By Benjamin Upson
We may be finishing up the 2022 Futures League season soon, but that doesn’t mean the fun stops yet! It’s time to announce the Futures League’s Zorian Bats Team of the Month for July. This list is a compilation of players at their specific positions that have raised the bar in league competition over the course of the last month. All members have made a huge difference in each of their respective team’s playoff pushes throughout July and much of the season.
Worcester Bravehearts first baseman/outfielder Gavin Noriega and Vermont Lake Monsters pitcher Sean Matson were previously named the 78 Sports Player of the Month and ChangeUp Pitcher of the Month for July, respectively.
C Cam Seymour, Worcester
21 for 63 | .333 AVG | 9 HR | 3 2B | 16 R | 24 RBI
It was a month to remember for Worcester’s Cam Seymour. A July that saw a total of nine homers and 24 RBI is just some flat out stellar numbers. It’s very hard to knock out 3 home runs in a span of four games but he did just that between July 24-28, right around the All-Star break. Seymour has now launched into the league lead with 12 home runs this season, the only player with double digits in that category. The RBIs came in bunches for the Braveheart catcher as he tallied at least two of them in 8 games throughout the month.
1B Gavin Noriega, Worcester
78 SPORTS PLAYER OF THE MONTH
36 for 91 | .396 AVG | 1 HR | 13 2B | 21 R | 16 RBI
Another Braveheart is on the list. For the opening half of the season, Jackson Hornung was ripping it up as player of the month. Now he has some company with him as Gavin Noriega takes the award in July. He’s an everyday player for the Bravehearts who never stops grinding at the plate. It was pretty clear that he was the guy in July just about during his final 3 games of the month. In that 3-game stretch, he went 6-8 at the plate with three walks, a double, two triples, a home run and 7 RBI. Not to mention, racking up 13 doubles in a month is pretty impressive in itself.
2B D’Angelo Ortiz, Brockton
26 for 71 | .366 AVG | 0 HR | 2 2B | 12 R | 18 RBI
In the same month that his dad gets inducted into the Hall of Fame, D’Angelo Ortiz now receives his own honor on our team of the month list. He put up some clutch hits across the board, including a go-ahead 3-run double in the 9th inning in Pittsfield on July 14th. He also sparked a 5 run inning, all part of a 2-out rally against Vermont on July 20th during the 2nd inning. He tallied 4 RBI on the night overall. Ortiz’s batting average also ranks second overall on the Rox at .329, only trailing Peter Messervy. Being the son of a hall of fame player, you never know how far you’ll go.
3B Tyler Pettorini, New Britain
25 for 57 | .439 AVG | 0 HR | 2 2B | 13 R | 11 RBI
Tyler Pettorini was certainly feeling hot, hot, hot in the midst of the summer heat of New Britain. He leads all other members on the list in batting average by a wide margin with a whopping .439 across 15 games. He carried a 13-game hitting streak throughout the month from July 1-24 and while his supporting numbers aren’t necessarily the strongest, he sets up opportunistic innings for the Bees to get out ahead early on their opponents.
SS Cooper Kelly, Vermont
24 for 63 | .381 AVG | 1 HR | 2 2B | 13 R | 17 RBI
Cooper Kelly makes our team of the month list as the second Lake Monster, bound for Kansas University this fall. His highlight game came on July 27th against the Nashua Silver Knights, as he was just a double shy of the cycle. On July 3rd against Westfield, he posted a 5 RBI day as well. Kelly walked 11 times throughout the month as well, showing his discipline at the plate. He has been a regular in the lineup the entire way this season and has an offensive skill set that has helped the Lake Monsters win games.
OF Andy Martin, Brockton
22 for 62 | .355 AVG | 3 HR | 2 2B | 18 R | 11 RBI
It almost feels like destiny that Andy Martin was going to be on the team of the month list. If you remember back on July 1st, he hit two home runs in a single game against Worcester, which set the tone for the rest of his July. On the 4th, he tallied four hits with a triple and home run, putting him just a double shy of the cycle. He also posted 11 hits across the opening weekend of July. His scorching hot start set him up for success the rest of the month.
