TigsTown's June Pitchers of the Month

We wrap up the month of June honoring those that shined on the mound and earned player of the month honors.

Toledo – Duane Below (LHP)

Tiger fans have begun clamoring for Below to be the next in line for an opportunity at the back of the Detroit rotation, and his June performance is at least part of the reason why. Below started five times for Toledo in June, going at least six innings in every start, and totaling 32 innings for the month. He compiled a 3.09 ERA and 3-1 record. Those numbers were backed up by only 28 hits allowed, ten walks, and 23 strikeouts. While he may not project as a big league star, his solid June performance in Toledo could earn him his first big league call-up.

Runner-Up: Lester Oliveros (RHP)

Erie – Chance Ruffin (RHP)

Now in Toledo with Below, Ruffin was absolutely electric for Erie in June, and according to several sources was on the verge of his big league debut when Lester Oliveros got the call to Detroit instead. In 12 games last month Ruffin didn't allow a single run and only allowed five hits and four walks in 13 2/3 innings of work. He fanned 17 hitters and held opposing hitters to a paltry .111 batting average en route to a 1-0 record and five saves in five opportunities.

Runner-Up: Austin Wood (LHP)

Lakeland – Drew Smyly (LHP)

Smyly had some in the organization worried when he had elbow trouble earlier this year, but has returned and is absolutely tearing through the Florida State League and could push for a promotion in the second half. He started five times last month, picking up four wins and a no decision, going at least six innings in ever start. In 32 2/3 innings, he allowed only 22 hits and eight walks that helped him post a 1.93 ERA while fanning 31 hitters along the way. A potential #3 starter, Smyly could move quickly through the remaining levels of the system.

Runner-Up: Victor Larez (RHP)

West Michigan – Kevin Eichhorn (RHP)

Eichhorn has been solid for West Michigan all season long after coming over from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the off-season, but his June performance was nothing short of spectacular. A 2-0 mark in three starts last month, Eichhorn finished the month with a 1.83 ERA and just 16 hits allowed in 19 2/3 innings. He walked just four and struck out 14 while not allowing a home run ball.

Runner-Up: Bruce Rondon (RHP)

DSL Tigers – Luis Hidalgo (RHP)

At just 20-years old, Hidalgo is still refining his craft in the DSL, but he has a curveball that one member of the organization called a "weapon." That curveball and his strike throwing ability allowed him to post a 1.61 ERA in six games (four starts) in June. His outings spanned 28 innings where he allowed just 24 hits and eight walks, while whiffing 37 hitters and holding opponents to just a .226 batting average.

Runner-Up: Yoel Espinol (RHP)

VSL Tigers – Carlos Alvarado (RHP)

Alvarado has moved between the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues the last couple of years and if he could get his visa issues squared away, could make his Stateside debut at some point. Working primarily as a starter in the VSL this summer, Alvarado worked seven games (four starts) in June and yielded 19 hits in 20 innings with five walks and an impressive 25 strikeouts. He finished the month with only a 1-2 record thanks to some spotty offense and defense behind him, but he had a 1.80 ERA to show for his efforts.

Runner-Up: Jairo Sanchez (RHP)


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