In the final monthly awards of the season, which players emerged as the stars for their respective teams, and and hit their way to earning the crown as August Player of the Month?
Toledo – Dusty Ryan (C)
Dusty Ryan has put together a magical season and one worthy of true breakout mention. In his first twenty games at Triple-A, Ryan posted a dominating .315/.363/.548 line that earned him a call-up to the big leagues. Dusty smacked seven doubles, two triples, and two home runs, while maintaining his excellent defense. After a great season at Double-A, Ryan's capper at Toledo was just what the doctor ordered, and will put him in a position to compete for a 25-man roster spot next spring.
Runner-Up: Timo Perez (OF)
Erie – Casper Wells
Casper Wells has had a meteoric rise this season, and after an unexpected promotion to Double-A, he has taken off and not looked back. Wells played in 29 games for the ‘Wolves last month, and notched a .333 average behind 38 hits; including ten doubles, four triples, and ten home runs. Wells also drove in 27 runs while slugging an amazing .754 for the month. To cap things off, he also managed to swipe two bags, giving him 25 between two levels on the season.
Runner-Up: Ryan Roberson (1B)
Lakeland – Justin Justice (OF)
It is becoming quite apparent that Justice needs some transition time at each level he goes to, and that was exactly the case after a fine second season in Lakeland. To complete his final month of the 2008 season, Justice ripped ten doubles and three bombs, en route to a .319/.379/.522 line for the month. Justice's performance at Lakeland this season, puts him in place to get things rolling at Double-A next year.
Runner-Up: Michael Bertram (IF)
West Michigan – Alex Avila (C)
Avila hasn't wasted any time establishing his pro career, jumping straight from college to West Michigan, where he has steadily produced at a high level for the playoff-bound ‘Caps. Avila finally knocked his first professional home run in August, to go along with nine doubles in 24 games. His .326 average last month, brought him up to a .305 mark for the season, and with 12 walks during the month, he posted a .406 on-base percentage that bodes well for his future. Avila has quickly established himself as the organization's top catching prospect, and fans can look for him to move quickly through the system thanks to his advanced bat.
Runner-Up: Joe Tucker (UT)
Oneonta – Brent Wyatt (IF)
His college coaches said he had pro talent, and Wyatt truly showed it in August. With a .344 average, 14 walks, seven doubles, and two triples, Wyatt closed his debut season on a high note. With good defense throughout the infield, Wyatt was a huge help to the Oneonta club, and has poised himself to compete for a job with a full-season club in 2009.
Runner-Up: Keith Stein (OF)
GCL Tigers – Alden Carrithers (2B)
Sometimes you expect certain things from advanced college players assigned to rookie-level leagues, and Alden did everything he could to meet those expectations. Carrithers stole ten bases against just one caught stealing last month, and his four doubles and one home run pushed him to a .319/.455/.449 line for August. On a club that enjoyed swinging at tons of pitches, Carrithers walked 18 times against just 11 strikeouts last month, and walked 28 times against 19 whiffs for the season.
Runner-Up: Alexis Espinoza (OF)
DSL Tigers – Elvin Soto (3B)
It wasn't a pretty season for Elvin Soto, but he sure put on a show in August. Despite hitting .300 for the month, that wasn't nearly the most impressive part, as he got on base at a .491 clip and slugged an even .600. In 16 games, Soto punched three home runs, along with a double and triple, while walking sixteen times.
Runner-Up: Luis Castillo (OF)