The last regular season games on the minor league calendar were played on September 3rd. Now that we’re fully into the playoff phase of the schedule, Standout Sprouts will be slipping into a nice deep slumber until next spring when the 2013 MiLB season gets underway. But before we close the books completely, I thought it would be appropriate to hand out some final accolades and highlight the best hitting and pitching days of each month of the season as well as select the best single day performances from a hitter and pitcher for the season as a whole.
Today we’re checking out the best performances from the month of July.
Best Hitting Performance of the Month:
COL - Jared Simon, Asheville (A): 5-5, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R [7/24]
The Rockies 6th round pick in the 2010 draft, Simon’s slash stats have shown steady progress in each of his first three seasons. This year with Asheville saw him hit 0.266/.342/.429 and he also started to show off his above average power with 23 2B and 14 HR. In addition to the increase in his slash stats he turned in the best K% of his young career (24.2%) but still has a way to go in that regard. While his strike outs were down, Simon’s walk rate was also down and dropped from 10.9% in 2011 to 7.3% in 2012.
Overall April was his best month of the season with a 0.274/.376/.479 line in 20 games, but it was in July that he had his single month best SLG (0.500). Simon’s performance on July 24th stood out from his peers for the month, and it also stood out from the rest of his games on the year. His 5-5 day was the only game of the year he had more than 3 hits and was only one of two games where he had multiple extra-base hits (the other was a 2-5 game with a 2B and HR on 7/29).
After two lackluster seasons with Tri-City (A-) his improvement in Asheville can certainly be taken as a positive, but he still has a ways to go before he can be viewed as a legitimate prospect.
Best Pitching Performance of the Month:
ATL – Cody Martin, Lynchburg (A+): 9.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 14 SO [7/13]
It’s fascinating that Martin spent three of his fours years at Gonzaga pitching out of the bullpen. The one season he was used as a starter – his junior year – he got knocked around with an bloated 6.55 ERA. After being drafted by the Braves in the 7th round last year he was used as a reliever and was absolutely fantastic with Danville and Rome in that role.
Despite an obviously bright future as a reliever – and possibly as a closer at the major league level – the Braves had him open up in Lynchburg’s rotation and from there he started in 19 of his 22 appearances on the season. The move on the surface made perfect sense given his arsenal of four pitches that all rate as at least average and his ability to fill up the zone with each of them.
Martin closed the season on the disabled list and didn’t pitch after August 4th due to a stress fracture in his foot, but otherwise his 2012 season was a unmitigated success. While he was strong for the entire season – up until getting hurt – he was at his best during the month of July finishing with a 2.27 ERA, 0.84 WHIP and 47-7 SO-to-BB in 35.2 innings pitched. Not only did he earn the honor of having the best single start of the month, he also claimed one of the five “honorable mention” spots with his outing on July 29th and his start on July 7th also merited strong consideration.
With his control, stuff and feel for pitching Martin is without question one to watch heading into 2013.
Honorable Mentions at the Plate:
KC – Cameron Gallagher, Burlington (Rk): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB [7/4]
LAA – Zachary Borenstein, Cedar Rapids (A): 4-5, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R [7/6]
PIT – Gregory Polanco, West Virginia (A): 5-5, 3 2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R, BB [7/1]
SEA - Steven Proscia, High Desert (A+): 3-4, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, BB [7/14]
STL – Matt Williams, Quad Cities (A): 4-5, 2 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 4 R [7/12]
Honorable Mentions on the Mound:
ATL – RHP Cody Martin, Lynchburg (A+): 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO [7/29]
LAA – LHP Nick Maronde, Inland Empire (A+): 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 SO [7/17]
MIA – LHP Charlie Lowell, Greensboro (A): 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO [7/21]
MIA – LHP Charlie Lowell, Greensboro (A): 7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 14 SO [7/16]
TOR – RHP Jesse Hernandez, Dunedin (A+): 8.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO [7/20]
TOR – RHP Roberto Osuna, Vancouver (Rk): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 13 SO [7/28]