Minor League Review: July

Trenton Thunder:
The Thunder had an outstanding July, going 21-10 and finding themselves atop the Eastern Division and six games in front of New Britain.  They have gotten help from both sides of the field, but some particularly strong offensive performances was key to their success in July.  Trenton’s offense is in the top of the Eastern League, as they hit .267/.336/.433 as a team.  They have 95 stolen bases, good for third, and have shown some great power with a league leading 190 homers.  David Adams, who has improved with each passing month, put together a great month, hitting .375/.444/.477 with eleven RBIs.  Melky Mesa has complimented him well at the plate, hitting .324 with four homers, seven doubles and eleven RBIs over the past month.

The Thunder’s pitching isn’t too shabby either.  As a team they have a 3.38 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.  Shaeffer Hall has been a good anchor in their starting rotation, and had a 2.03 ERA over six starts in July.  He walked ten and struck out 22.  Betances has shown some better control since his demotion, but he is still struggling.  They got some more help in the bullpen when Mark Montgomery was promoted towards the end of the month. He has yet to give up a run or a walk in his four appearances.

Tampa Yankees:
The Yankees had a mediocre first half of the season, but they have started the second half strong.  They went 19-11 in July and find themselves 2.5 games ahead of Clearwater atop the FSL North Division.  Strong pitching has helped the Yankees, who own a team ERA of 3.66.  They have the second most strikeouts in the league with 880, but have also allowed the second most free passes.  Nik Turley had an outstanding month on the mound.  He went 3-0 in four starts and five appearances, including a complete game shut out.  He had a 1.07 ERA, walked only three batters, struck out 29 and held opposing hitters to a .187 average.

The Tampa offense has been a bit more pedestrian, but they have some strong players keeping them going.  Ramon Flores continues to have a strong 2012.  He hit .336 in July with nine doubles and eleven RBIs.  Mason Williams seems to be adjusting since his promotion and put together a slashline of .277/.302/.422 with three homers.  Kyle Roller has come through for the Yankees quite a bit, hitting .298 in July with four homers and twenty RBIs.

Charleston RiverDogs:
The RiverDogs have struggled in the second half, perhaps due in large part to the promotions of Williams, Gary Sanchez and Tyler Austin.  They went 13-16 in July and find themselves 7.5 games behind Rome in the SAL Southern Division.  They stopped an eight game losing streak with a win yesterday.  On the season, the team has some solid hitting statistics.  Charleston has hit .274/.343/.407.  They have swiped 151 bags (third overall) and have the fourth lowest strikeouts at 784.  Ben Gamel has taken over in the absence of Austin and the others.  he hit .330 in July and had seventeen RBIs.  Cito Culver, whose struggles this season have been well documented, is starting to show some life on offense.  He hit .255 in July and boasted a .381 on base percentage.  He drew nineteen walks and struck out sixteen times.

Pitching has been a problem for the RiverDogs.  They have a 4.44 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP.  Bryan Mitchell improved over his terrible June, but his ERA was still over six in July.  Scottie Allen looked good, but saw little run support.  He had a 3.60 ERA in July and walked only three batters while striking out 25 in July.  Nick Goody has been great out of the bullpen.  He made nine appearances and had a 1.29 ERA with three saves.  He walked four and struck out 22.

Staten Island Yankees:
After a really rough start in June, Staten Island showed some improvement in July.  They went 11-17, but still find themselves in last place in the McNamera Division, 11.5 games behind Hudson Valley.  The Yankees have struggled on both sides of the field, as they have a team slash line of .233/.318/.333, which keeps them just above Lowell.  They have shown a knack for drawing walks, taking 150 free passes.  Pitching hasn’t been much better, as they have a 4.10 ERA as a team.  They have a 1.48 WHIP, which is the third highest in the New York-Penn League and have allowed 167 walks.

Saxon Butler started his career very hot and while he has cooled off some in July he continues to be a major force in the Staten Island lineup.  He hit .279/.364/.632 in July and found his power stroke, knocking eight homers and eight doubles.  Matt Snyder put his terrible June behind him (.029/.209/.029) and hit an impressive .414/.485/609 in July.  He took ten walks and only struck out nine times.  Snyder hit two homers and nine doubles, collecting 23 RBIs in the process.  Corey Black has done a solid job pitching, making five starts and holding a 2.49 ERA over 21.2 innings pitched.  He has walked just seven and struck out sixteen, while allowing just a .234 average against opposing hitters.

GCL Yankees:
The GCL Yankees started the 2012 season with an impressive 11-1 record in June, but slowed down some in July.  They finished the month 12-13 and fell to a game and a half behind the GCL Tigers in the North Division.  As a team, the Yankees are hitting .247/.331/.357.  They lead the league in walks with 141, but they have also struck out 306 times.  Austin Aune led the way in July, hitting .310/.417/.448.  He had eleven RBIs, two triples and four doubles.  Miguel Andujar has done his part on offense as well, hitting .274/.346/.370 in July with nine RBIs and seven doubles.

Pitching has been a strong suit for the Yankees.  They have a team ERA of 3.25 and have given up just eleven homers.  They have walked 99 batters while picking up 288 Ks.  Jordan Cote has been the big arm for the Yankees so far.  In three games (13.2 innings) in July, he had a 0.00 ERA.  He allowed two walks and struck out twelve.  He has four walks on the season and 25 Ks.  He has held batters to a .222 average in July and has a WHIP of 0.90 for the season.