Originally posted on Phighting On  |  Last updated 8/1/11
Every month, Phighting On will be looking at each of the Phillies’ affiliate teams (GCL, VSL and DSL Phillies are excluded), and picking the position player and pitcher from each team that have performed the best over the last month. To be eligible, the player must be on the team’s roster at the end of the month. Here are the top players for the month of July. Lehigh Valley IronPigs: Delwyn Young, RF/DH. Young had a terrific month of July, hitting consistently throughout the whole month, and ending the month with a nine game hitting streak (it was ended on July 31). His July batting average, .350, is 90 points higher than his season average of .260, an incredible improvement in anyone’s eyes. His 4 homeruns and 17 RBIs are also the most he’s had in any month this year. July Stats: .350 BA in 28 Games, 4 HR, 17 RBIs, 11 Doubles, .975 OPS Michael Schwimer, Relief Pitcher. We’ve come to expect amazing performances from this 25 year-old prospect, as he’s compiled a 1.79 ERA in 41 appearances this season. The month of July has been no different for him, going 3-1 with a 1.15 ERA. His opponents’ batting average is .220, which is a little bit higher than his season average of .202, but his dominating performances, including 21 strikeouts and only two earned runs allowed in 15.2 July appearances. July Stats: 3-1, 1.15 ERA in 11 Games, 15.2 IP, 4 Saves, 21 Ks Reading Phillies: Carlos Rivero, 3B. At 23, Rivero is already in his seventh year of professional baseball, and sixth in the United States. As the fourth youngest player on the 40-man roster, Rivero has already caught the eye of the Phillies organization early into his career. This season for Reading, Rivero is batting .285, but in July Rivero really turned it on, hitting a whopping .373 with 22 RBIs. His slugging percentage for this month, .573, is over 120 points better than his season average of .449. In short, Rivero killed it the month of July. July Stats: .373 BA in 28 Games, 3 HR, 22 RBI, 13 Doubles, .968 OPS Justin Friend, Relief Pitcher. This decision was tough. The R-Phillies didn’t really have a standout star in pitching this month, but Friend was probably the closest thing. Up until his last game of the month, a terrible performance in which he blew a save and gave up two runs (and had a balk) in one-third of an inning, Friend hadn’t given up a run in July. In nine appearances, Friend shut down the competition, striking out 10. Unlike Schwimer, Friend’s dominance is not as common, with a season ERA of 2.51. July Stats: 0-1, 1.86 ERA in 10 Games, 9.2 IP, 5 Saves, 10 Ks Clearwater Threshers: Darin Ruf, 1B. Saying that Ruf had a great month of July would be a gross understatement. Hitting for both power and average, Ruf knocked in 23 RBIs and had 6 HRs, in addition to a .366 average. His slugging percentage was .634, much better than his usual .496, shows just how much power a guy like Ruf has. Ruf has improved on his stats every month so far this season, so expect August to be even better for the 25 year old infield prospect. July Stats: .366 BA in 29 Games, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 9 Doubles, 1.078 OPS Julio Rodriguez, Starting Pitcher. With prized prospect Jarred Cosart traded to Houston, Julio Rodriguez has to step into the role of top prospect. If July is any indication of if he’s ready, I’d say he’s accepted the new role. Rodriguez went 6-0 in July, holding hitters to a .189 batting average against and only giving up 8 earned runs in 36.2 innings. This adds up to a 1.96 ERA in the month of July, bouncing back from a horrible month of June in which he had a 5.76 ERA. All in all, Rodriguez has a 14-6 record, 3.03 ERA and 119 Ks, but the month of July was much better than these still-solid stats. July Stats: 6-0, 1.96 ERA in 6 Starts, 36.2 IP, 38 Ks Lakewood BlueClaws:Cameron Rupp, Catcher. When you think of offense, a 22 year old Class A catcher is probably the farthest thing from your mind.  But in his 21 games in July, Rupp hit .370, driving in 15 RBIs, more than he collect in every other month combined. I don’t want to say fluke, but his .269 BA says otherwise. Let’s hope that Rupp can continue his recent success, but don’t count on it happening. July Stats: .370 BA in 21 Games,1 HR, 15 RBI, 8 Doubles, .935 OPS Colby Shreve, Relief Pitcher. Colby Shreve was perfect in July. Pitching 17 innings over 9 games, he didn’t give up an earned run (he did give up 4 unearned runs). The .230 BAA in July is not amazing, but is solid and is also better than his season average of .265. His control was good, only giving up three walks in the month. His season record stands at 5-5, with his season ERA being 2.91 July Stats: 2-1, 0.00 ERA in 9 Games, 17.0 IP, 23 Ks Williamsport Crosscutters Kelly Dugan, Outfielder. July Stats:  .324 BA in 28 Games, 2 HR, 15 RBI, 4 Doubles, 1 Triple, .823 OPS Mike Nesseth, Starting Pitcher July Stats: 2-0, 2.03 ERA in 6 Starts, 31.0 IP, 12 Ks, .187 BAA
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