Padres Prospects: June Hitters of the Month

The Fort Wayne TinCaps belted a system leading 21 homers, the Lake Elsinore Storm led with 151 runs scored and 126 walks drawn and three teams had an on-base percentage over .360. Who would win the monthly awards at each level and take home the grand prize? John Conniff settles the riff-raff.

Portland Beavers
Kyle Blanks
.370/.478/.630
1B/OF

Blanks only played 16 games for the Beavers this month, but there was no one even close to matching his production in his truncated month. He had a 12/10 BB/K ratio, 11 RBI and seven extra-base hits in 16 games with very little protection around him.

Prospect Watch: Perennial Portland Beaver Craig Stansberry had a nice month playing mostly third and hitting .320/.404/.380. Shortstop Sean Kazmar rebounded after some tough months, hitting .311/.386/.361. Second baseman Matt Antonelli had a better OBP, .347, and slugging percentage, .407, but still hit .203 in June. He's still going to play everyday this summer but there is a real question about what his future will be in the organization with some of the players coming up.

Disappointments: Chad Huffman seemed to be turning the corner in May, but struggled in June, hitting .212/.302/.353.

San Antonio Missions
Lance Zawadzki
.381/.474/.567
SS/3b

Supposedly, hitting for quality hitters is easier as you go up and Zawadzki may be proving this aphorism correct with a blistering June. He led the team in hits, extra-base hits, on-base percentage, doubles and tied for the lead in home runs and RBI. As always, the glove is still a work in progress with five errors in 27 games, but the arm and quickness are there; its mostly about putting together the right footwork. Zawadzki will be the first one to tell you there is still a lot of work to do, but the potential is more than many Padres fans have seen in a very long time.

Prospect Watch: Any other month, Bryan Joynt would have been the player of the month, hitting .358/.400/.593 after joining the team in mid-May. Remember, Joynt is a right-handed hitter putting up these numbers in Nelson Wolff Stadium, a very tough place to hit, particularly for right-handers. Second baseman Eric Sogard was back to normal, hitting .314/.357/.371, although his power numbers are down from last year. Catcher Mitch Canham had a nice month, hitting .264/.341/.458, showing more power than in previous months.

Disappointments: After three months in Double-A, Cedric Hunter has yet to post a .700 OPS and this month was no different with a .283/.311/.345 line. Hunter had only four walks and five extra-base hits in 117 plate appearances; which means he is swinging at a lot of pitcher's pitches.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Danny Payne
.316/.464/.605
LF/CF/RF

Payne had two pretty tough first months before the former Georgia Tech star showed the form that made him a supplemental first-round draft pick in 2007. He led the team in runs, on-base percentage, and home runs with a 21/20 K/BB ratio, seeing time in all three outfield positions.

Prospect Watch: Brad Chalk continues to show that he is the consummate lead-off man, leading the team in hits and walks, hitting .293/.366/.465 and more importantly notching 12 extra-base hits to lead the team including his first home run of the year. Shortstop Beemer Weems continues to hit to go along with his sparkling glove at .310/.479/.444, his best month for power yet. With Logan Forsythe promoted to San Antonio, Weems is now leading the Cal League in on-base percentage. First baseman Felix Carrasco cut down on his seven errors in May to make only two and has continued his steady performance at the plate, hitting .313/.389/.425. Finally, third baseman Logan Forsythe continued to cut a path through the Cal League, hitting .314/.449/.514 before movin' on up.

Disappointments: Yefri Carvajal was hitting .203/.242/.254 before being sent down.

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Sawyer Carroll
.353/.457/.618
RF

After hitting .215 in April, Carroll then proceeded to pound the Midwest League culminating in a huge June. He led the team in home runs and slugging percentage, was second in hits and batting average while posting a 13/14 BB/K ratio.

Prospect Watch: The TinCaps saw two very big months by outfielder Blake Tekotte and third baseman James Darnell. Darnell had been doing it all year and this month was no exception, hitting .403/.500/.565 while Tekotte was at .348/.447/.609. He hit five of his nine home runs this month, raising his average from .213 on June 1 to .267 at the end of July 1. A major swing overhaul contributed greatly to Tekotte's turnaround. Dan Robertson continues to prove that last year was not a fluke, hitting .358/.400/.494 with Jaff Decker who came in with a relatively quiet .306/.433/.429. First baseman Matt Clark led the team in home runs and RBI coming in at .254/.329/.493. Second baseman Cole Figueroa continues to recover well from his knee injury, hitting .333/.429/.500 in 13 games. After the all-star break Carroll, Darnell and Clark were promoted.

Disappointments: Shortstop Drew Cumberland had his worst month of the season, hitting .190/.269/.259.

Player of the Month: Lance Zawadzki

Editor's Note: This is the third straight month of member of the San Antonio Missions has won the Player of the Month, April, Craig Cooper and May with Mike Baxter.

We will have full coverage of Eugene, Arizona and the DSL Padres once they play a full month.

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