Starling Marte, Indianapolis
(.484/.515/.968, 7 G, 15-for-31, 2 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 13 RBI, 9 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 2 CS)
Marte, the Pirates' top hitting prospect, closed out a .325/.385/.558 June with multiple hits in seven straight games
this week. The 23-year-old outfielder has also scored in each of his last six outings as the Indians won six of seven and now own the best record in the IL at 52-31. Having struggled with off-speed pitches in his first two months at Triple-A, the reigning Eastern League batting champion's newly found discipline was highlighted by a five-RBI performance
against Toledo on Thursday.
Pacific Coast League
Jedd Gyorko, Tucson
(.571/.636/.893, 7 G, 16-for-28, 3 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R, 5 BB, 2 K)
At 29-54, the Padres have the worst record in the 16-team PCL. They won five of seven games this week, however, thanks in large part to Gyorko's performance -- of the 51 runs Tucson scored, 17 were driven in or scored by the 23-year-old West Virginia product. Gyorko went 4-for-5 with a homer, double and five RBIs as the Padres edged host Fresno, 9-8, on Tuesday, added three hits and two RBIs the next night, and finished out the week with seven hits and four RBIs in his last three games. Since joining Tucson in May, Gyorko is hitting .355/.401/.602 in 43 games.
Thomas Neal, Akron
(.500/.563/1.036, 7 G, 14-for-28, 6 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 7 R, 3 BB, 5 K)
Neal compiled a number of impressive streaks this week, including six consecutive multi-hit games, six games in a row with at least one RBI and four straight games with a double. The 24-year-old outfielder has gotten stronger each month of the season and is destroying left-handed pitching to the tune of .368/.435/.526. About the only hole in Neal's approach has been his inability to "wake and rake" -- he's hit just .217 in 17 day games this year.
Curt Smith, Jacksonville
(.524/.583/1.095, 6 G, 11-for-21, 3 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 SB)
The Appalachian League's Player of the Year in 2008 and a Texas League midseason All-Star in 2010, Smith spent the 2011 season in independent ball. He's been streaky with the Suns this year while splitting duty at first base, designated hitter and as a pinch hitter. After a 2-for-19 stretch over 12 games in late May and early June, Smith has gotten more regular time in the lineup and stronger at the plate. Heading into Friday's action, the 25-year-old had posted just six multi-hit outings in his first 64 contests. That night he went 3-for-5 with a homer, followed by two doubles and a single Saturday before closing out the week with a longball, single and three RBIs on Sunday.
Chris Swauger, Springfield
(.438/.471/1.000, 4 G, 7-for-16, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 0 K)
After finishing in third place in the North in the first half of the season at 35-35, the Cardinals have jumped out to a 7-2 second-half start and won six in a row. The team's surge corresponds neatly with that of Swauger, who has multiple hits in four of his last six contests. The 24-year-old outfielder homered on both Saturday and Sunday and missed the cycle by just a double on Sunday as Springfield finished off a three-game sweep of first-half South champion Frisco.
C.J. Retherford, Rancho Cucamonga
(.586/.606/1.069, 7 G, 17-for-29, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 SB, 1 CS)
Retherford last played at the Class A Advanced level in 2008, but struggled the last two seasons, barely reaching the Mendoza line in 169 games at Double-A and Triple-A. Not so this year, as the 26-year-old third baseman ranks second in the league in batting, on-base percentage, slugging and home runs. Retherford has reached base in each of his last 28 games -- the longest such streak in the league this season -- and had multiple hits in six of seven contests this week, including a 5-for-5 outing at High Desert on Monday and a four-RBI performance at Lancaster on Saturday that featured a homer and a pair of doubles. His line in 26 June games was .458/.534/.948.
Rick Hague, Potomac
(.464/.516/.750, 7 G, 13-for-28, 5 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 5 SB)
A third-round pick out of Rice in the 2010 Draft, Hague missed over a full season after dislocating his shoulder in the first week of the 2011 campaign. The 23-year-old shortstop returned to action on April 30 and collected eight hits in his first five games, but was hitting just .204 as this week began. Hague lifted that mark 38 points with five multi-hit games and scored eight times in seven games. After recording just 10 hits in his first 17 games of June, Hague has 13 hits in his last seven contests.
