Rather than sulk after being sent down to Triple-A on June 1 for the second time this season, Memphis outfielder Allen Craig simply punished the baseball all month long. With the Redbirds’ June in the books, the 25-year-old drove in an incredible 35 runs in his club’s last 28 Pacific Coast League games.
Any reminder of his 1-for-18 stint in his MLB introduction after having made the Cardinals opening day roster was long gone by June. During the month, our third recipient of The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month nod for 2010 went 37-for-111 (.333) at the plate.
In a most impressive feat, just over half of Craig’s June hits went for extra bases, including 11 doubles, a triple and seven home runs. His slash line is .333/.385/.640/1.025. Craig crossed the plate 22 times during the month and even stole a base in his first attempt of the season.
The right-handed hitter finished the month very strongly, with three home runs and a dozen RBI over his final five games. Craig equaled his season-best with five RBI on Sunday night, June 27 at Albuquerque. He is the only Redbird to drive in five runs in a game this year, having accomplished it twice. Craig’s 10 total bases that night tied Daniel Descalso for the single-game best by a Memphis hitter this season. He also joined the second baseman as the only Redbirds with multi-home run games in 2010.
Craig helped the Redbirds to a 15-14 June record that has kept them in the midst of a four-team dogfight in the PCL American North Division.
This type of recognition is not new to the outfielder, our seventh-ranked Cardinals prospect coming into the season. Craig was the Player of the Month last July by both the Cardinals organization and TheCardinalNation.com and followed that up with the overall 2009 Player of the Year Award from both entities.
Congratulations to Allen Craig, The Cardinal Nation Player of the Month for June.
Redbirds catcher Bryan Anderson has a .344 June average and 1.036 OPS. He connected for four home runs and drove in 14. Teammate Tyler Greene’s ten-game hitting streak ended in the final game of the month. The shortstop struck four long balls, drove in 12 and was 6-of-7 in stolen base attempts. April Player of the Month Jon Jay batted an even .300, collected 19 RBI and stole six bases without being caught.
Springfield catcher Steven Hill batted .310 with a .963 OPS, but had just two home runs and nine June RBI. Outfielder Adron Chambers posted a .328 average, scored 16 times, drove in 13 and swiped four bases in four attempts. Catcher Tony Cruz (13 games - 1.099 OPS) and outfielder Tyler Henley (16 games -.997 OPS) would have received serious consideration had they spent the entire month at their level.
Palm Beach outfielder Tommy Pham shook off a slow start to the season, batting .325 in June, scoring 17, driving in 12 and stealing six bases. Quad Cites first baseman Matt Adams posted a .358 average but plated just seven runs.
Several short-season players have gotten out of the gates well, but with fewer than two weeks of game results, they can’t yet touch Craig’s machine-line consistency. Fast-starters include Batavia’s Nick Longmire, Audry Perez and Joey Bergman along with Johnson City’s Chris Edmondson.
Coming up: Check back here Thursday for the announcement of the winner of The Cardinal Nation Pitcher of the Month for June. The Cardinals organization should be making their corresponding Pitcher and Player selections public, as well.
Previous winners: Click on the highlighted links to be taken to earlier articles.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Brian pens a column each Wednesday at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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