Believe it or not, July was month number four in FishStripes history. And it was quite a month. The month started with our first official trip - to New York to take in a Mets-Marlins game. That was a great experience for many of us (myself and Carolina in particular), pretty horrible for others (Wiggins), and odd for still others (like for Beer Good, Big Daddy, Curry, and Tom - who somehow didn't see any fireworks on the 4th of July in New York City).
There was also a lot of fun in Marlin-land. Let's recap:
Pitcher of the Month
Todd Jones is quietly putting up some outstanding numbers, and in honor of that, he's our Pitcher fo the Month for July. Cumulatively, Jones has 20 saves on the year, a 1.36 ERA, and a WHIP of less than 1.00.
July was right in line with those numbers (7 saves, 1.35 ERA, and 9 hits and one walk in 13.1 innings pitched). That, as they say, doesn't suck.
And if you weren't sure if Jones had arrived or not, he now has his own Metallica-themed introduction video at JRS; that's the one sure sign that you're a big-time Major League closer.
Player of the Month
Carlos Delgado flashed some power in July (he hit six homers), but he only hit .256. Surprisingly, Luis Castillo was in that BA neighborhood too (.253). Check out the Marlins other July stats here.
July's Player of the Month is Juan Encarnacion. Juan's line of .386/.439/.614 is pretty impressive. It's especially impressive when most folks (myself included) didn't feel that Juan could be a contributor on this team this year - at least not if they were going to compete for a post-season berth. But Juan has hit well and played his typical solid defense.
Former Marlin of the Month
Maybe we should make Lee ineligible for this award, but he still has a legit shot at the Triple Crown. Granted, he "only" hit .298 this month, but he also hit 9 home runs. DLee is having a heck of a year.
Minor Leaguer of the Month
This category is somewhat tough, as it seems like every high level prospect made an appearance or two on the Major League roster this month.
While many of them did, possibly the best prospect in the Marlins system did not make an appearance in the Majors during July. Jeremy Hermida might be seen in Miami soon, but we haven't seen him yet
Without even getting into Hermida's 2005 season, what keeps making me think of him is how Jeff Francoeur is tearing it up in Atlanta for the Braves. Since debuting on July 7th, Francoeur has put up a batting average of .413 and a slugging percentage of .913. About the only thing he hasn't done at the plate is draw walks; he literally has not walked once. It's conceivable that his first major league walk could be of the intentional variety, as pitchers are likely to grow tired of pitching to him.
Francoeur's success makes me think of Hermida because the two were drafted in nearly identical places coming out of high school a few years back. Both have progressed at nearly equal paces and both have succeeded everywhere they have been in the minors. Add to that that most folks consider Hermida the better prospect with the higher upside, and I pretty much start to drool. We should see Hermida by next opening day, but based on Francoeur's performance, he may deserve to be up earlier than that.
Diary of the Month
While he will probably be displeased with me for bringing attention to it once again, Stranded's diary about the 2003 post-season and his personal life is the clear winner for the July Diary of the month.
Comment of the Month
There were a number of contenders for comment of the month, but after much consideration, I settled on this one from Wiggins, probably because I'm partial to the Arizona reference. It was also a nice shot at Waltz, who continues to remind us that he's an idiot. Memo to Waltz: Arizona is a state (like Florida); the Diamondbacks play their home games in Phoenix (which is a city, like Miami).
This month our prize winners receive nothing other than the honor of knowing that they won. I hope that keeps you warm at night.