It was a month where the organization's farm teams were led by their first basemen. Everyone has heard about Ryan Strieby's power streak, but who else got hot in July?
Toledo – Mike Hessman (IF)
In a season where all he has done is mash the ball from start to finish, is it really surprising that the 30-year old slugger had another month worthy of acclaim? Before heading off for the Olympics, Hessman slugged six more July home runs while posting a .271/.346/.586 line in 19 games. The six home runs gave him a total of 32 at the end of July; enough to lead the entire organization by a fair margin. Aside from his July performance, Hessman has already hit two home runs for Team USA in pre-Olympic action.
Runner-Up: Brent Clevlen (OF)
Erie – Ryan Roberson (1B)
Since coming back down to Erie after a brief fill-in in Toledo, Roberson turned things on again and killed the ball throughout all of July. In 28 games, Ryan drove in 23 runs on five doubles, one triple, and seven home runs. His .283/.351/.566 line led a seemingly resurgent Seawolves' offense. With 19 home runs on the season as of the end of July, Roberson is re-establishing himself as a solid first base prospect and someone worth watching as the season winds down.
Runner-Up: Casper Wells
Lakeland – Ryan Strieby (1B)
Ryan Strieby has been one of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues over the last thirty days, destroying Florida State League pitching to the tune of a .312/.361/.761 line that pummeled his opponents. Strieby drove in 33 runs during his impressive run, with a total of twenty of his 34 hits going for extra bases. Strieby ended July with 23 home runs on the season, and kept right on hitting, breaking the Lakeland franchise record with three more home runs in early August.
Runner-Up: Michael Bertram (IF)
West Michigan – Justin Henry (2B)
Henry drew plenty of acclaim after posting a sparkling batting average at Oneonta in 2007, but got off to a rough start this season. He's heated up of late however, culminating in a .396 average in July, while uncharacteristically slugging at a .469 clip. Justin walked eleven times in 24 games while striking out on only four occasions, and he also swiped five bases in six attempts to complete a well-rounded month of offense.
Runner-Up: Alex Avila (C)
Oneonta – Wade Lamont (1B)
Continuing the string of first basemen to garner awards in July, Lamont posted his best month as a pro. With a .321 average in ten games, and a .441 on-base percentage, Lamont took advantage of his limited opportunities at the plate. The son of Tiger coach Gene Lamont, Wade will look to continue building upon his hot month as he tries to earn a full-season job in 2009.
Runner-Up: Mike Gosse (2B)
GCL Tigers – Jordan Lennerton (1B)
The run on impressive first basemen continues with 2008 draft choice Jordan Lennerton. Assigned to the GCL despite coming from a strong Oregon State program, Lennerton started hitting with more authority in July. With six doubles and 13 RBI, Jordan finished with a .268/.366/.352 line in a tough hitter's league.
Runner-Up: Brandon Harrigan (C)
DSL Tigers – Ricardo Olivo (C)
After a very rough debut in June, Olivo came alive in July with a .277 average on 13 hits in 14 games. Olivo knocked two doubles and one home run en route to driving in ten DSL teammates. That gives him seven extra-base hits and 14 driven in for the season. His defense also settled in last month as he flashed his catch-and-throw skills.
Runner-Up: Juaner Aguasvivas
VSL Tigers – Francisco Martinez (3B)
After what some perceived as a rough start, Francisco Martinez has lived up to the praise heaped on him by the TigsTown staff heading into his rookie campaign in the VSL. Martinez scorched VSL pitching at a .380 clip last month, while getting on base at a .462 rate. Francisco walked 14 times against just six strikeouts, and drove in twelve Tiger teammates. Topping off his impressive month, Martinez swiped nine bases and hit his first professional home run.
Runner-Up: Avisail Garcia (OF)