Gartrell Named May Topps IL Player of the Month

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

Gwinnett Braves outfielder Stefan Gartrell was named the May Topps Player of the Month for the International League in an announcement released by Minor League Baseball on Thursday, June 21.

The 28 year-old hit .333 (35-for-105) with six doubles, a league-high 10 home runs and 23 RBIs in 30 games in May for the G-Braves. He ranked second in the circuit in slugging percentage (.676), OPS (1.102), extra-base hits (16), runs (23) and RBIs (23). The San Francisco, CA native was named the IL’s Batter of the Week for the week ending May 6 after hitting .400 (8-for-20) with three home runs and eight RBIs in five games.

“The funniest part is that I was probably the worst hitter in the league the first month (laughing). Then the first week of the second month, they’re like, ‘you’re the best player for the first week of May.’ Really? It took me a whole month? But that is baseball,” said Gartrell. “I just needed April to be over with. I would like to think I was just in a slump, but then things clicked. I started shortening up my swing. I guess it took me until May to figure that out.”

Acquired by the Atlanta Braves from the Chicago White Sox on April 16, 2011, Gartrell has played each of the last two seasons in Gwinnett. Last year, he hit .260 with a team-high 25 home runs and 91 RBIs, earning both mid-season and post-season International League All-Star awards. His 94 total RBIs between Charlotte and Gwinnett were the most in the IL, while his 26 total home runs ranked second in the league. In 69 games with the G-Braves this season, Gartrell is hitting .242 (59-for-244) with 11 home runs and 31 RBIs.

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

“The reason I am here is because I have always been a very aggressive hitter, to a point to where it’s overaggressive. If I become passive, or take too many pitches then there goes my aggressive swing which goes into my power. I just have to go back to my roots. Shorten up, make good contact and see what happens,” Gartrell said.

Stefan Gartrell and the rest of the Gwinnett Braves begin an eight-game road trip on Friday night as they open a four-game series at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY. First pitch against the Syracuse Chiefs is scheduled for 7:00 PM. The G-Braves are expected to start left-hander Yohan Flande (3-5, 3.95), while the Chiefs will counter with right-hander Tanner Roark (3-9, 5.74). The game will be broadcast on WDUN 550 AM and 102.9 FM in Gainesville, GA with Tony Schiavone calling the play-by-play. Tickets for all Gwinnett Braves home games are on sale now at the Coolray Field Box Office. Call (678) 277-0340 or visit for more information.

By: Tony Piraro 

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