Florida State League
Jason Rogers, Brevard County
(.429/.600/.857, 7 G, 9-for-21, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 9 R, 9 BB, 5 K, 2 SB)
A midseason All-Star in the Midwest League, where he hit .301/.394/.485 in 66 games for Wisconsin, Rogers has been even better in his first 10 days in the FSL. Brevard County's new first baseman/corner outfielder/designated hitter drove in 10 runs in seven games this week and, with 11 walks, has posted a .571 on-base percentage in his first 10 Class A Advanced games. Rogers capped the week with a pair of homers and five RBIs on Sunday as the Manatees routed host Clearwater, 10-3.
Ji-Man Choi, Clinton
(.538/.586/1.038, 6 G, 14-for-26, 1 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 1 BB, 4 K)
Choi missed the entire 2011 season with a strained back muscle, and though batting a team-leading .316, had hit just one longball in his first 26 games of 2012. The hot summer weather apparently suits the South Korean Choi, who closed out this week with home runs in four of his last five games, including a 4-for-6, three-RBI performance at Beloit on Saturday. The 21-year-old backstop has scored a run in nine of his last 10 outings and collected multiple hits in each of his last five -- all LumberKings wins.
South Atlantic League
Aaron Senne, Greensboro
(.484/.568/.839, 7 G, 15-for-31, 2 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 5 R, 6 BB, 6 K)
Senne missed the entire 2011 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and has been held to just 35 games this year by a fractured finger and right shoulder sprain. He missed nearly a month with the latter injury but has shown no signs of rust since returning to the Grasshoppers lineup on June 23. The 24-year-old first baseman, who has spent eight of his last nine games in left field, had five multi-hit games this week and blasted half of his six homers on the season. After going 0-for-4 on Saturday -- his first hitless game since May 25 -- he bounced back with a 4-for-4 outing (with a pair of walks) against Hickory on Sunday.
New York-Penn League
Cole Frenzel, Brooklyn
(.455/.586/.773, 7 G, 10-for-22, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 5 BB, 0 K)
A seventh-round pick out of the University of Arizona in 2011, Frenzel struggled in a six-game stint with Class A Augusta at the end of May, going just 3-for-22. He's regained his form with Brooklyn, however, reaching base in 10 of 12 games thus far, including the last eight in a row. He slugged his first longball of the season at Hudson Valley on Sunday and has struck out just once in 41 at-bats with the Cyclones this season.
Alfredo Morales, Everett
(.429/.448/.643, 7 G, 12-for-28, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 1 BB, 4 K)
The 19-year-old Morales has been a key contributor for the AquaSox, who own the league's best record at 13-4. He's riding an eight-game hitting streak, highlighted by a 3-for-4 performance against Vancouver on Wednesday and a homer and double the following night at Salem-Keizer. The Sox won six of seven this week with Morales batting anywhere from fourth through eighth in the lineup. He's been most effective in the eight-hole, with seven of his 16 hits this season coming in the five games he's batted eighth.
Romy Jimenez, Elizabethton
(.500/.524/1.100, 5 G, 10-for-20, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 R, 1 BB, 3 K)
Jimenez batted over .300 in the Dominican Summer League in 2009 and 2010 and hit .321 in a brief eight-game stint with the GCL Twins last summer. The 20-year-old is off to a flying start in the Appy League with multiple hits in six of his last seven games, including a Thursday performance against Pulaski that saw him homer twice, double and drive in three runs for the second straight game. Jimenez leads the league in slugging (.865), is tied for second with four homers and ranks third with 13 RBIs and a .405 batting average.
Daniel Pulfer, Missoula
(.526/.625/.947, 6 G, 10-for-19, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 4 BB, 0 K)
Pulfer was 0-for-13 on the season before breaking out in a big way against Helena on Wednesday for six RBIs and the Osprey's first cycle since 2007. The 22-year-old infielder, a 19th-round pick in 2011, added a double and a pair of walks on Thursday, going 5-for-7 in two games against Billings over the weekend. After the 0-for-13 start, Pulfer has 10 hits in his last 16 at-bats -- five of them for extra bases.