Astros announce Minor League Players of Month
The Astros’ player development department has named June’s Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Month at their four full-season affiliates and two Dominican Summer League affiliates. These awards are chosen every month by the field staff of each team.
At Triple-A Oklahoma City, RHP Nick Tropeano was named Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 2.02 ERA (eight earned runs/35 2/3 innings), 34 strikeouts and just seven walks in five starts during June. The 2011 fifth-round pick currently ranks third in the Pacific Coast League in ERA (2.38) and WHIP (0.95), and tied for eighth in strikeouts (81). After allowing four runs in his first start of the year, Tropeano has allowed three runs or less in each of his last 15 outings. Oklahoma City’s June Player of the Month award went to IF Gregorio Petit, who hit .370 (34-for-92) with five doubles, five homers, 18 RBIs and a .998 OPS (.389 on-base percentage/.609 slugging percentage) in 24 games in June.
LHP Luis Cruz received Double-A Corpus Christi’s June Pitcher of the Month honors after going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA (three earned runs/21 innings) and 21 strikeouts in four starts during the month. The 23-year-old has posted a 5-5 record and a 3.16 ERA (24 earned runs/68 1/3 innings) with 63 strikeouts in 15 outings this season for the Hooks, holding opponents to a .228 batting average. Earning Corpus Christi’s June Player of the Month Award was OF Leo Heras, who hit .273 (18-for-66) with five doubles, one triple, two homers, 14 RBIs, six stolen bases and an .821 OPS (.351 on-base percentage/.470 slugging percentage) in 21 games in June. A native of Tijuana, Mexico, Heras was acquired from Los Diablos Rojos de Mexico of the Mexican League in August of 2013.
The Class A Advanced Lancaster Pitcher of the Month honors for June went to RHP Juan Minaya. The 23-year-old allowed just one earned run in his 9 1/3 innings of relief during the month (0.96 ERA), and struck out 10 batters with a .176 opponents’ average in his six June outings. IF Conrad Gregor took home Lancaster’s June Player of the Month award after batting .396 (38-for-96) with 11 doubles, one triple, six homers, 25 RBIs, 28 runs scored and a 1.182 OPS (.464 on-base percentage/.719 slugging percentage) in 24 games in June. A fourth-round pick in the 2013 draft out of Vanderbilt, Gregor led the California League in hits, extra base hits (18), total bases (69) and doubles during the month of June.
LHP Evan Grills was named the Class A Quad Cities June Pitcher of the Month after posting a 0.95 ERA (2 earned runs/19 innings) with just two walks and 17 strikeouts in his four appearances in June. Grills currently leads the River Bandits in innings pitched (76 2.3) and ranks seventh in the Midwest League in ERA (2.70). The club’s June Player of the Month award went to IF Tyler White, who hit .324 (22-for-68) with four doubles, one triple, five homers and a 1.079 OPS (.447 on-base percentage/.632 slugging percentage) in 22 June games. White ranks eighth in the Midwest League in OPS (.880) and sixth in OBP (.403).
In the Dominican Summer League, the Astros named a Pitcher and Player of the Month for each of their two clubs. For the DSL Astros Orange club, LHP Cristhopher Santamaria was named June Pitcher of the Month while IF Cristopher Luciano was named June Player of the Month. Santamaria went 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA and 25 strikeouts in his six June appearances. Luciano hit .301 (28-for-93) with seven doubles, one triple, two homers, 24 RBIs and an .887 OPS in 24 June games. For the DSL Astros Blue club, RHP Erasmo Pinales won Pitcher of the Month honors while IF Connor MacDonald picked up Player of the Month honors. In six June starts (five for the Astros Blue, one for the Astros Orange), Pinales went 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA (nine earned runs/29 innings) and 22 strikeouts. MacDonald, a native of Australia, hit .311 (28-for-90) with eight doubles, one triple, one homer, 17 RBIs and an .881 OPS in 25 games during the month.