Position Player-- Jarred Ball
Ball struggled to find playing time early in the year, but
with the struggled of Marland Williams he’s started getting opportunities and
making the most of them. Ball hit a team high .359 in June with nine doubles, a
triple, and a home run. While shortstop Jerry Gil flexed his power stroke,
hitting seven homers, and the always consistent Dan Uggla stroked at a .348 clip
it was Ball’s best tool, his speed, that put him over the top. Ball swiped
eight bases in ten chances in June, and played a stellar center field, something
the Diamondbacks had wondered about.
Though Ball is once again on pace to strikeout over 100
times (he K’d 123 times last year in Hi-A Lancaster) his 46 walks this season
are already a career high, and proof positive that his pitch recognition is
improving. It almost seemed as if Ball was gunning for the award, he started
the month with a 4-5 four run performance on the first and finished with a 3-3
three run performance on the 30th to give him the team lead for runs
scored in June as well.
Pitcher-- Casey Daigle
There was no denying starter Dustin Nippert was incredible
in June. The big right hander, who made his first start of the season on May 29th
after coming back from Tommy John surgery, was 2-1 in June with an amazing 2.29
ERA, but the Daigle picks up the award after finally settling into the closer’s
role and owning it.
From the 10th of June until the 25th
Daigle either won or saved all eight games he appeared in, racking up two wins
and eight saves in 13 appearances and allowing exactly one earned run to post an
ERA of 0.77, after a May ERA of 0.00. It was an impressive showing for a guy
who had pitched in relief exactly six times in his minor league career (118
games) until this season.
Just as Nippert’s June is more impressive in light of the
Tommy John surgery, Daigle’s circumstances have got to be brought up as well.
This was a guy pitching in the Majors last season. Daigle’s struggles, (2-3
with a 7.16 ERA in 10 starts with the D’Backs last season), while noticeable,
couldn’t even begin to compare to those of Edgar Gonzalez (0-9 with a 9.32 ERA)
and yet when the season started there was Gonzalez, at Triple-A Tucson, awaiting
an opportunity to move back into the bigs (and opportunity he got), and there
was Daigle, back in Double-A and being told that yes, he would start, but
only in spot situations. And yet here he is now. Not just pitching out of the
bullpen, but doing it well, well enough that the rumors have started swirling he
might skip Tucson entirely, and that if the bullpen situation at the BOB doesn’t
improve, he might end up being the next option.