Players of the Month: July

The big man in the Summit City

Tucson RF/CF Aaron Cunningham .387/.410/.587 With all of the attention on Kyle Blanks and Anthony Rizzo this season, Cunningham has quietly had one of the better years in AAA. This month he led the T-Padres in batting average hits and doubles and is hitting .354 with runners on and two outs.

With the trade of Ryan Ludwick he is going to get a chance with the big club; how much playing time he gets is another question.

Prospect Watch: 3b/2b Logan Forsythe was only in Arizona for nine games but made the most of his time hitting .355/.524/.548. 1b Anthony Rizzo also returned and didn't miss a beat hitting .400/.449/.925, yes that is not a misprint, a .925 slugging percentage with 11 of his 16 hits going for extra-bases. 3b/LF James Darnell continues to hit, although not as well as he did in AA, at .266/.376/.519. Sooner or later people will start talking about LF/1b Matt Clark who led the team in home runs with 7 and RBIs with 21 while hitting .266/.376/.519. Before he got hurt, CF Cedric Hunter was having his best month of the season hitting .313/.361/.500. 2b Jarrett Hoffpauir, who was impressive in spring training, continues to produce in the minors .294/.351/.494.

Disappointments: OF Eric Patterson has yet to produce in the hitter's paradise of Tucson at .228/.262/.421.

San Antonio CF Blake Tekotte .316/.392/.614

As with Cunningham, Tekotte got the call back to San Diego with trades and injuries in the outfield. Tekotte, who has put on significant weight since he was drafted by the team in 2008 and it is being reflected in his power numbers, led the team in home runs with 8 and 18 of his 36 hits were for extra-bases. He was also the leader in stolen bases with 8 in 11 attempts. He also led the team in strikeouts with 35 but when you post a 1.006 OPS that is allowed.

Prospect Watch: OF Dan Robertson had his best month of the season coming in at .330/.376/.426, leading the team in hits with 38 and only striking out 9 times in 124 plate appearances. Despite being sent down, SS Andy Parrino is getting regular playing time at short and having the best season of his career hitting .337/.413/.539. 3b Jedd Gyorko struggled coming up to AA hitting .257/.336/.356. 2b Dean Anna had a nice month hitting .319/.383/.486.

Disappointments: The good news is LF Jaff Decker led the Missions in walks with 16 and that was a kind of it for July as he hit .176/.286/.269; easily his worst month as a professional.

Lake Elsinore SS Jeudy Valdez .289/.333/.554

At the beginning of the year one of the players that Padres VP of Player Development Randy Smith was most excited about was Jeduy Valdez, whom he described as a potential five-tool player. This month Valdez showed why Smith was so excited as he led the team in hits, runs scored, extra-base hits, home runs and RBIs.

Prospect Watch: Valdez's double play partner 2b Jonathan Galvez also came in strong in July hitting .284/.350/.486. 1b Nate Freiman is one of the leaders in hits in the Cal League and this month he continued to produce hitting .279/.352/.477. LF Danny Payne had a nice month coming in at .261/.414/.477 showing the on-base skills that enamored him to the previous regime.

Disappointments: CF Reymond Fuentes is considered the brightest prospect still with the Storm but struggled in July hitting .232/.333/.384.

Fort Wayne RF Rymer Liriano .376/.405/.624

Liriano is one of the prospects that everyone in the Padres has to be careful to temper their enthusiasm because more than any other player he by far is the closest to being a true five tool player. He led the team in OPS, batting average, extra-base hits and RBIs. For good measure he also stole 11 bases in 14 attempts.

Prospect Watch: 3b/1b Connor Powers, a twenty-first round selection in the 2010 draft had the best month of his pro career coming in a .323/.412/.500 with a 16/22 BB/K ratio and tied for the team lead in doubles with 11. CF Rico Noel also finally got on track hitting .263/.349/.325 with 21 stolen bases in 22 attempts.

Disappointments: C Emmanuel Quiles had a tough month hitting .189/.231/.257.

Eugene 2b Cory Spangenberg .333/.500/.436

Before being promoted to Fort Wayne in mid-July, Spangenburg was dominant in the Northwest League with 33 hits and 31 walks in 25 games through June/July to go along with 10 stolen bases in 14 attempts. He's off to a slow start in the Midwest League but it is a tough place to join in mid-season. He still should be on track to be the everyday second baseman in Lake Elsinore in 2012.

Prospect Watch: CF Donavan Tate came off of his suspension and didn't show that much rust at all coming in at .321/.486/.321. Although the power numbers obviously are going to take some time to come back it must kill the organization to think what a full season could have been. DH/LF Mike Gallic hit .326 in forty-seven plate appearances with one walk, two extra-base hits and a single RBI, which is a bit of a strange line.

Disappointments: The Ems didn't get much offense from catchers Matt Colantonio, .160/.333/.240 or Jeremy Rodriguez, .191/.359/.191.

AZL CF Alberth Martiniez .358/.435/.716

Venezuelan Alberth Martiniez led the t-ball Padres in batting average at .358, extra-base hits and home runs. He showed good plate discipline with a 9/12 BB/K ratio and stole four bases in five attempts.

Prospect Watch: The Netherlands Rodney Daal, a seventeen year old catcher, really showed some ability hitting .344/.475/.438 and a really good eye at the plate with an 8/5 BB/K ratio. 3b Duanel Jones of the Dominican Republic came in at .279/.361/.535 but also had 11 errors in 20 games. 1b Paul Karmas of St. John's, yes someone actually born in the States, put up some good numbers at .333/.448/.481.

Disappointments: SS Felipe Blanco had 17 errors in 17 games to go along with a .210/.265/.290 line.

July Player of the Month: Rymer Liriano

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