It’s time to dive into the August Players of the Month! You might be asking yourself, where is July? Life got the best of me (all good things) and unfortunately I missed bringing you the July players of the month. That’s on me! But I got you for August and September! For August, I also include your Arizona Complex League players of the year as the ACL has wrapped up. You can check out our previous players of the month here:
Here are your August Players of the Month and the Arizona Complex Players of the Year:
Omaha Storm Chasers
Freddy Fermin, C
Stats: 29 H, 7 2B, 8 HR, 18 RBI, 13 BB, .337 AVG, .420 OBP, .698 SLG, 1.118 OPS
This was a tough one. Brewer Hicklen has also been on fire, but man you can’t ignore what Freddy Fermin did in the month of August. Fermin had an opportunity to make his major league debut this year due to the Royals series in Toronto where multiple players couldn’t travel due to not having their COVID-19 vaccine. The 27-year-old backstop seems to profile more as a backup catcher, but you have to love what he has done this August.
Drew Parrish, LHP
Stats: 21.1 IP, 13 H, 7 ER, 12 BB, 15 SO, 2.95 ERA, 1.17 WHIP
Parrish has been all over our player of the month lists it seems like almost the entire year. Whether it was winning player of the month or just being an honorable mention. Parrish has strung together a respectable 3.69 ERA on the year, but he has lacked the strikeouts and really struggled with the long ball a bit in August despite the good ERA. Parrish has the stuff to be a back end type starter, but will really need to find a way to put guys away in order to become a middle of the order type guy.
Northwest Arkansas Naturals
CJ Alexander, 3B
Stats: 27 H, 6 2B, 8 HR, 29 RBI, 6 BB, .297 AVG, .330 OBP, .626 SLG, .956 OPS
I so badly wanted to give August to Tyler Gentry, but I could not ignore what CJ Alexander has done this month. He was mashing baseballs left and right. Since being trade to the Kansas City Royals, Alexander is hitting .264 with 9 home runs and 37 RBI with a 27.1% strikeout rate. You want to see that K rate go down a bit and walk rate increase, but not a bad third piece to get in the Drew Waters trade.
Stephen Woods, Jr., LHP
Stats: 17.1 IP, 21 H, 4 ER, 13 BB, 23 SO, 2.08 ERA, 1.90 WHIP
I’m surprised as you are to be giving this month’s award to Stephen Woods, Jr., but he was quite impressive as a multi-inning reliever this month despite the not so great WHIP. Between that and the month of August being petty rough for NW Arkansas pitchers in general, it seemed like the right move to do. Sort of the same story it has always been with Woods, Jr. A good amount of strikeouts with his nasty stuff paired with a good amount of walks.
Quad Cities River Bandits
Peyton Wilson, 2B
Stats: 23 H, 5 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 18 BB, 10 SB, .256 AVG, .380 OBP, .444 SLG, .826 OPS
This could’ve been a three way tie between Wilson, Darryl Collins, and Dillan Shrum. Ultimately, the stolen bases, home runs, and walks carried Wilson to the top. Wilson was an extremely interesting prospect coming out of Alabama in the 2021 draft and he seemed to have his coming out party in the month of August. He has shown a unique blend of power and speed that gets you somewhat excited for his future. The speed is plus, but he will need to make some more improvements in his hit tool to really reach his ceiling.
Adrian Alcantara, RHP
Stats: 29.2 IP, 27 H, 12 ER, 13 BB, 38 SO, 3.64 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
Outside of one bad start at the beginning of the month, Adrian Alcantara was electric. After his rough August 4th start, he strung together four really good starts with three of them being quality starts. Alcantara still struggles a bit with the walks, but you have to love the progression the 23-year-old has made in August. The Royals seem like they will keep stretching Alcantara out to be a starter and you have to imagine he will be making his way to Double-A soon.
Carter Jensen, C
Stats: 25 H, 9 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 24 BB, 3 SB, .33 AVG, .495 OBP, .520 SLG, 1.015 OPS
I don’t think you’ll find a hotter team than the Columbia Fireflies right now. Part of that has been due to their offense that has been on fire, especially with them recently injecting Gavin Cross and Cayden Wallace into their lineup. But we gotta talk about Carter Jensen. He was easily my favorite pick in the 2021 draft class and man did he have an August. 24 WALKS to just 12 STRIKEOUTS! Insanity. He wasn’t hitting balls over the wall, but had nine doubles and you just love the potential he has.
