14 organizations represented by August winners
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Sept. 5, 2019 — Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) today announced the Uncle Ray’s Player of the Month Award winners for each of the 16 leagues for the month of August. In recognition of the honor, each winner will receive an award from Minor League Baseball and Uncle Ray’s, the “Official Potato Chip of Minor League Baseball.”
Norfolk Tides (Orioles) right-hander Chandler Shepherd led the International League in ERA (1.62), WHIP (0.90) and batting average against (.181). He was 3-1 in five starts for the Tides, and on Aug. 13, he was promoted to Baltimore where he allowed one run in four innings. After being optioned back to Norfolk, Shepherd threw a seven-inning complete game in the second half of a doubleheader on Aug. 24. Shepherd, 27, was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 13th round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Kentucky.
Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon went 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA in five starts for Memphis. Ponce de Leon led the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts (39), ERA (0.93), WHIP (0.90) and batting average against (.131). Ponce de Leon allowed just three runs in his five starts and started the month with 23 consecutive scoreless innings. Ponce de Leon, 27, was selected by St. Louis in the ninth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Embry-Riddle College.
Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies) catcher Tyler Nevin led the Eastern League in home runs (eight), RBI (24), doubles (11), total bases (67), slugging percentage (.609) and OPS (.972). He finished fourth in hits (32), produced 10 multi-hit games and homered in four straight games Aug. 27–29. Nevin, 22, was selected by Colorado in Competitive Balance Round A of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Poway High School in Poway, California.
Jackson Generals (Diamondbacks) catcher Daulton Varsho led the Southern League in average (.391), hits (31), slugging percentage (.707), OPS (1.143), runs scored (26) and total bases (65). He finished fourth in on-base percentage (.436). Varsho recorded 10 multi-hit games in August. Varsho, 23, was selected by Arizona in Competitive Balance Round B of the first round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Tulsa Drillers (Dodgers) catcher Connor Wong led the Texas League in eight offensive categories: batting average (.412), hits (40), total bases (72), home runs (nine), RBI (26), on-base percentage (.463), slugging percentage (.742), and OPS (1.205). He put together an 11-game hit streak from Aug. 16–27, during which he recorded seven multi-hit games. In total, Wong put up 13 multi-hit games during the month of August. Wong, 23, was selected by Los Angeles in the third round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Houston.
Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies) shortstop Ryan Vilade led the California League in batting average (.368), hits (43) and total bases (72), placed second in runs (28), slugging percentage (.615) and OPS (1.027), and finished third in home runs (seven) and on-base percentage (.412). During an Aug. 21 contest, he knocked in three runs and collected seven bases by recording a home run and a triple in a 2-for-3 effort that also featured two walks. Vilade, 20, was selected by Colorado in the second round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Stillwater High School in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Potomac Nationals left-hander Carson Teel was 2-1 in five starts and led the Carolina League in ERA (0.87) and WHIP (0.90). He finished second in batting average against (.198) and did not allow a run in three of his five starts. In his two no-decisions, he left one game with a lead and left the other in a scoreless tie. Teel, 23, was selected by Washington in the 16th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Oklahoma State University.
Palm Beach Cardinals first baseman Luken Baker led the Florida State League in slugging percentage (.654), OPS (1.067) and doubles (11), was second in batting average (.346) and home runs (four) and finished fifth in on-base percentage (.413). With 11 doubles, one triple and four home runs, more than half of Baker’s August hits were for extra bases, and he reached safely in 21 of 23 games in August. Baker, 22, was selected by St. Louis in the second round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Christian University.
Clinton LumberKings (Marlins) outfielder Peyton Burdick batted .337 while leading the league in runs (26), RBI (30), on-base percentage (.458), slugging percentage (.632) and OPS (1.090). He finished second in home runs (six) and third in total bases (60). On Aug. 12, Burdick finished a 10-game hit streak with a two-home run game during which he batted in six of Clinton’s seven total runs. Burdick, 22, was selected by Miami in the third round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Wright State University.
Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pirates) center fielder Jonah Davis hit .318 and led the South Atlantic League league in runs (24), total bases (70), home runs (10) and slugging percentage (.654) while finishing second in OPS (1.037) and third in hits (34). He began the month with an eight-game hit streak from Aug. 1–10, which included six multi-hit games. On Aug. 17, Davis was a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-4 effort that also featured a sacrifice bunt. Davis, 22, was selected by Colorado in the 15th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California, Berkeley.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Indians) catcher Bryan Lavastida led the New York-Penn League in batting average (.413), hits (38) and on-base percentage (.486), was second in doubles (eight) and OPS (1.040) and third in slugging percentage (.554). He posted only two games in August during which he did not reach base, beginning the month with a 19-game on-base streak from Aug. 1–24. Lavastida recorded 14 multi-hit games, and he walked (13) more times than he struck out (10). Lavastida, 20, was selected by Cleveland in the 15th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Hillsborough Community College.
Hillsboro Hops (Diamondbacks) first baseman Tristin English led the Northwest League in five categories: batting average (.349), runs (19), home runs (five), slugging percentage (.616) and OPS (1.040). He finished second in total bases (53) and RBI (18) and placed third in on-base percentage (.424). English recorded only two games in which he did not reach base safely, and he finished the month on an 11-game on-base streak that began Aug. 18. English, 22, was selected by Arizona in the third round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Tech.
Burlington Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino led the Appalachian League in home runs (five), total bases (58), slugging percentage (.690) and OPS (1.130) while batting a second-place .381. He also placed fourth in runs (18), RBI (22) and on-base percentage (.440), and he walked (10) more times than he struck out (eight). On Aug. 11, Pasquantino went 5-for-5 with two doubles, two triples and two RBI. He later put together an 11-game on-base streak from Aug. 15–27. Pasquantino, 21, was selected by Kansas City in the 11th round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Old Dominion University.
Orem Owlz (Angels) shortstop Jeremiah Jackson batted .338 while leading the Pioneer League in total bases (58), home runs (9), slugging percentage (.784) and OPS (1.203) and finishing second in RBI (21). On Aug. 12, he went 3-for-6 with two home runs and four RBI. Three days later, on Aug. 15, Jackson went 3-for-5 with three home runs and five RBI, raising his slugging percentage from .606 to .650 in one game. Jackson, 19, was selected by Los Angeles in the second round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Luke’s Episcopal School in Mobile, Alabama.
AZL Rangers catcher Heriberto Hernandez batted .329 in August and led the Arizona League in home runs (seven), total bases (53), slugging percentage (.726) and was second in RBI (20) and OPS (1.114). Hernandez homered in five straight games Aug. 4–8, and recorded 10 multi-hit games in August. Hernandez, 19, was signed by Texas out of Bonao, Dominican Republic, on Dec. 13, 2017. He was promoted to Spokane on Aug. 26.
GCL Tigers West outfielder Kerry Carpenter led the Gulf Coast League in eight major categories, including slugging percentage (.749), OPS (1.224), runs (22), hits (31), total bases (63), doubles (10), home runs (six), and RBI (21). Carpenter recorded nine multi-hit games in 21 contests, and 18 of his 31 hits in August were for extra bases. In his last three games, he went 5-for-12 with three runs, two doubles, three home runs and seven RBI. Carpenter, 22, was selected by Detroit in the 19th round of the 2019 First-Year Player Draft out of Virginia Tech.
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