Minor League Players of the Month: July

It was a rough month for the O’s minor leagues. The offense seemed to struggle for the most part. The minor leagues also lost Henry Urrutia (MLB), L.J. Hoes (MLB/Traded), Josh Hader (Traded) and Nick Delmonico (Traded).

The pitching was much better this week, and I struggled choosing players for the awards this month.

(Discuss this article on the BSL Message Board here)

Position Player of the Month: Mike Yastrzemski – OF

.344/.438/.544 (31/90) with 8 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 12 BB, 17 K, 4 SB (A-)
The Grandson of the great Hall of Famer has been tearing the cover off the ball in the NYPL. Yaz is your typical grinder type who is a good athlete with a great arm in the outfield. He’s certainly an above average fielder as a whole. At the plate, I have seen Yaz display decent bat speed, with a college-prepped swing. It’s fairly easy to point out the more advanced players in the NYPL, and Yaz is certainly one of them. On that note, it is important to remember that he should and could probably move up to the next level to play on a more level playing field. Either way, he’s been one of the best hitters in the Ironbirds’ lineup and probably the NYPL as a whole.

Starting Pitcher of the Month: Matt Taylor – LHP

6 G, 39.0 IP, 1.85 ERA, 31 H, 13 R, 8 ER, 14 BB, 26 K (A)
Taylor is a tough pitcher to read in terms of ability. He absolutely has skill, but the Orioles have clearly taken it slow with him the past two years. He had delivery and mechanical problems that they have been working on, and he seems to finally be taking the correct steps towards success. He has a lively fastball that is just as deceptive. It reminds me of Wei-Yin Chen, as it sneaks up on the hitter and looks much more explosive than it may actually be. His secondary arsenal has improved a tick or two from a scout I talked to. Overall, Taylor has quietly been having some success this year. I still think his long-term role is going to end up as a reliever, but the Orioles are going to stretch him out as long as they possibly can. He should start in Frederick next season. He was actually the last cut on my Midseason Top 30 Prospect List.

Relief Pitcher of the Month: Jimmy Yacabonis – RHP

6 G, 11.1 IP, 0.79 ERA, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 12 K (A-)
The 2013 13th round selection has given up ONE run the entire season for the Ironbirds. Yacabonis is a big, sturdy player at 6’03″ 205. He has a violent yet compact delivery that really gets the most out of his pitches. He looks to be your typical power reliever, leaving it all out on the mound for an inning or two. The fastball sits 90-93 with some great life and explosiveness. It’s a good pitch. The change needs some refinement and will need to improve for him to have success at higher levels. Overall, you have to be impressed with his first season in pro ball. Next year, I would not be surprised to see him end the year at the back end of the Frederick bullpen.

Other Notables:

Trey Mancini – 1B – (A-) .340/.378/.480 (34/100) with 9 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 6 BB, 17 K
Austin Wynns – C – (A-) .303/.352/.333 (20/66) with 2 2B, 7 RBI, 4 BB, 14 K
Adrian Marin – SS – (A) .321/.353/.395 (26/81) with 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 18 K, 2 SB
Michael Ohlman – C - (A+) .270/.360/.490 (27/100) with 4 2B, 6 HR, 19 RBI, 12 BB, 24 K, 1 SB
Jason Esposito – 3B/1B – (A+) .286/.344/.369 (24/84) with 4 2B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 6 BB, 19 K, 4 SB

