Charlie Gillies was named the top pitcher in Week 5.

Pitcher of the Month – July: Tommy Collier, Kansas City T-Bones

After posting a microscopic 0.98 ERA in July, Kansas City T-Bones right-hander Tommy Collier was named by the Minor League Sports Report as the Pitcher of the Month in the American Association. Collier made five starts during the month, posting a 3-0 record and the T-Bones won all five starts he made.

His first appearance came on July 5 against the Texas AirHogs where the right-hander allowed 3-runs on 6-hits in 6-innings pitched. He earned a no-decision in the contest, but Kansas City would rally to win the game, 4-3.

A July 10 start against the Lincoln Saltdogs turned into a pitcher’s duel with Eric Wooten. Both pitchers allowed a run in the second, but Collier blanked the Saltdogs over his final five innings of work and the T-Bones scored a run in the seventh to give their starter the victory. He allowed 6-hits and the lone run.

His July 15 start was a real shot in the arm for the T-Bones, as Kansas City was in danger of being swept in a four-game series at home to the St. Paul Saints, but the righty allowed only two unearned runs on 4-hits in 8-innings to lead his team to a 5-2 victory. Collier struck out 10 in the contest, the second time he had reached that number this season.

On July 21, Tommy Collier had his best outing of the season, blanking the Texas AirHogs for 8.2-innings on tw0-his in a contest the T-Bones won in extra innings, 1-0. The outing was significant, as Airhogs starter Tyler Matzek had a no-hitter through seven, but Collier would not allow Texas to take advantage of Matzek’s outing.

His last start of July came on the 27th against the Chicago Dogs. Colliers did not allow a run in seven innings of work, allowing 6-hits while walking one. The walk was his first since a third inning free pass against Lincoln on July 10, a span of 26.0 innings without issuing a base on balls. He also struck out a single game high 11 in the contest.

The three victories extended Collier’s personal winning streak to five straight. What is most impressive about the right-hander’s July performance is that in his last four starts, Collier allowed one earned run, including none in his last 29.0 innings pitched, yielding 18-hits in 30.2-innings, while walking 2. He struck out 37 in that span and 42 in July overall.

Tommy Collier joins teammate Todd Cunningham, who was named the Player of the Month in June by the Minor League Sports Report. Zach Walters was named as the top player in Week 5.

Previous Honorees

Player of the Month

June – Todd Cunningham, Kansas City T-Bones
May – Chase Simpson, Lincoln Saltdogs

Pitcher of the Month

June- Jared Mortensen, Cleburne Railroaders
May – Casey Harman, Wichita Wingnuts

By Robert Pannier