Jacksonville Suns right-handed pitcher Austin Brice has been named the Miami Marlins Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April, announced by the Marlins on Thursday morning.
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA in five starts this season for Jacksonville, with 23 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched for Jacksonville. Brice's 1.29 ERA is the eight-lowest in the Southern League, and the third-lowest among Marlins minor league pitchers.
"I've felt pretty good on the mound," said Brice. "I feel like all of my stuff is starting to pull together a little bit. I felt pretty fresh coming out of Spring Training and the extra baseball at the end of the year last year I think help carried more into this season so I feel pretty good."
Brice spent all of 2015 in a Suns uniform, going 6-9 with a 4.67 ERA in a career-high 25 starts. Brice is the No. 14 Marlins prospect for 2016 according to Baseball America, and he was originally selected in the ninth round of the 2010 draft out of Northwood High School in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Earlier this season, Brice was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for April 7 - 17.
Brice has felt more consistent pitching since some changes he made during the 2015 campaign.
"As a starter it's really my fastball and changeup changing speeds, Brice said. "And also using my breaking pitches as out pitches. Everything is the same, I did add that slider at the All-Star Break last year and it's really helped with adding a harder breaking pitch that works off my slurvy curveball, so everything is coming along pretty well."
Brice is scheduled to pitch tonight for the Suns against the Generals in Jackson.
New Orleans Zephyrs outfielder Destin Hood was named the organization's Minor League Player of the Month for April after hitting .320 with six home runs and 22 RBI during the season's first month.
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