Austin Urban – RHP – (A-) 4 G, 1 GS, 17.1 IP, 1.04 ERA, 14 H, 2 R, 7 BB, 13 K
Mitch Horacek – LHP – (A-) 5 G, 4 GS, 26.0 IP, 1.73 ERA, 18 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 18 K
Steven Brault – LHP – (A-) 7 GS, 26.2 IP, 1.01 ERA, 19 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 15 K
Alex Santana – RHP – (A-) 7 G, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 11 H, 4 R, 6 BB, 17 K
Donnie Hart – LHP – (A-) 6 G, 9.0 IP, 1.00 ERA, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K
Dennis Torres – RHP – (A) 6 G, 13.0 IP, 1.38 ERA, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 9 K
Bennett Parry – LHP – (A) 5 G, 3 GS, 18.2 IP, 2.89 ERA, 14 H, 6 R, 6 BB, 18 K
Mychal Givens – RHP - (A) 7 G, 12.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 8 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 9 K
Tim Berry – LHP – (A+) 5 GS, 31.0 IP, 3.77 ERA, 27 H, 13 R, 5 BB, 26 K
Trent Howard – LHP – (A+) 4 G, 3 GS, 16.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 14 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 13 K
Miguel Chalas – RHP – (A+) 9 G, 21.1 IP, 3.38 ERA, 18 H, 8 R, 5 BB, 10 K
Lex Rutledge – LHP – (A+) 6 G, 15.2 IP, 1.18 ERA, 13 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 12 K
Ashur Tolliver – LHP – (A+) 5 G, 13.0 IP, 1.38 ERA, 12 H, 2 R, 5 BB, 8 K
Mike Wright – RHP – (AA) 5 GS, 29.2 IP, 2.12 ERA, 31 H, 8 H, 7 ER, 6 BB, 26 K
Tyler Wilson – RHP – (AA) 6 GS, 35.2 IP, 2.27 ERA, 28 H, 9 ER, 4 BB, 27 K
Oliver Drake – RHP – (AA) 7 G, 12.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 7 H, 3 R, 5 BB, 14 K
Michael Belfiore – LHP – (AAA) 7 G, 13.2 IP, 3.29 ERA, 12 H, 5 R, 5 BB, 16 K
Chris Jones – LHP – (AAA) 7 G, 12.2 IP, 1.42 ERA, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 10 K

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About the author


Tucker Blair  

Tucker Blair was born and raised in the Baltimore area and currently lives in Elkridge, Maryland. He graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a B.S in Entrepreneurial Studies and is currently a Project Analyst for a Management Consulting Firm in Federal Hill, Baltimore. Tucker was previously the Managing Editor at Orioles Nation, where he worked on prospect lists, reports, and analysis on the Orioles minor league system. He also previously wrote his personal blog, The EntreprenOriole.


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5 Responses to Minor League Players of the Month: July

  1. Tim Bowers says:

    How about a little love for Bowie’s (AA) Kyle Hudson in July??!?!?!? He batted .350 including a 14-15 game hitting streak to end the month. Yeah, he doesn’t hit for power but he did manage to drive in 8 runs, scored 18 times himself and managed nearly a dozen walks. His OBP was a very nice .407 in all 31 games started in July. Oh, and he managed to steal 9 bases, too

    -tim in Tampa

  2. Tim Bowers says:

    Whether someone is a ‘prospect’ or not does not mean they should or should not be considered for player of the month. As long as Kyle is in the minor league system, he is considered a prospect. Otherwise, why keep him on? Excluding him from consideration because of his perceived (by you) limited upside is bogus. What if he batted .500 (by getting an extra hit every other game) and stole 20 bases, would you still disqualify him from player of the month consideration or ‘other notables’ as well? Heck, fellow blogger Joe Wedra from Eutaw Street Report thinks of Kyle enough to mention him on August 6th. He may not be on your prospect list but remember Kyle has been to the show and very well might get called up in September once again. You know, there might be a reason the O’s brought him back again this year.

    • Tucker Blair says:

      I have nothing against Hudson, or any other player that is in the same boat. But he’s not a prospect, and he is minor league depth. I don’t put a ton of merit into the numbers of a player that is 26 years old at AA, especially considering he has already had a cup of coffee in the majors. I also do my best to talk to scouts and round up players based off that. Numbers are not everything. I’ve also seen him play a substantial amount of times, and I am not high on his overall game. He’s minor league depth at best. The Orioles severely lacked CF depth within the upper minors, so they bring a guy like Hudson in to plug that hole. Again, nothing against Hudson, but he’s not a guy that writers (that have actually seen the players) are really going to spend a large amount of time on. I’ve kept guys like that off the list all year, and it’s my personal preference. I’ve been consistent in that at all times, so I don’t think it’s out of the blue that I am leaving him off. There are only two players that have been the exception (Henry Urrutia, Eddie Gamboa) but those are very odd scenarios. I’d love to give a shout-out for every player, but it’s just not feasible.

      Maybe I should rename the segment to “Prospects of the month/week”. Would certainly be more appropriate.
      Anyways, I hope that makes some form of sense.

  3. Tim Bowers says:

    If it makes it clear that you’re not considering ALL players in the minor league system, then I agree you should rename it. Not that it matters to them one bit what a blogger thinks of them…………

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