Padres Prospects: July Pitchers of the Month

A 23-6 mark with a 2.39 ERA for the Fort Wayne TinCaps is tough to beat. They also held the opposition to a ridiculous .209 average. The only category they didn't win outright was strikeouts, with the Lake Elsinore Storm staff tying them with 252 K's. Was there a challenger in the individual ranks? John Conniff sorts it all out.

Portland Beavers
Wade LeBlanc
1-3, 3.76 ERA
SP

LeBlanc's stats are not spectacular but his peripheral numbers indicate he pitched better than his won-loss record. In 26.1 innings he allowed 21 hits and 11 earned runs with an 18/7 K/BB ratio. LeBlanc has little left to prove in the minors and has his supporters within the organization, but he's also had his chances with the big club. How many more will the Padres give him?

Others of Note: Tim Stauffer pitched well in two starts in Portland, and even better with San Diego, holding batters to a .200 average and allowing only nine hits in 13 innings.

Disappointments: The Padres believe Will Inman has the stuff to be an effective major league starter, but he continued to struggle in Triple-A with a 5.49 ERA before being sent back down to San Antonio. In 19.2 innings he gave up 27 hits, five of them for home runs with a paltry 11/9 K/BB ratio.

San Antonio Missions
Cesar Carrillo
4-0, 3.32 ERA
SP

Carrillo had his best month since recovering from Tommy John surgery, only allowing eight earned runs in five starts in the pitcher's paradise that is Nelson Wolff Stadium. He averaged seven innings a start, giving up only 27 hits. The K/BB ratio is not spectacular at 18/9, but holding Texas League batters to a .220 average, among other numbers, are all positive.

Prospect Watch: Ernesto Frieri continues to get it done, although its not always pretty, with a 1-2 record and 2.96 ERA. In 27.1 innings he allowed 24 hits, but he is going to have to improve his K/BB ratio of 20/12. Corey Kluber has pitched well since being promoted with a 1-0 record and 1.62 ERA in three starts, although 11 walks in 16.2 innings against only 12 strikeouts is a ratio he would like to improve.

Disappointments: Closer Evan Scribner had a tough month, blowing 5-of-10 save opportunities for a 2-2 record and 4.86 ERA. He gave up 20 hits in 16.1 innings pitched, as batters hit .294 against him.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Wynn Pelzer
2-2, 2.62 ERA
SP

Pelzer had 37 strikeouts against only 13 walks in six starts, as batters were only able to hit .226 against him. In 34.1 innings pitched he allowed 28 hits, but only one of them left the yard, which is quite a feat considering some of the CAL League parks he had to throw in. He allowed slightly over two runs per start, which gave his team an opportunity to win every time he toed the rubber.

Prospect Watch: Another strong month for Jeremy Hefner, as he held batters in the hitter friendly Cal League to a .230 batting average en route to a 3-1 record with a 3.51 ERA. Although Aaron Breit went 0-3, there are indicators that the one time Kansas fireballer may be on his way back up. He led the team in strikeouts with 44 in 28.2 innings against only 13 walks and 27 hits. What hurt him was the long ball, giving up a team high four, but still there is reason for optimism. Closer Bryan Oland had an ugly ERA of 7.37, but still was able to complete the most important statistic a closer cares about, 4-of-5 in save opportunities.

Disappointments: First-round pick Nick Schmidt had a tough month with a 2-3 record and 5.73 ERA. Allowing 29 hits in 28 innings wasn't good, but having an inverse K/BB ratio of 16/18 is worse.

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Stiven Osuna
5-0, 1.39 ERA
SP

Osuna won five out of his six starts and only gave up 18 hits in 32.1 innings pitched with a K/BB ratio of 27/13. He only allowed five earned runs, which is less than a run per start, as batters could only manage a .165 batting average against him. Since returning from a temporary demotion to the bullpen, he has been as good as anyone in the organization.

