MadFriars' Pitchers of the Month: June

Wade LeBlanc continues to prove he's too good for AAA. Two late round picks in 2008 continue to shine and the TinCaps may have found a new starter.

Tucson: LHP Wade LeBlanc 2-0 1.71 ERA

Although his two starts in San Diego didn't go the way he would have liked, LeBlanc was dominant in the Pacific Coast League. He averaged seven innings a start in three outings only giving up 15 hits in 21 innings pitched with a 20/8 K/BB ratio. In a very hitter-friendly league LeBlanc held batters to a .205 batting average. Its unclear whether he is or isn't in San Diego's future plans but with a 7-1 record he's ready somewhere in the big leagues.

Prospect Watch: RHP Will Inman continues to rack up strikeouts with 25 in 25.2 innings but caught a little too much of the plate at times with 27 hits and a 5.96 ERA. After off-season surgery the team is going to be carefull with his innings and he will spend the remainder of the season in the pen where many in the organization believe his future lies in the majors. LHP Aaron Poreda showed some promise after being DFAed earlier in the month with a 3.21 ERA and an improving 16/11 K/BB ratio in 14 innings.

Disappointments: RHP Scott Munter, one of the organization's better relief pitchers in 2010, had a rough month with a 11.85 ERA in 13.2 innings as the opposition hit .379 against him.

San Antonio: RHP Brad Brach 2-0 1.20 ERA

Brach has made his reputation on his ability to pinpoint his four-seam fastball on the outside corner and his last month in AA was no exception. In 15 innings pitched he struck out 20 batters while only walking one and giving up 9 hits. He was 7 for 8 in save opportunities as the Texas League could only manage a .167 average against him.

Brach's critics have continually characterized him as a talented college pitcher, old for every league that he has been in, who probably doesn't have enough stuff to succeed at higher levels. The past two years his velocity has picked up to the point where he consistently throws in the low to mid-90's and his slider and forkball are effective secondary pitches. Regardless of what anyone thinks or postulates in three and half years as a professional he has 313 strikeouts in 238 minor league innings with 103 career saves.

WIth his promotion to Tucson, the 42nd round draft pick who started out in the AZL is one step away.

Prospect Watch: After struggling in Tucson RHP Simon Castro had a nice bounce back month in San Antonio with a 2-0 record and 3.00 ERA in five starts. While Brach is a great story Ramona High School's RHP Nick Vincent continues to pitch well allowing only four earned runs in 16.2 innings with a 3-0 record. As with Brach, Vincent has very good control with a 14/3 K/BB ratio as batters could only manage a .161 average against him. LHP Juan Oramas was the best of the starters with a 2.17 ERA in six starts and a 3-0 record. RHP Jorge Reyes continues to pitch well with a 17/5 K/BB ratio only giving up 18 hits in 22 innings pitched.

Disappointments: RHP Casey Kelly struggled in six starts giving up 36 hits in 25 innings for 6.12 ERA.

Lake Elsinore: LHP Zach Herr 3-0 0.00 ERA

In the 2008 draft Brach was picked in the 42nd round while Herr was selected in the 37th out of Nebraska. In ten games he didn't allow a single earned run while striking out 22 against 3 walks and 8 hits in 17.1 IP. Herr who features a very good two-seamer was able to hold Cal League hitters to a .131 batting average. Once again the Padres seem to have a knack for building minor league bullpens.

Prospect Watch: Since San Diego moved Mikolas to the bullpen at the beginning of last year he has been someone to watch. At 6'5" and a solid 230 lbs. Mikolas was 6 for 6 in save opportunities giving up one earned run in 16.1 innings. He struck out 17 against only 5 walks for a 2-0 record and 0.55 ERA. LHP Jose DePaula was one of the work horses of the staff appearing seven games, five of them as a starter, to log in 27.2 innings which was good enough for a 4-0 record. RHP Jeremy McBryde seems to be thriving in his bullpen role with a 1.83 ERA in 19.2 innings pitched. Jeremy, who will strike people out and walk very few, has a 25/3 K/BB ratio.

Disappointments: LHP Mike Watt had a 11.57 ERA in four starts this month giving up 21 earned runs in 16.1 innings pitched.

Fort Wayne: RHP Matt Jackson 1-1 1.50 ERA

LSU's Matt Jackson was the TinCaps best starter since joining the rotation in early June. He struck out 19 against only 5 walks and 15 hits in 18 innings. He held Midwest League batters to a .214 batting average and in his last two starts of the month he allowed no earned runs.

Prospect Watch: Canada's Mark Hardy led the team in innings pitched with 28.1 with a 2.54 ERA. He was 2-3 with a 22/5 K/BB ratio. Big prospect RHP Adys Portillo showed some potential with 23 strikeouts in 15.2 innings against 9 walks. He still caught a little too much of the plate with a 5.74 ERA but there is talent there. LHP Andrew Werner had a 2.12 ERA in three starts and 17 innings pitched with a 15/3 K/BB ratio.

Disappointments: RHP Keyvius Sampson, who was the MadFriars pitcher of the month for April and May, struggled in June with 9.00 ERA in three starts. Sampson's bad start against Lake County where he gave up 7 earned runs in two innings was easily his worst of the year.

We will have rundowns of Eugene and the AZL next month when they play a full month.

Pitcher of the Month: Brad Brach

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