Player of the Month: July

The bats – John Conniff's favorite. Figuring out who should be Player of the Month – his bane. This month was rather easy, however, as one prospect did significant damage all month. He chooses a winner at each San Diego Padres affiliate as well

Portland Beavers
Mike Baxter

Baxter was the backbone of an improved Beavers' attack, as he led the team in extra-base hits (12), tied for the lead in home runs with five and was second in walks with 13, as he continues to make a push for a September call-up. As noted before, the left-handed hitting Baxter can play multiple positions

Prospect Watch: Craig Stansberry set the record this month for most games in a Portland Beavers uniform and most doubles, breaking Jon Knott's record, as he easily put together his best month of the season, hitting .379/.486/.586. Wily Mo Pena came over from the Independent Leagues and put on a show, hitting .372/.429/.535 in 12 games. If he can repeat the same performance over August, he could have a chance to be in San Diego. Luis Durrango continued to do what he does best, get on base, .427 OBP and steal bases, going 5-for-6 in July. Minor league journeyman Kyle Phillips had a strong month at first base, hitting .365/.402/.473. Catcher Dusty Ryan had his best month with a .229/.415/.417 line; and yes that was his highest batting average. Former top prospect Josh Barfield saw time in left, second and third while hitting .299 but only had one walk in 68 plate appearances.

Disappointments: Lance Zawadzki hit only .225/301/.281 and was sent down to San Antonio with former Red Sox Nick Green added to the roster.

San Antonio Missions
Matt Clark

The 6‘5" product out of LSU had his best month yet in Double-A, leading the team in hits (32), extra-base hits (12) and RBI with 22. Clark was taken in the 12th-round of the 2008 draft and may be the best first baseman in the system – to put up these types of numbers in San Antonio is impressive.

Prospect Watch: Blake Tekotte showed some pop with 11 extra-base hits, five of them triples but needs to pick up his OBP of .309 for a leadoff man and a very poor 2-for-8 in stolen bases. Still a .267/.309/.457 line is pretty good for his first month in Nelson Wolff Stadium. Drew Cumberland was hitting .286 before he injured his kneecap going after a foul ball. Logan Forsythe continues to be an on-base machine at .371, but his batting average .250 and slugging percentage (.356) are down. Utility man Andy Parrino continues to produce wherever he is on the field at .244/.381/465 and may be the most valuable player on the squad.

Disappointments: After a decent June, Sawyer Carroll struggled in July at .207/.305/.239.

Lake Elsinore Storm
Allan Dykstra

Former 2008 first-round pick Allen Dykstra has had some tough months in the system but his numbers this month emphasize the strength of his game when he is on; patience and power. Twelve of his 19 hits were for extra bases and he had 21walks in 100 plate appearances. He was either first or second on the team in extra-base hits, home runs and walks.

Prospect Watch: Very few players make the jump from the Arizona League to the Cal League but former UCLA star Cody Decker continues to produce, leading the team in extra-base hits (14) and home runs (6) for a .273/.362/.488 line. Vince Belnome only hit .240 but was an on-base machine at .430. Although Jaff Decker doesn't have big overall numbers or a gaudy batting average, he's pretty much back to normal after missing time with a hamstring injury at .267/.395/.457 leading the team in runs scored with 23 and a 21/23 BB/K ratio. Robert Lara may be the best defensive backstop in the system and his bat is making a case for more playing time a .281/.417/.386.

Disappointments: After putting up some great numbers, Daniel Robertson had his first down month at .230/.331/.327.

Fort Wayne TinCaps
Jason Hagerty

Hagerty led the team in hits (37) and extra-base hits with 13 and had a 23/23 BB/K ratio. Defensively, he only made a single error behind the dish with a .990 fielding percentage and has thrown out 33% of runners attempting to steal. If the switch-hitting catcher can continue to step up his defensive game, he is someone to watch.

Prospect Watch: Nate Frieman continues his solid season in the Midwest League with a .269/.377/.462 line. Former top pick Danny Payne did what he does best get on base and hit the ball into the gaps with a .250/.380/.462 mark leading the team in RBI with 20 and extra-base hits (16). Defensively, he is not a third baseman, but 20-year-old Edison Rincon is a hitter at .280/.339/.430.

Disappointments: Everett Williams, the Padres second round pick in the 2009 draft, hit .193/.281/.263 striking out 19 times in 64 plate appearances. Additionally, having a reputation as a lackluster defender is not helping his case.

Eugene Emeralds
Wes Cunningham

The late round selection from Murray State flashed his all around game as he was among the Emeralds' leaders in hits and walks with a 11/15 BB/K ratio and was successful in 4-of-5 stolen base attempts. The Padres are splitting him between first base and left right now, but the versatile Cunningham could even be moved to second in the Instructs.

Prospect Watch: Jedd Gyorko was Eugene's best offensive player until he was promoted to Fort Wayne, hitting .309/.387/.409. Nineteen-year-old Rymer Liriano struggled in Fort Wayne after a big year in the AZL last year but was back on track hitting .315/.370/.457 and leading the team in hits with 29, extra-base hits at 11 and 13 stolen bases in 19 attempts. His only downside is the strikeouts are still there with 24 in 99 plate appearances. Luis Domoromo, the other member of Eugene's teenage outfield, put very good numbers for an 18-year-old at .302/.333/.415.

Disappointments: Houston Slemp struggled with a .186/.234/.209 line in 45 plate appearances.

Arizona Rookie League Padres
Jhonaldo Pozo

Everyone has always described Pozo as a physical specimen waiting to explode, and this month he began to show what he was capable of taking a more controlled approach at the plate. Pozo had 18 hits in 41 plate appearances – six of them for extra-bases. His plate discipline still needs work with 10 strikeouts and only one walk. The defense is still a little raw with five errors in 11 games...but its the Arizona League its more about what may be than about what is right now.

Prospect Watch: In the scorching heat of Peoria Arizona, former Cal shortstop B.J. Guinn put up some good numbers with a 351/.429/.432. Guinn is considered a plus defender, and if he can hit a little, he could go places. Matt Combs was signed out of the

Independent Leagues and showed some promise with a .286/.412/.500 line. Australian Corey Adamson in his first full year of professional ball had a good month, hitting .284/.355/.373.

Disappointments: Donovan Tate hit .244/.386/.422 while the numbers are not horrible you would expect more production from the third overall pick in last year's draft.

Dominican Summer League Padres
Jairo Gomez

Gomez is another interesting middle infielder that has been developed in the Dominican program. He notched nine extra-base hits, tied for the team lead with 13 RBI and scored 15 runs while posting nine walks. At 18, he has room to grow into a strong frame.

Prospect Watch: Yoan Alcantara had a down month hitting wise, batting .205, but the outfielder did lead the squad with 10 extra-base hits and scored 18 runs. He is someone to watch. Fabel Filpo began to turn things around near the end of the month but needs to improve his 1-to-17 walk-to-strikeout ratio. Alvaro Aristy managed to hit just .183 over the course of the month but did post a .388 on-base percentage. He still needs to get stronger to make it through the rigors of the season and must stop swinging for the fences and play a ground ball and line drive game.

Disappointments: Gabriel Quintana had a hot start but cooled considerably, hitting just .121 while committing 14 errors in 19 games.

MadFriars Player of the Month: Jason Hagerty

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