Prospect Watch: In any other month, closer Brad Brach would be the pitcher of the month. He was 10-for-10 in save opportunities with a 24/2 K/BB ratio in 15 innings pitched. So out of a possible 45 outs, Brach got 24 of them by himself averaging nearly two strikeouts per inning, as batters hit .137 against him, the best on the staff. Starter Simon Castro continues to improve by leaps and bounds, going 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA and a team leading 44 strikeouts against six walks in 30.1 innings. Also, he only allowed nine earned runs in six starts as batters could manage only a .187 batting average against him. Starting pitcher Michael Watt, the main component of last years Greg Maddux trade from the Dodgers, had his best month going 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA. He allowed 19 hits in 28.2 innings pitched with a 20/6 K/BB ratio. Erik Davis also had a nice month with a 4-2 record and 3.15 ERA.

Disappointments: None. The staff was 23-6 with a 2.39 ERA as a group. They struck out 263 batters in 256 innings pitched and only gave up 191 hits and 76 walks.

Eugene Emeralds
Nick Greenwood
3-0, 2.00 ERA
SP

Greenwood was a 14th-round draft pick in the 2009 draft out of Rhode Island that so far has been the team's best pitcher with a 30/8 K/BB ratio as NWL batters hit .209 against him. The lefty is the classic polished college pitcher that usually finds success at this level thanks to good command to go along with a solid changeup and curveball.

Prospect Watch: Big Chris Fetter pitched well before being promoted to Fort Wayne with a 2.30 ERA and a 15/3 K/BB ratio in 15.1 innings pitched. Matt Jackson struck out 28 in 29.1 innings pitched against only three walks with a 3.41 ERA and 2-2 record. SDSU's Jonathan Berger was 1-0 with a 3.79 ERA and a 15/2 K/BB ratio after being promoted from the AZL.

Disappointments: Miles Mikolas was a relatively high draft pick in the seventh-round but struggled with a 0-5 record and 8.03 ERA. Mikolas allowed 46 hits in 24.2 innings, as batters hit .390 against him.

AZL Padres
Jon Berger
1-0, 3.00 ERA
SP

Berger pitched well enough to achieve what is the goal of everyone that is with the team in Peoria, to get out of the desert as quick as possible. In 18 innings, he walked only one batter against 22 strikeouts and 12 hits. Berger is 22, so he needs to move out of the lower minors as quick as possible to have a chance.

Prospect Watch: Deiber Sanchez was 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and a 26/5 K/BB ratio and only allowed 18 hits in 22 innings pitched. Phenom Adys Portillo had a 23 strikeouts in 26.1 innings, but also allowed 33 hits and 15 walks for an 0-4 record and 5.47 ERA. There is some promise with him, but its also important to remember he is the equivalent of a high school junior.

Disappointments: Australian John Hussey was 1-2 with a 12.43 ERA coming back from injury. He gave up 36 hits in 21 innings pitched compounded by a 18/18 K/BB ratio. This is Hussey's fourth year in the organization, so not only were better numbers expected, but at a much higher level as well.

DSL Padres
Ulises Gutierrez
1-0, 0.00 ERA
RP

In six relief appearances, the left-hander out of Mexico stymied the opposition, not yielding an earned run over 7.1 innings and holding the opposition to a .214 average against. He also stranded seven of the 10 runners he inherited during the month for a pitching staff that had 10 members with an ERA over 5.00.

Prospect Watch: Freddys Henrique suffered a team high three homers and posted a 5.95 ERA for the month. Esteban Javier had one bad outing to inflate his ERA to 5.40 but held the opposition to a .191 average. Juan Herrera posted a 6.46 ERA with 13 walks in 15.1 innings after notching a 2.25 ERA during June with more innings pitched and fewer walks.

Disappointments: Rudi Andujar made it through just two innings, giving up 11 runs over that span. Marlon Claveria surrendered 16 runs on 22 hits and 10 walks in 12.1 innings. Carlos Pimentel posted a 9.69 ERA, walking 17 in 13 frames.

<.center>Pitcher of the Month: Stiven Osuna

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