TigsTown Players of the Month: July 2012

The second to last full month of the season is in the books, and it's time again to hand out hardware! Which players shined at the plate in July? Find out inside!

Toledo – Ben Guez (OF)

Guez has been a solid performer across all levels of the organization for the last few years and that has continued this year with Triple-A Toledo. After ripping off a .302/.404/.510 month in June, Guez topped that in every way by posting a massive .333/.467/.514 line in July. Amidst that impressive line, Guez walked 16 times and fanned at the same rate. He pumped out five doubles, one triple and two home runs, leaving him with ten runs batted in as well. His impressive last two months has left him with a .307 batting average at Triple-A this year, backed by 24 extra-base hits in 58 games.

Runner-Up – John Lindsey (1B)

Erie – Nick Castellanos (OF)

The Tigers top-rated prospect in TigsTown.com's mid-season rankings, Castellanos tore through the Florida State League earlier this year and has continued to put his offensive talents on display after a promotion to Double-A. With a move to the outfield last month, one might expect Castellanos' numbers to slip a bit. Instead, he hit a robust .327 for the month and backed it up with five doubles and three home runs. While his strikeout and walk rates remain a little out of whack, he did show some improvement and fans should remain excited about his overall potential.

Runner-Up – Avisail Garcia (OF)

Lakeland – Tyler Collins (OF)

Among Tiger fans, the name Tyler Collins has become synonomous with hitting over the last year. All he has done is rake since signing out of Howard Junior College last summer, and that continued in July. Though his .279 batting average may not seem like much, he made up for it with a ton of slugging in a month that is notorious for sapping power in the FSL. Collins ripped six doubles, two triples and three home runs in 29 games, driving in 16 runs. He walked as much as he struck out (15 each) and stole six bases without being caught.

Runner-Up – James Robbins (1B)

West Michigan – Jason King (3B)

King was a high round pick of the Tigers in 2011 and was posting solid numbers in the New York-Penn League before a severe knee injury forced him to miss the rest of the season and much of 2012. After an extremely slow start in May, King picked things up in June and then went on a complete tear in July. In just 12 games he managed to hit .341 with six walks and only four strikeouts. On top of that he popped four doubles, a triple and a home run to lead to a .545 slugging average.

Runner-Up – Aaron Westlake (1B)

Connecticut – Jared Reaves (INF)

Reaves signed quickly after being drafted by the Tigers in June, arriving in Connecticut with an uncertain role as the club was slated to have several middle infielders on the roster. His performance has forced him into the regular lineup and he performed at a high level in July. Appearing in 15 games for the CT-Tigers, Reaves hit a cool .300 with four walks and a stolen base. Not known for his power, Reaves found the gaps seven times for doubles and drove in three runs hitting near the top of the lineup.

Runner-Up – Devon Travis (2B)

GCL – Austin Schotts (OF)

Schotts was the Tigers second pick in the 2012 draft and he has wasted no time bursting on the scene and tearing up the Gulf Coast League. While he missed time with a dislocated finger in July, Schotts hit so well in his 13 games played that it was impossible to ignore his performance. Schotts ripped four doubles and a home run en route to a .388 batting average. He also stole ten bases in 12 attempts, showing off his impressive speed. Schotts has handled the move to the outfield well and has surprised with his offensive dominance, leaving him as one of the most impressive 2012 draftees in the organization.

Runner-Up – Jesus Ustariz (1B)

DSL – Manuel Joseph (SS)

Arguably one of the top prospects on the Tigers Dominican roster, Joseph showed why he was so highly thought of with a huge July performance. At just 18-years old, Joseph hit .299 in 23 games last month, picking up more than a hit per game. He certainly wasn't a slap hitter as he tagged three home runs and six doubles, not to mention two triples. His plate discipline was another positive as he walked 11 times against just 12 strikeouts, allowing him to post a lofty .376 on-base percentage. Joseph's improvement throughout the season, and his July dominance in particular, could put him in a position to come Stateside for the 2013 season.

Runner-Up – Sandy Acevedo (OF)

VSL – Franklin Navarro (C)

Navarro ripped the cover off the ball in June with a .341/.374/.462 line and didn't slow down much in July. The soon to be 18-year old backstop hit .289 in 23 July games. He slugged the ball exceptionally well, knocking 11 doubles and one home run to boost his slugging average to a nifty .444. The only alarming note in Navarro's month was 23 strikeouts against just four walks, but when you're knocking the ball around like he was, it's no surprise he was heading to the plate with an aggressive approach.

Runner-Up – Jose Zambrano (SS)

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