June saw the DSL Tigers being playing every day, and also saw a surge from a pair of A-ball outfielders. Who took home the hardware for June's players of the month?
Toledo – Erick Almonte (IF)
The Toledo offense has been one of the International League's best all season, but it hasn't always been the same guys leading the way. While Brent Clevlen
, Mike Hessman
, Jeff Larish
, and others have all had very nice seasons, it was Erick Almonte's turn in June. In 25 games, Almonte hit to the tune of a .330/.400/.489 line that included nine extra-base hits. With his prowess at getting on base, the runs came following behind, with 16 in the month, while also managing to drive in eight.
Runner-Up: Matt Joyce (OF)
Erie – Jeff Frazier (OF)
Since leaving the Tigers in exchange for right-hander Yorman Bazardo
prior to the 2007 season, things hadn't been easy for Frazier. The 2008 season, and a return to his original organization, have seen a resurgence from the 25-year old outfielder. In June, he ripped the ball at a .354 clip, while also slugging at a reasonably .438 number. His outfield defense and ability to contribute from the DH slot have both contributed to his team as well.
Runner-Up: Dusty Ryan (C)
Lakeland – Brennan Boesch (OF)
For the second month in a row, Boesch made nice improvements on the field. A former third-round pick of the Tigers, Boesch has struggled to live up to lofty expectations. Posting lines similar to his .309/.343/.415 are drawing him nearer to the levels expected of him. As reports continue to come in that he's still stinging the ball all over the field, it is easy to envision that Brennan may continue to show improvement throughout the season's second half.
Runner-Up: Devin Thomas (C)
West Michigan – Jordan Newton (OF)
Since the day the Tigers selected him, there was constant talk of his bat and the likelihood that he'd moving from behind the plate. Well, both are starting to come to fruition. Newton has seen plenty of recent time in the outfield, where he also played as a collegian, and his bat is perking back up to promised levels. Jordan drove in 14 runs last month, largely on the back of five doubles, two triples, and two home runs. The two triples ran his season total to eight at the end of June.
Runner-Up: Justin Henry (2B)
DSL Tigers – Alexander Nunez (OF)
Making his professional debut at just 18-years old, the fleet-footed Nunez has flashed a positive glove up the middle, and is even showing increased arm strength on his throws. While few doubted his ability to snag the ball, some had questions about his ability to hit it; though he's shown solidly thus far. He is proving an ability to hit for average with a .294 mark through the season's first month, and a solid understanding of the strike zone. Nunez has stood out thus far, but he'll need to make strides to really garner attention.
Runner-Up: Julio Rodriguez (C)
VSL Tigers – Avisail Garcia (OF)
There are few questions surrounding the raw tools possessed by Avisail Garcia, but they have come to the fore much quicker than many anticipated. Garcia blew away his VSL teammates in June with a .294/.337/.471 line with 16 runs driven in, and nine more scored. He also managed four doubles and three home runs, to really cement the award in his name.
Runner-Up: Francisco Martinez (3B)