The Houston Astros Player Development Department has named July's Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Month at their eight minor league affiliates. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.
At Triple A Oklahoma City, RHP Asher Wojciechowski was named the club's Pitcher of the Month after going 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA (6ER/27IP) and 15 strikeouts in four starts in July. The former first-round pick currently leads the Pacific Coast League in WHIP (1.08) while ranking second in ERA (2.81) and opponent's batting average (.208). OF George Springer hit .347 (33x95) with four doubles, two triples, nine homers, 27 RBI, 10 steals and a 1.143 OPS (.427 OBP/.716 SLG) in 26 July games en route to being named the RedHawks Player of the Month. Springer is currently tied for the minor league lead in homers (29) and is the only player in professional baseball with 25+ homers and 25+ steals this year.
RHP David Martinez received his second consecutive Pitcher of the Month award at Corpus Christi, as the Venezuelan native posted a 3-0 record with a 1.95 ERA (8ER/37IP) in five July starts. Martinez currently ranks second in the minors in wins (13), while ranking first in WHIP (1.00) and second in ERA (2.01) among all Double A hurlers. Earning the Hooks July Player of the Month honors was C Max Stassi, who hit .333 (29x87) with 11 homers, 24 RBI and a .782 slugging percentage in 24 games. Stassi was recently named the TOPPS Texas League Player of the Month for July. He hit 11 homers over a 19-game stretch (July 8-31), including a streak of five consecutive games with a home run from July 15-21.
LHP Tommy Shirley and IF Matt Duffy were named the Pitcher and Player of the Month for July at Class A Advanced Lancaster. Shirley went 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA (9ER/28IP) and 19 punchouts in five July starts, while Duffy hit .363 (37x102) with five doubles, one triple, seven homers and 24 RBI in 27 games for the JetHawks. Duffy currently ranks fourth in the California League with a .323 batting average.
A 34th round pick in 2012, RHP Jordan Jankowski was named the Pitcher of the Month at Class A Quad Cities after putting up a 1.83 ERA (4ER/19.2IP) while walking just one batter in six outings in July. He was named a Midwest League All-Star this year and currently ranks fourth in the circuit with a 2.61 ERA on the season. IF Rio Ruiz was named the River Bandits Player of the Month after having his best month of the season in July. The left-handed hitting third baseman batted at a .279 clip (24x86) with six doubles, one triple, three homers, 15 RBI and an .824 OPS in 23 July games.
At Class A Short Season Tri-City, RHP Michael Feliz went 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA (4ER/20.2IP) and 23 strikeouts in five outings in July before getting named the club's Pitcher of the Month. The 19-year-old from the Dominican Republic currently ranks second in the New York-Penn League in ERA (1.31) in addition to striking out 44 batters while walking just seven. IF Tony Kemp, the Astros fifth round selection in this year's draft, was named the ValleyCats July Player of the Month after hitting .270 (30x111) with five doubles, one triple, eight stolen bases and a .341 on-base percentage in 30 games.
RHP Frederick Tiburcio and IF Juan Santana were named the Pitcher and Player of the Month for July at Rookie Level Greeneville. Tiburcio posted a 2-0 record with a 0.94 ERA (3ER/28.2IP) and 19 punchouts in five starts during the month, while Santana hit .258 (24x106) with four doubles, two homers and a .330 on-base percentage in 27 games. Tiburcio leads the Appalachian League in ERA (0.95) and Santana has a .991 fielding percentage (1E/116TC) in 25 games at second base this year.
RHP Troy Scribner was named the GCL Astros Pitcher of the Month after going 2-2 with a 1.74 ERA (4ER/20.2IP) in five July games. IF Yonathan Mejia posted a .376 (32x85) batting average with seven doubles, 15 RBI and a .417 OBP in 25 games in July en route to getting named the GCL Astros Player of the Month.
For the DSL Astros, RHP Harold Arauz was named the Pitcher of the Month and OF Luis Payano was named the Player of the Month. Arauz went 2-0 with a 1.07 ERA (3ER/25.1IP) in five July starts while Payano hit .314 (33x105) with 11 doubles and an .821 OPS in 25 games.