These days, the outfield is emerging as the centerpiece of the Flying Tigers production at the plate. Featuring two of the Florida State League's highest batting averages and a leadoff man that's fresh off the disabled list, the trio has made some noise in the month of June.
22-year-old Tyler Collins is 21-for-62 (.339) this month with seven extra-base hits, 13 RBI and four stolen bases. Collins' .295 batting average is eighth best amongst active FSL batters and his 21 doubles are tied for second most on the circuit.
Daniel Fields has been swinging a hot bat since his return from sports hernia surgery. The 21-year old went 3-for-8 this past week and he's batting .314 since he returned from the disabled list on June 6th. His recent production has raised his batting average to a more respectable .270 mark this season. Despite playing in just 27 games, Fields has also chipped in eleven steals.
Rounding things out, Avisail Garcia has continued to put up the production that scouts predicted he was capable of. Garcia is hitting .324 over his last ten games and .294 this season. While he's still struggling a bit to draw the free pass (just ten this season), he's striking out 6% less than previous seasons which is a step in the right direction. Garcia's contribution
At 24-years-old Marcus Lemon certainly isn't young for the Florida State League. Regardless of his age and prospect status, Lemon has been a solid contributor for Lakeland this season. Lemon--the son of former
Detroit Tiger Chet Lemon--has posted a .290 batting average this season. In 31 at-bats this month, Lemon is batting .419 with four doubles, six RBI and nine runs scored.
The carousel was turning this past week as several alterations were made to the Flying Tigers roster. After dominating Florida State League batters, 21-year-old flamethrower Bruce Rondon was promoted to AA-Erie. Taking Rondon's spot on the roster was 20-year-old right-handed reliever Julio Felix. The Juco product was selected by the Tigers in the 12th Round of the 2012 Draft. Felix was welcomed to the FSL by Yankees prospect Jose Mojica, after he clubbed Felix's first pitch over the right-field wall.
Catcher Curt Casali earned a promotion to Lakeland after hitting .288 with eight home runs and a solid .402 on-base percentage for West Michigan. Casali also made his FSL debut this past Saturday. After being hit by the pitch in his first at-bat, he singled to right-field in his next at-bat and finished the day 1-for-3 with two runs scored. To make room for Casali, Lakeland moved catcher Wes Thigpen to Connecticut. The Flying Tigers also transferred outfielder Luis Castillo to West Michigan this past week.
Provided that the weather cooperates, Lakeland will have back-to-back doubleheaders against the Jupiter Hammerheads today and tomorrow.
The Flying Tigers will then head sixty miles west for a three-game series against the Clearwater Threshers.
On Sunday, Lakeland heads to Daytona for a three-game set against the Cubs.
James R. Chipman is the Lakeland Flying Tigers correspondent for TigsTown. Be sure to follow him on twitter @JAYRC_TigsTown.