Minor League Players of the Week - July 26

InsideThePark.com's Players of the Week often stand out the most during that given week. At times, the players win the honor on the strength of a great week that may or may not have helped his team to a successful week in the win column. Other times hey were simply dominant they chose themselves for the award. This is the case with this week's exclusive Insidethepark.com Player of the Week.

Position Player of the Week: 3B Justin Leone, San Antonio Missions (AA)

Leone absolutely gave InsideThePark.com no choice in the matter.

Like a dominant ace on the mound, the right-handed slugger fed his hunger for hits and run production by eating the Texas League alive this week going 13-26 (.500) with five homeruns, two triples, seven runs scored, and a ridiculous 13 RBI.

The 26-year-old raised his average to .301 on the year and now leads the league in slugging percentage (.570), doubles (31), on-base percentage (.405), walks (60), runs (80) and is third in homeruns (17), and RBI (77).

Other notables include the performances of Everett OF Chris Colton and San Antonio SS Jose Lopez.

Lopez hit just .260 (7-27), but smacked three homeruns to go with six RBI and seven runs scored in seven games played.

The teenage prospect is hitting .268 with 10 homeruns, 28 doubles and 53 RBI. Lopez also continues to impress scouts with his knack for making contact, tallying just 39 punch-outs in 449 plate appearances.

The 19-year-old occasionally displays his blazing speed as shown with his 13 steals in 18 attempts.

Colton kept pace in the hit department with Leone collecting 13 hits in 26 at-bats. The 20-year-old outfielder swatted two homeruns to go with six RBI, six runs scored, and three stolen bases.

Colton is now hitting .280 with five homeruns, 20 RBI, and 11 steals in 38 games on the year.

The pitchers who have received recognition as InsideThepark.com's Pitcher of the Week have usually either flashed the one unbelievably dominant start or combined two solid starts into a great week. Furthermore, the pitcher's award has been given more often to a top prospect week in and week out than the hitter's award. This week's winner demonstrated the dominant start version and is recently showcasing his top prospect status after his recent promotion and recovery from injury.

Pitcher of the Week: RHP Cha Seung Baek, San Antonio Missions (AA)

Baek went seven and 1/3 scoreless innings allowing two measly hits while walking one and striking out nine.

Baek has returned from injury and promptly rolled through every step of rehab and found himself at Double-A San Antonio, where he belongs.

The 23-year-old hurler uses his 90-92 MPH fastball to set up his plus slider and developing change-up and splitter. His command of late has been sound and is allowing him to pick at hitters more with his off-speed stuff which is showing up in the strikeouts.

The Korean-born Baek is now 7-1 with a 3.13 ERA on the season in 69 innings of work. The 65/11 strikeout-to-walk ratio is perhaps his most telling statistic.

Other notables include Baek's former Inland Empire (Advanced-A) teammates Glenn Bott and Ryan Ketchner. The 66ers pair ate up 20.1 innings this week and did it with flair.

Bott went 14 innings allowing just one earned run on eight hits while walking three and striking out nine. The 21-year-old left-hander is now 5-5 on the year with a 3.11 ERA, 105 strikeouts, and 27 walks in 104.1 innings.

Ketchner, 21, went 6.2 scoreless innings giving up just four hits and a walk while striking out 10. The ace of the Inland staff is 11-4 with a 3.31 ERA, 118 strikeouts, and 22 walks in 111.1 innings pitched.

Ketchner, Baek, and Bott can be added to the pitching prospect list right behind the likes of Clint Nageotte, Travis Blackley, and Rett Johnson.

Jason resides in North Tacoma, Wa. where his father is his best friend, his mother has a better fastball than he does, and his nephew is the only person better suited for stardom. Feedback is always welcome at JasonAChurchill@cs.com.


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