Frank Mozzicato, LHP
Stats: 25 IP, 17 H, 7 ER, 13 BB, 32 SO, 2.52 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
Well hello there 2021 first rounder Frank Mozzicato! Talk about a breakout month for the lefty. Mozzicato struggled a tad to get adjusted to pro ball when he first got called up to the Low-A Columbia, but man has he made strides in the month of August. The stuff is nasty. The strikeouts are there. He has struckout 88 over 68.1 innings for the entire year. Since Mozzicato debuted in May, his numbers have just been getting better with each month. He’s making the adjustments needed and starting to excel.
Arizona Complex League Players of the Year
Player of the Year – Roger Leyton, OF
Stats: 34 H, 13 2B, 2 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 14 BB, .274 AVG, .361 OBP, .484 SLG, .845 OPS
This award probably would’ve gone to Lizando Rodriguez if he had not been called up to Low-A Columbia. Lizandro had a .973 OPS before heading to Columbia and no one else was even close to him. It basically came down to first baseman Junior Calderon and outfielder Roger Leyton. Leyton led almost every category besides SLG and RBI. For a while, it seemed like he had a double every single game. Both Leyton and Calderon will be interesting guys to follow if they make their debut in Columbia either this year or next.
Pitcher of the Year- Mauricio Veliz – RHP
Stats: 45.2 IP, 32 H, 12 ER, 12 BB, 9 SO, 2.36 ERA, 0.96 WHIP
Veliz easily had the best numbers out of all of the Kansas City Royals Arizona Complex League pitchers. The next closest was Pablo Mujica who sports a very fun 44 strikeouts in 31.2 innings with a 3.13 ERA. Veliz threw 15 more innings while striking out 37 batters. Veliz also sports WHIP that was below one and had almost an entire point lower in ERA than Mujica. It is quite impressive to see the improvements Veliz has made especially since he struggled in a small sample size in the Dominican Summer League in 2021.
Honorable Mentions – Position Players
Brewer Hicklen, OF Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)
Stats: 21 H, 5 2B, 3B, 8 HR, 16 RBI, 13 BB, .221 AVG, .351 OBP, .547 SLG, .898 OPS
Maikel Garcia, SS Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)
Stats: 25 H, 5 2B, 6 HR, 22 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SB, .272 AVG, .302 OBP, .522 SLG, .824 OPS
Tyler Gentry, OF Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA)
Stats: 26 H, 3 2B, 4 HR, 16 RBI, 19 BB, 3 SB, .317 AVG, .468 OBP, .500 SLG, .968 OPS
Dillan Shrum, 1B Quad Cities River Bandits (High-A)
Stats: 15 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 12 RBI, 13 BB, .246 AVG, .410 OBP, .459 SLG, .869 OPS
Darryl Collins, OF Quad Cities River Bandits (High-A)
Stats: 22 H, 2B, 3B, HR, 13 RBI, 13 BB, .328 AVG, .417 OBP, .418 SLG, .835 OPS
Jean Ramirez, OF Columbia Fireflies (A)
Stats: 20 H, 4 2B, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 16 BB, 18 SB, .278 AVG, .429 OBP, .500 SLG, .929 OPS
Gavin Cross, OF Columbia Fireflies (A)
Stats: 26 H, 2 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 16 RBI, 14 BB, 4 SB, .239 AVG, .373 OBP, .522 SLG, .895 OPS
Lizandro Rodriguez, 2B Columbia Fireflies (A)
Stats: 17 H, 4 2B, 3B, HR, 5 RBI, 7 BB, SB, .304 AVG, .400 OBP, .464 SLG, .864 OPS
Cayden Wallace, 3B Columbia Fireflies (A)
Stats: 21 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 7 BB, 5 SB, .296 AVG, .367 OBP, .465 SLG, .832 OPS
Honorable Mentions – Pitchers
Daniel Mengden, RHP Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)
Stats: 17.1 IP, 14 H, 4 ER, 12 BB, 9 SO, 2.08 ERA, 1.50 WHIP
Jackson Kowar, RHP Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)
Stats: 18.2 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 11 BB, 18 SO, 3.86 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
Rylan Kaufman, LHP Quad Cities River Bandits (High-A)
Stats: 22 IP, 19 H, 6 ER, 7 BB, 26 SO, 2.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP
Jonatan Bernal, RHP Columbia Fireflies (A)
Stats: 24,2 IP, 23 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 15 SO, 2.19 ERA, 1.05 WHIP