As a team, the Blaze have struggled offensively this season, ranking last in the 10-team California League with a collective .699 OPS.
But it certainly isn't to the fault of shortstop Davis Stoneburner, who is having a career year at the plate thus far.
After getting out to a slow start, the 25-year-old turned it on in May, batting .351 with 10 doubles, one triple, and five home runs in 97 at-bats.
Stoneburner entered the 2010 season with just 10 round-trippers in 210 career games, and he already has a career-high and team-leading seven in 46 contests this year. Overall, the former ninth round selection has 15 two-baggers to go with a .297 average and a strong .891 OPS.
Stoneburner logged some time in Bakersfield during his first full professional season in 2008, and he played 106 games at the High-A level last summer. The Virginia native appears to be mastering the league offensively, and he could be in line for a Double-A promotion when an infield spot in Frisco opens up.
Honorable Mention: Brandon Boggs (Oklahoma City), Matt Lawson (Frisco), Cristian Santana (Hickory)
Pitcher of the Month: Blake Beavan, RHP, Frisco
Blake Beavan held his own as a 20-year-old in the Texas League last season.
As a 21-year-old, he is dominating it.
The 6-foot-7, 250-pound prospect won all of his starts in May, going 6-0 with a 2.23 earned-run average over 40.1 innings. He surrendered just 31 hits [.208 BAA] while walking four and striking out 28.
Beavan had a six-start month with Frisco last year in which he struck out six total batters.
But the improvements go further than just statistics. Beavan is throwing harder this season. Last year, his average fastball was right around 90 mph. This season, he works consistently in the 91-93 mph range, and his excellent command has remained in-tact.
Beavan has also developed his slider into a more effective pitch, throwing it harder [in the low-80s instead of the upper-70s] with more bite. He also has a good feel for his changeup, which projects to become at least an average pitch at the big league level.
Beavan's solid stuff and pinpoint command have allowed him to get excellent results this season, and he leads the Texas League with eight victories in his first 11 starts. In 69.2 total innings, the righty has walked only nine batters while limiting the opposition to a .210 average.
Because of his strike-throwing nature, Beavan generally keeps his pitch counts low, letting him to work deep into games. He finished second in the organization with 163 innings pitched last season and has thrown at least six innings in each of his last five starts.
Honorable Mention: Pedro Strop (Oklahoma City), Cody Eppley (Bakersfield/Frisco), Robbie Erlin (Hickory), Robbie Ross (Hickory)
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