Fort Myers Miracle
Pitcher of the Week: Tom Stuifbergen- After getting off to a awful start to the season due to injuries and ineffectiveness Stuifbergen has been lights out the last 24 innings. In those innings he has only given up two earned runs. In his last three starts he has been awesome by going 2-1 with a unbelievable 1.06 era in 19 innings of work. In those 19 innings the righty only gave up 16 hits which is very good for someone who doesn’t throw extremely hard. He had a good 5/11 walk to strikeout rate in those three starts. After getting off to a awful April with a 10.00 era in two starts in the month of April and then spending quite a bit of time on the disabled list it was a good comeback. However, comebacks are something that the big righty from The Netherlands is used to after coming back from arm surgery. He has all tools to be a unbelievable prospect he just needs to stay healthy and become a little bit more consistant. This bout of dominance is not something that is totally unexpected, but it is something that the Twins brass have been waiting a long time to see. It will be interesting to see if this is a short term thing or if one of the most talented pitchers in the whole system has finally found himself and can be skyrocket up the charts as a prospect and a future Minnesota Twin.
Hitter of the Week: Aaron Hicks- After a terrible April Aaron Hicks has come out a blazing in the month of May and specifically the last week. After hitting just .211 with a .593 OPS in April, he turned it up to hit .286 with a .830 OPS in the month of May, and now in June he has turned it up even more by hitting 324 with an OPS of 889. Quite an improvement every month of the season for the talented center fielder. In the last week he has turned it up even more as he is hitting .324 on 12-37. He also contributed four doubles and two rbi’s along with nine runs scored. The stat that impressed me the most was the fact that he walked as much as he struck out as he walked nine times while also striking out nine times along with also stealing two bases in three attempts. He had a statline of .324/457/432/889. The OBP is out of this world and a number he probably will never attain again. However, it is worth noting that he has cut down on his strikeouts this year without seeing a decrease in his walks. A game that epitomizes Aaron Hicks was against Bradenton on June, 11th he went 3-3 with two doubles, a single, three walks and a stolen base. You can’t have a game better than that and that just shows the potential out of him. It will be interesting to see if he can keep getting better and hit .300 with a .400 OBP because those are the stats we need to pay attention to. It will be an interesting summer for Hicks as he tries to force the Twins hand into possibly getting him in New Britain to start 2012.
Pitcher of the Week: Clint Dempster- For the second consecutive week Dempster won pitcher of week honors for the Beloit Snappers. He just seems to be getting better and better for the Snappers and it is a mystery to me why he is still in Beloit. With that being said I expect him to join the Miracle to start the second half of the season. His numbers on the year are quite impressive as he is 2-2 with a great 2.12 era in 23 games including four saves. In the last week he has gotten even better by giving up only two runs in 14.2 innings which spanned ten games including two saves. In his 14.2 innings he only gave up seven hits and my Perham High School math tells me that is one hit for every two innings. He had an impressive walk to strikeout rate with three walks and 15 strikeouts and held opponents to a .143 batting average. You can’t get much better than what Dempster has done this season and a lesser person would allow the fact that he probably should have been demoted get to him, but if it is bothering him he is not showing it on the field. It will be interesting to see how long it is before Clint Dempster is promoted up to Fort Myers and more importantly how he does when he gets up there.
Hitter of the Week: Lance Ray- After getting off to a horrid start in April, Ray has continued to get better and better. After hitting just .162 in April with a .588 OPS, before rebounding in May to hit .280 with a .806 OPS and improved again so far in June by hitting .317 with a .843 OPS. However, as good as those numbers have been his numbers the last week have been out of this world. In his last ten games Ray is hitting .419 on 13 for 31 along five doubles, three rbi’s and scored six runs. He also walked two batters while striking out eight times and stole two bases on three attempts. He had a stat line of .419/.486/.581/1.066 the last ten games. With that said due to his awful month of April he is hitting just .249 with a .744 OPS. The big thing that Ray does is just keep getting better and if he does by the end of the year he will put up some very solid numbers. He is not a huge prospect, but he is starting quality and it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers he will put up at the end of the year.