Padres Prospects: July Players of the Month

The Lake Elsinore Storm led the system in team batting average, the Eugene Emeralds and AZL Padres led in runs scored, the Portland Beavers led in the homer category, and the AZL Padres led again in on-base percentage while the Fort Wayne TinCaps drew the most walks. But who won individual honors. John Conniff puts in the detective work.

Portland Beavers
Val Pascucci

No, he's not a prospect, and he still has a ways to go before he qualifies for his AARP card, but the 30-year-old Pascucci had a nice month replacing Kyle Blanks as the teams everyday first baseman. He led the team in walks and OBP and tied for the lead in home runs.

Others of Note: Rancho Bernardo High's Danny Putnam hit .265/.351/.544, leading the team in home runs and RBI. Third baseman Seth Johnston made a big impression in his first seven games, hitting four home runs and two doubles.

Disappointments: This was supposed to be a big year for Chad Huffman but he has yet to show any consistency from month to month and July was no exception, as he finished at .237/.282/.423. That was still better than second baseman Matt Antonelli who hit .211/.286/.395. The first half of 2007, when the future seemed so bright for both of them at Lake Elsinore, seems a long time ago.

San Antonio Missions
Mitch Canham

The left-handed hitting Canham posted an OPS of over .800 three of his four months, but this was his best month behind the plate defensively with only a single error. It's a tribute to what type of athlete Canham is after a long season squatting in the South Texas sun that he can still put up these type of numbers. He led the team in on-base percentage and home runs, hitting more this month (4), than he had all season (2).

Prospect Watch: Second baseman Eric Sogard is like the energizer bunny, he just keeps on going. Sogard led the team in walks (29), was tied for walks (12) and was second in doubles with five.

Disappointments: Their overall numbers are still good, but shortstop Lance Zawadzki (.208/.288/.292), third baseman Logan Forsythe (.232/.308/.379) and first baseman Craig Cooper (.230/.330/.368) all have hit a bit of a wall in July. Center fielder Cedric Hunter continues to struggle in Double-A, hitting .217/.237/.340.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Sawyer Carroll

Sawyer Carroll is another one of the Padres picks from 2008 that is performing at a very high level, leading the team in doubles (12), triples (4), extra base hits (17) and RBI with 30.

Prospect Watch: Third baseman James Darnell started off slowly in High-A, he was at .184 on July 7, but caught on fire at the end of the month, leading the team with six home runs and hitting .298/.381/.548 . The defense is still a bit rough with seven errors in 27 games, but the bat is very real. Outfielder Brad Chalk's power went down this month, but he still led the team in hits with 30, a .400 OBP, a BB/K ratio of 12/4 while leading the team with eight stolen bases in eleven attempts. DH/1B Felix Carrasco continues on his solid offensive year hitting .287/.410/.402.

Disappointments: Danny Payne came back down to earth after a big June, hitting .232/.330/.317.

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Jaff Decker

Of the very talented Padres' 2008 draft class, Decker may be the best, leading the team in home runs, extra-base hits and was tied for third on the team in walks. Throw in the fact that he plays a very good outfield, has a plus arm and won't turn twenty until next February, and you have a prospect.

Prospect Watch: Shortstop Drew Cumberland came back from another injury and posted some solid numbers at .314/.419/.451 in limited action. Second baseman Cole Figueroa continues to shine at .290/.400/.387. Both Blake Tekotte, .313/.414/.464, and Dan Robertson, .313/.427/.382, are fully back from early season slumps, with Tekotte leading the team in hits, 35, followed by Robertson with 32.

Disappointments: The good news is that 2008 Padres' first baseman Allan Dykstra lead the team in walks with 24 and posted a very good BB/K ratio of 24/17. The rest of the news isn't so good with a .159/.357/.268 line.

Eugene Emeralds
Edinson Rincon

Rincon led the team in on-base and slugging percentage, extra-base hits, tied for second in walks and home runs and generally just belted the bleep out of the ball. The only kryptonite that the 18-year-old Dominican has is with his glove; nine errors in 29 games.

Prospect Watch: Second baseman Vincent Belnome, a late round 2009 draft pick out of West Virginia, had a nice month hitting .287/.390/.478 leading the team in home runs (5) and was second in RBI with 22. Outfielder Bo Davis hit .302/.474/.442 with a 13/12 BB/K ratio before going down with a hand injury. OF/C Griffin Benedict put up some nice numbers while bouncing between Eugene and Fort Wayne, catching and the outfield, hitting .321/.387/.429 in limited action with the Emeralds.

Disappointments: Shortstop Chris Tremblay struggled with the bat, .208/.345/.208, and with the glove, five errors in 21 games.

AZL Padres
Cody Decker

Former UCLA Bruin, Decker, is making a strong push to get out of the Arizona heat with some ridiculous power numbers: 17 extra-base hits in 25 games, nine of which were over the fence. Throw in that he led the team in hits, extra-base hits, runs, on-base and slugging percentage and one has to wonder when the organization will decide to send the 22-year-old north.

Prospect Watch: Infielder Jonathan Galvez has attracted a lot of attention with his bat, hitting .299/.410/.517 but the lanky infielder's defense is still a work in progress with seven errors in 24 games. Outfielder Rymer Liriano checked in at .345/.406/.619 and in any other month would have been the player of the month with 10 extra base hits, six of them for home runs. Third baseman Jonathan Alia hit .327/.383/.541 and catcher Kurt Wideman hit .341/.386/.463.

Disappointments: Catcher Jhonaldo Pozo struggled to get regular playing time, hitting .189/.184/.243 not drawing a single walk in 37 plate appearances.

DSL Padres
Adan Velazquez

Velazquez took the DSL by Storm during the month of July. Playing second base and a little bit of third, the Mexico native went 27-for-66 with 11 extra base hits in 17 games. He scored 17 runs, notched 19 RBI and also stole four bases in as many attempts. He was hitting .192 entering the month and had just missed two weeks with a minor injury. On August 1, Velazquez had upped his average to .302.

Prospect Watch: Outfielder Yair Lopez hit .347 during the month and scored 22 runs with a .426 on-base percentage. He was second on the team during the month with seven extra base hits. Ariel Familia is just 17 but managed to hit .294 during July with six extra base hits. Carlos Garcia, 20, hit .260 and has knocked in 36 runs this season through 48 games.

Disappointments: Alvaro Aristy was suspended for 50 games and will the rest of this season and the beginning of next. Luis Domoromo hit just .219 during the month with two extra base hits and just three RBI. Felix Cabrera and Jairo Gomez combined to make 27 errors during the month.

Player of the Month: Mitch Canham

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