Minor League Players of the Month: June

Lone Star Dugout announces Oklahoma-turned-Rangers first baseman Chris Davis and Clinton left-hander Derek Holland as its minor league players of the month for June 2008.

Player of the Month: Chris Davis, 1B, Oklahoma

First baseman Chris Davis wasn't in the minor leagues for all of June. In fact, he played just 24 June games before getting the call to the Majors, but he was still good enough to be named Player of the Month.

In 88 at-bats, Davis belted 17 extra-base hits, including nine home runs. That number is good for a slugging percentage of .761.

Davis' numbers were largely matched by Oklahoma outfielder Nelson Cruz, who batted .387 with nine home runs. The difference is that Davis' production came in less than a full month.

Since Davis' promotion to the Rangers, he has remained red-hot. The 22-year-old has displayed his plus-plus power to the world, as he's belted three home runs in six big league starts.

Over the last two seasons, Davis has been a mainstay in our Minor League Player of the Month feature, but it appears that he may never be on the list again. With the Rangers struggling to find consistent production at first base, Davis isn't likely to see much more – if any – time in the minor leagues.

June 2008 Oklahoma (AAA) .352 88 7 9 25 19 2 12 21 .422 .761

Honorable Mention: Nelson Cruz (Oklahoma), Ben Harrison (Frisco), Chad Tracy (Bakersfield), Tim Smith (Clinton), Ariel Ventura (DSL Rangers)

Pitcher of the Month: Derek Holland, LHP, Clinton

When Neftali Feliz was tearing his way through the Midwest League, Rangers fans began to wonder why he was still in a league that he had so obviously mastered.

It's time to say the same about Derek Holland.

The 21-year-old southpaw is a perfect 7-0 this season with a 2.57 ERA. He had his best month of the year in June, going 2-0 with a 1.63 ERA in five starts. In 27.2 innings, he surrendered just 17 hits while walking nine and striking out 27.

Perhaps the key to Holland's success – along with his ability to throw his slider and changeup for strikes – has been his increased fastball velocity. Holland routinely sits anywhere between 91-93 mph, topping out at 94 in his starts.

Holland has shown the ability to be a power pitcher this season and he could move through the system quickly once he gets out of Clinton.

Year Team W-L IP H BB SO ERA
June 2008 Clinton (A) 2-0 27.2 17 9 27 1.63

Honorable Mention: Dustin Nippert (Oklahoma), Mike Ballard (Frisco), Beau Jones (Bakersfield), Ezequiel Rijo (DSL Rangers)

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