The since promoted Yorman Bazardo really started to put things together for Toledo last month, posting one of his best professional months ever. With a 2.57 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, Bazardo managed a 4-0 record in four appearances, before his call to Detroit. Along with his impressive overall numbers, Bazardo walked less than two batters per nine innings, while still striking out over six per nine over his 27 innings for Toledo. Bazardo's impressive performance last month garnered him the attention of the big league club, as well as the Toledo Pitcher of the Month Award.
Moving down the ladder to the Erie SeaWolves, the norm has been dominance by Dallas Trahern and Jair Jurrjens this year, but finally there is a new name on the horizon; that of Andrew Kown. After bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen for much of the early season, Kown settled into a starting role in June, and excelled in the process. In 27-plus innings, spanning five starts, Kown may have only mustered a 1-1 record, but his peripherals were impressive. A 3.58 ERA and 2:1 strikeout to walk ratio spurred him to a successful month for the Seawolves.
The Lakeland Flying Tigers have seen plenty of struggles this season, but one consistent bright spot has been the performance of closer Freddi Dolsi. With two successful months already in the books, Dolsi bested himself yet again, notching an incredible 0.90/0.60 line with four saves and a victory in 8 appearances; giving him 12 saves on the season. In addition, Freddi struck out ten in ten innings, while only walking one batter all month.
Not to be outdone by Dolsi, the ‘Caps Casey Fien decided not to walk a single batter all month; a stretch spanning eight outings and over 15 innings. His 2-0 record and 19 strikeouts continue to demonstrate his June dominance, and his 1.17 ERA makes the case even stronger. Fien was expected to do good things this season, and June may finally be the sign that he is coming around.
Down in South America, the VSL Tigers continued their solid play, with the pitching staff yet again led by reliever Lester Oliveros. After a positively dominating debut month, Lester managed to continue his hot pitching ways by posting a 1.69 ERA with over 16 strikeouts per nine innings. In 10.2 innings, Oliveros struck out 19 batters, while only walking four – all while saving another five games, giving him ten for the VSL campaign. In addition, he managed to continue his streak of innings without allowing a home run; a streak that has now reached over 25 innings, dating back to last season.
The Tigers continue to pride themselves on the development of quality pitching prospects, and there is no indication that the trend is slowing. Look out next month as a new crop of pitchers from the GCL and New York-Penn Leagues look to take home their first awards of the season.