Padres Prospects: June Pitchers of the Month

The Fort Wayne TinCaps finished June with an impressive 18-7 record and system leading 2.97 ERA. The Lake Elsinore Storm led in strikeouts with 235. San Antonio induced the most double play grounders with 23. But who took home individual honors. John Conniff is on the case.

Portland Beavers
Josh Banks
3-0, 3.15 ERA

Banks showed this month why he earned a shot on the carousel that is the Padres major league rotation with a solid month in the PCL. In three starts, he averaged nearly seven innings an outing and allowed only 14 hits in 20 innings pitched. The K/BB ratio, 20/11 isn't great but holding opposing batters to a .194 average is.

Prospect Watch: Not a great month in the Rose City, but with Tim Stauffer there is a blast from the past. He put up some good numbers in limited time, with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings against only one walk and seven hits in two starts. Brian Lawrence, who may soon return to San Diego, was 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA and really had two good starts with one bad outing. Closer Edwin Moreno was 6-for-6 in save opportunities with eight strikeouts in 10 innings pitched against only four walks.

Disappointments: Will Inman has the stuff to pitch in the major leagues and is eventually going to show, just not now. Batters hit .328 against him, as he posted an 0-3 record with an 8.24 ERA.

San Antonio Missions
Mat Latos
3-1, 2.33 ERA

As the calls grow louder for his call up, Mat Latos continues to impress in the Texas League. He struck out 27 batters in 27 innings against only four walks and seven earned runs in five starts. In his only loss in Corpus Christi, he allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings while striking out 12 against five hits and no walks. The Padres are being very careful in the amount of innings he will throw. Last year, he only threw 56 innings in an injury filled campaign last year and at the end of June he was at 63.1 with two more months of the minor league season left. As Grady Fuson said in an interview with MadFriars.com, the team does not want to double his innings from the previous year and believes they will be better able to monitor it and help his development from San Antonio. Still, he may be able to have a few starts in San Diego without overtaxing his arm if all goes according to plan.

Prospect Watch: Nathan Culp is not the type of pitcher that is going to light up a radar gun or blow anyone away with his K/BB ratios, this month 6/3 in 32 IP, but he also only allowed 10 earned runs in five starts in route to a 3-0 record with a 2.81 ERA. Relief pitcher Mike DeMark had two bad outings where he allowed all five of his earned runs for the month which marred an otherwise, and typical, month, for the relief pitcher of holding the opposition scoreless. He still finished up with striking out 14 in 15 innings pitched while holding the opposition to a .237 average. Closer Evan Scribner was 5-for-6 in save opportunities with a 1-0 record and a 1.38 ERA.

Disappointments: Stephen Faris was 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA as batters hit .310 against him. Those are far from horrible numbers, but Faris is also in his second go-around in the Texas League and has the talent and ability to do more.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Cory Luebke
3-0, 1.24 ERA

After struggling last year in the Cal League, Luebke put an emphatic stamp on his time in Lake Elsinore by dominating in one of the better hitter's leagues in baseball. He struck out 28 batters in 29 innings pitched against only four walks and 17 hits. He averaged a little over seven innings a start and batters managed to hit only .172 against him before being promoted at the end of the month.

Prospect Watch: Jeremy Hefner seems to have overcome his early struggles with a 3-0 record and 2.13 ERA; striking out 29 batters in 25.1 innings against only seven walks and 19 hits. The Padres have attempted to remake Hefner as a pitcher, substituting his slider for a curve and working to improve his fastball command. Corey Kluber struck out a team high 48 batters in 33 innings but also caught a little too much of the plate, leading the team in home runs and earned runs allowed. Closer Bryan Oland continues to show why he is one of the organization's best closers, going 3-0 and 5-for-6 in save opportunities for the month as opposing batters were held to a .189 average against him in 10.2 innings pitched.

Disappointments: Wynn Pelzer 1-2 5.74 ERA and Jeremy McBryde 0-2 8.18 ERA have both had better months, but McBryde gets a mulligan for having to pitch in a wind tunnel that is otherwise knows as High Desert.

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Anthony Bass
4-0, 0.62 ERA

The 2008 draft appears to be the one that keeps on giving with Forsythe, Decker and Darnell and now Bass. The former Wayne State hurler put together some impressive numbers with his innings pitched/hits was 29/16 and his K/BB ratio was 23/4 as he allowed only two earned runs in five starts. His best outing was at the end of the month where he threw a seven inning one-hit shutout against South Bend. The right-hander throws in the low-90s with a good curve and change.

Prospect Watch: Simon Castro is only 21, but he is really starting to put it together in the MWL this year, this month going 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA. The 6-foot-5 Dominican with the big fastball led the TinCaps with 27 strikeouts against only four walks in five starts to go along with a low to mid-90s fastball. Nick Schmidt went 2-0 in four starts with a 0.41 ERA as he blew away the competition with 24 Ks in 22.1 innings pitched against only six walks, as batters hit .143 against him before being promoted. He seems to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Closer Brad Brach was 3-for-3 in save opportunities with a 2.70 ERA. The tall right-hander struck out 12 in 10 innings pitched against only two walks.

Disappointments: Michael Watt was the centerpiece of the Greg Maddux trade late last year and the left-hander has struggled since the first month. In June, he was 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA allowing 30 hits in 24.1 innings.

Pitcher of the Month: Anthony Bass

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

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