TigsTown's July Pitchers of the Month

Plenty of big names shined in the month of July on the mound, however, a few pitchers flying under the radar stepped up as well. Who took home the hardware for top pitcher for each team in July?

Toledo – Fu-Te Ni (LHP)

It's been a while since Tiger fans saw Fu-Te Ni pitching in Detroit, but his time may be coming again at some point this year, particularly if he keeps up performances like the one he put together across six July outings; including five starts. In 30 1/3 innings, Ni allowed just 29 hits and nine walks while striking out 25 batters. He finished the month with a 2-1 record and 1.78 ERA, and while he may not project as a starter back in the big leagues, performances like this could earn him another look in the bullpen.

Runner-Up – Adam Wilk (LHP)

Erie – Jay Voss (LHP)

The return brought back for left-hander Nate Robertson, Voss was mired in a year-long slump in 2010, but he has busted out and revived his prospect stock this season. After starting the year in Lakeland, he has pitched well since arriving in Erie, including a 3.55 ERA and 3-2 record in five July starts for the Seawolves. Across 33 innings, Voss whiffed 23 batters while walking eleven and allowing just 27 hits.

Runner-Up – Austin Wood (LHP)

Lakeland – Drew Smyly (LHP)

One of the hottest names in the system, Smyly has been nothing short of spectacular since returning from a brief DL stint earlier this season. Promoted to Erie for his final start of July, Smyly was absolutely spectacular in five starts with Lakeland before the move. He notched a 3-1 record against the Florida State League with a 2.16 ERA. Averaging five innings per start he totaled 25 for the month, allowing just 21 hits and nine walks to go with an impressive 29 punch outs. He continued that dominant pitching in his lone start at Double-A with seven shutout innings and eight strikeouts.

Runner-Up – Zach Samuels (RHP)

West Michigan – Alex Burgos (LHP)

The Tigers originally held Burgos back in extended spring training to build strength in his body. That move appears to have paid off in a big way as Burgos has dominated Midwest League opponents throughout the summer. In five starts last month Burgos allowed only 20 hits in 26 innings with a whopping 34 strikeouts, not to mention he did not allow a home run all month. All of that combined to give him a 2-1 record and 2.77 ERA for the Whitecaps. After a brief debut in the GCL in 2010, the fifth round pick has come out guns blazing in 2011 and could be rising up prospect lists in a hurry.

Runner-Up – Michael Torrealba (RHP)

Oneonta – Daniel Bennett (RHP)

Bennett turned pro after working as the closer at Florida State, and he jumped right into the closer's role with Connecticut as well. In ten games in July, Bennett saved seven games in eight opportunities with a 0.79 ERA. In 11 1/3 innings Bennett has allowed just six hit and walked five while striking out 14. His dominating performance with the CT-Tigers to start his career has earned him a quick promotion to Low-A West Michigan.

Runner-Up – Ryan Woolley (RHP)

GCL – Edgar De La Rosa (RHP)

Still just 20-years old, De La Rosa is a massive 6-foot-6, 215 pound beast. He used every bit of that to his advantage in a July performance that saw him start to gain consistency over his projectable stuff. Despite an 0-2 record in five starts, De La Rosa posted a 3.12 ERA across 26 innings. While he allowed 31 hits, he started to get his walks in order by only issuing nine free passes and struck out 28 batters to help limit any damage against him.

Runner-Up – Jack Duffey (LHP)

DSL – Fernando Perez (RHP)

Sign as an undrafted free agent prior to the season, Perez is still just 17-years old and has managed to make seven starts already for the DSL Tigers. Making four of those starts in July, Perez posted a miniscule 1.13 ERA though he didn't pick up a decision. In just 16 innings, Perez allowed only eight hits and six walks while striking out eleven.

Runner-Up – Luis Hidalgo (RHP)

VSL – Carlos Alvarado (RHP)

Pitching back in the VSL after spending the 2010 season in the DSL, Alvarado is again posting very strong numbers for the Tigers. In July he made five starts as one of the elder statesmen on the club and posted a 2-2 won-loss record. He finished with a 2.60 ERA thanks to just 18 hits allowed in 27 2/3 innings on the hill. Alvarado walked 13 batters and struck out 25 for the month.

Runner-Up – Jose Rodriguez (RHP)


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