With another month in the books, let's look at the best players in July. I'm not positive these stats are through Sunday's games, but I don't think one game is going to swing things significantly.
At just 19, Genesis Cabrera just has to hold his own in the Midwest League to impress. That's why his poor month isn't too concerning. In five starts, batters had a .787 OPS against him, including a .370 on-base percentage. He walked one more batter than he struck out in June, too, so it's possible he's just tiring out since he set a career-high in innings a long time ago.
Jake Hager got off to a nice start after his June promotion to Durham, but July was not as kind. He batted just .207 with a .263 OBP, and his OPS was nearly 200 points lower than his June mark.
Brent Honeywell's July began with a poor start for Charlotte, but he earned a promotion to Double-A Montgomery anyway. A promotion, I might add, that probably would've come a lot sooner had he been healthy the entire season. He has at least five strikeouts in all four starts with the Biscuits and has only allowed three earned runs.
Although Chih-Wei Hu's July featured his worst strikeout rate of any month, he appeared in the Futures Game and impressed. His .644 OPS against was also the lowest of any month in 2016. He's quickly emerging as a top-10 prospect in the organization.
Brandon Lowe was picked in the third round last year, but he didn't play until this season due to a broken ankle. At 22 and coming from a strong Atlantic Coast Conference, he should be performing well in the Midwest League, and he is. He hit his first four pro home runs, has more walks (12) than strikeouts (eight) and owns an OPS just north of .900. He probably deserves a chance to finish the season in Charlotte.
If you're waiting for Justin Williams to walk more, you're probably going to have a pretty long wait -- but he just keeps hitting. He had a 1.164 OPS in 12 July games with the Stone Crabs before getting a promotion to join Montgomery's talented lineup. He has a .923 OPS with Montgomery through 11 games, but with just one walk. If he can continue having success at this level, he's going to convince more people that he can make his plate approach work. He's a career .317 hitter in the minors.
Triple-A Durham Bulls (51-58)
Back-to-back home runs from Taylor Motter and Jaff Decker capped a six-run inning in Durham's 6-3 win over Louisville. Down 1-0 in the fourth, Jake Goebbert doubled to start a two-out rally for the Bulls. He scored on Hank Conger's single, Conger scored on a Jake Hager single, and Motter's three-run shot extended the lead to 5-1. Jake Faria struck out seven and allowed just a first-inning run in 5 2/3 innings, but he walked five batters.
Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (21-15)
Class-A Advanced Charlotte Stone Crabs (19-16)
A five-run seventh sunk Charlotte in a 7-6 loss to Brevard County. Cristian Toribio's second RBI of the game in the sixth gave his Stone Crabs a 6-1 edge before the Manatees reeled off six unanswered runs to win the game. Rehabbing lefty Grayson Garvin allowed just an unearned run over five innings, and it was ultimately defense that cost Charlotte in the big inning. Jeff Howell was charged with five runs, but only one was earned due to a pair of Andrew Velazquez errors.
Class-A Bowling Green Hot Rods (22-13)
Jose Mujica had another nice start in Bowling Green's 6-0 win over Dayton. In his fifth straight quality start, the righty struck out two in six scoreless innings with four hits and three walks allowed. Before he even took the mound, he had a 2-0 lead thanks to RBI hits by Kevin Padlo and Brett Sullivan. The Hot Rods broke the game open in the sixth with RBI doubles from David Rodriguez, David Olmedo-Barrera and Matt Eureste.
Short-Season Hudson Valley Renegades (24-17)
Hapless Batavia was just nine outs away from finally earning its 10th win before Hudson Valley staged a comeback for a 4-1 win over the Muckdogs. Down 1-0, the Renegades got three straight singles to start the seventh and tie the game. After a pitching change, Bill Pujols' ground-rule double gave the Renegades their first lead, and Garrett Whitley then drove in a pair of insurance runs. Starter Spencer Moran allowed the Batavia run in five innings of work, and J.D. Busfield and Jose Alonzo each threw two scoreless innings of relief.
An early pair of home runs helped Princeton to a 6-1 win over Elizabethton. Bobby Melley went deep for the third time this season to give Princeton a 1-0 edge in the second, and Eleardo Cabrera followed an inning later with a three-run shot to provide a nice cushion for starter Brian McAfee. He allowed a run in four innings with four strikeouts, and Orlando Romero provided great relief work with six strikeouts in three scoreless frames.
Rookie Gulf Coast League Rays (13-19)
The GCL Rays were off.
The preceding stories were not generated by the Associated Press computer using data from and in cooperation with MLBAM.
2B Jake Hager: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
SS Taylor Motter: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
OF Jaff Decker: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
1B Casey Gillaspie: 0-for-2, 2 BB
3B Richie Shaffer: 0-for-4, 1 K
RHP Jacob Faria: 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K
SS Willy Adames: 0-for-5, 1 BB
1B Jake Bauers: 3-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB
OF Cade Gotta: 4-for-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
OF Justin Williams: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 K
SS Juniel Querecuto: 3-for-3, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB
C Armando Araiza: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
RHP Taylor Guerrieri: one-third IP, 4 H, 7 R (6 ER), 3 BB, 1 K
RHP Jared Mortensen: 4 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
RHP Mark Sappington: 1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
LHP Adam Kolarek: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K
SS Andrew Velazquez: 1-for-5, 1 SB
CF Joe McCarthy: 1-for-1, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB
LHP Grayson Garvin: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K
RHP Jeff Howell: 1+ IP, 2 H, 5 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K
3B Kevin Padlo: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
C David Rodriguez: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
1B Matt Eureste: 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
RHP Jose Mujica: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K
RHP Yoel Espinal: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
OF Ryan Boldt: 0-for-5
OF Garrett Whitley: 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB
OF Jake Fraley: 0-for-4, 1 BB, 1 SB
3B Jim Haley: 3-for-4
RHP Spencer Moran: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
OF Eleardo Cabrera: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB
OF Emilio Gustave: 3-for-5, 1 K
1B Bobby Melley: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
SS Adrian Rondon: 0-for-4, 1 K
RHP Brian McAfee: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
RHP Orlando Romero: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Today's games (All probables courtesy milb.com)
Bowling Green @ Dayton 7 PM ET (MiLB.TV, radio stream)
Eduar Lopez (2-0, 0.73) v.
Hudson Valley @ Batavia 7:05 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Mike Mertz (0-0, 0.00)
Princeton @ Elizabethton 7 PM ET (radio stream)
TBA v. Tyler Beardsley (1-0, 3.33)
GCL Rays @ GCL12 PM
*Listed as TBA on milb.com
Scouting the opposition
Norfolk Tides (Baltimore)
43-65, 4th in IL South
Offense: 370 R (14th) .680 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 3.72 ERA (9th) 1.33 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: 1B Trey Mancini (8), RHP Mike Wright (10), OF Dariel Alvarez (13), 1B/OF Christian Walker (14), RHP Oliver Drake (21), LHP Ariel Miranda (23), OF Mike Yastrzemski (25)
Jackson Generals (Seattle)
Offense: 464 R (3rd) .730 OPS (1st)
Pitching: 3.39 ERA (3rd) 1.28 WHIP (4th)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Edwin Diaz (2), OF Tyler O’Neill (4), OF Guillermo Heredia (7), RHP Andrew Moore (8), 1B (10), LHP Ryan Yarbrough (14), RHP Paul Blackburn (19), RHP Dan Altavilla (24), OF Ian Miller (31)
Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee)
11-25, 6th in FSL North
Offense: 330 R (12th) .609 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 4.00 ERA (10th) 1.39 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: LHP Kodi Medeiros (6), OF Clint Coulter (8), RHP Cody Ponce (9), RHP Bubba Derby (12), RHP Freddy Peralta (15), RHP Marcos Diplan (18), OF Corey Ray, 2B
Dayton Dragons (Cincinnati)
12-23, 8th in MWL East
Offense: 354 R (16th) .622 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 4.41 ERA (16th) 1.47 WHIP (16th)
Top 30 Prospects: C Tyler Stephenson (4), RHP Tanner Rainey (17), 3B Gavin LaValley (24), OF Narisco Crook (28), 3B Nick Senzel, C Chris Okey
Batavia Muckdogs (Miami)
9-33, 6th in NYPL Pinckney
Offense: 148 R (11th) .568 OPS (12th)
Pitching: 5.16 ERA (12th) 1.53 WHIP (12th)
Top 30 Prospects: OF Isaiah White (8), RHP Jordan Holloway (10), OF Garvis Lara (16), OF Jhonny Santos (28)
18-19, 3rd in AL West
Offense: 186 R (3rd) .758 OPS (2nd)
Pitching: 4.75 ERA (9th) 1.51 WHIP (10th)
Top 30 Prospects: 1B Lewin Diaz (21), 3B Travis Blankenhorn (26), 1B Amaurys Minier (30), OF Alex Kiriloff, RHP Griffin Jax
16-16, 3rd in GCL South
Offense: 108 R (16th) .587 OPS (16th)
Pitching: 2.69 ERA (3rd) 1.15 WHIP (3rd)
Top 30 Prospects: RHP Huascar Ynoa (25), SS Jose Miranda, OF Akil Baddoo