OF Jake Blinstrub, New Britain
23 for 58 | .397 AVG | 0 HR | 0 2B | 19 R | 11 RBI
You may remember the name Jake Blinstrub from his 2021 season with the Pittsfield Suns. Mount St. Vincent’s own is back with the New Britain Bees and has broken onto the scene over the past month. He began with an eight-game hitting streak to lead off July, and ended it with another 5 games. Much like Tyler Pettorini, he is another “table-setter” as he’s got the same ability to get on base and create scoring opportunities.
OF Jimmy Evans, Vermont
18 for 62 | .290 AVG | 1 HR | 6 2B | 9 R | 21 RBI
The D3 train rolls on as Jimmy Evans makes our list. A championship winner in 2021, he’s back for more with the Lake Monsters as they seek back-to-back titles. If you’re looking at the average, just know that he played in four games over the month with 2+ hits and also racked up 12 RBI in a span of 4 games from July 19-23. Next to Cam Seymour, the 21 RBIs to his name in July placed him second on our team of the month list in that category. With Vermont safely in the playoffs at No. 1, we can only imagine what the 2021 championship MVP has in store for the postseason.
DH Jackson Hornung, Westfield
25 for 76 | .329 AVG | 3 HR | 4 2B | 15 R | 13 RBI
Jackson Hornung is back on the list for another month from the Westfield Starfires. Although it didn’t result in a player of the month award, Hornung still continues to produce at the plate for the Starfires. He recorded at least one hit in 15 of his 19 games throughout the month, while also leading the way with three additional home runs, as he leads the Starfires in that category with nine total. He has been a huge reason why Westfield is in position to be a playoff team.
SP Sean Matson, Vermont
CHANGEUP PITCHER OF THE MONTH
2-1 | 1.02 ERA | 17.2 IP | 13 H | 4 R | 2 BB | 22 K | 3 Games
We’re not too surprised to see Sean Matson back on his perch as pitcher of the month again for the Vermont Lake Monsters. Even though he appeared in just three games, they were highly efficient as he pitched at least 6 innings in two of his starts against Nashua (July 6) and Worcester (July 14). Matson also continues to lead the league in strikeouts with 68, roughly an average of 7.5 a game for his nine starts this season. He will be a major asset on the mound for these Lake Monsters in the playoffs.
SP Bryan Albee, Norwich
3-0 | 2.25 ERA | 20 IP | 15 H | 5 R | 4 BB | 21 K | 3 Games
The shining light of the Norwich Sea Unicorns pitching staff came from Bryan Albee during the month of July. The Eastern Connecticut State senior had just joined the team during the month and dazzled in his three appearances. Albeit a rocky start in the middle, his opening game earned him pitcher of the night against Pittsfield on July 15. He tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits and 2 walks equipped with 6 strikeouts. He then followed it up with another seven-inning shutout against the Brockton Rox on July 29.
SP Aiven Cabral, Nashua
3-0 | 2.31 ERA | 23.1 IP | 21 H | 6 R | 7 BB | 23 K | 5 Games
Nashua passed the torch from Jonah Wachter in June to Aiven Cabral in July on the team of the month list. Cabral has barely had to sweat this season with the amount of run support that the Silver Knights have provided him. Across his five appearances, 52 runs have been scored by the offense. But don’t let that take away from Cabral’s efficiency. His 23.1 innings pitched is second best among our pitchers on this list and he averaged about a strikeout per inning with 23 total this month.
SP Tim Noone, Vermont
3-0 | 1.99 ERA | 22.2 IP | 20 H | 5 R | 3 BB | 30 K | 4 Games
Tim Noone was in the discussion for pitcher of the month as he flies under the radar among our other names on this list. He carried in three wins down the stretch against Worcester, Norwich and Pittsfield. Just one of three starters with an ERA under 2, he recorded 30 strikeouts this month and ranks in second place league wide in overall strikeouts with 61, behind who else but his teammate Sean Matson. Reminder, that guy just won pitcher of the month again for a second time.
SP Izaiya Mestre, Pittsfield
2-1 | 1.13 ERA | 24 IP | 17 H | 3 R | 7 BB | 19 K | 4 Games
The other starter from the 2022 All-Star Game, Izaiya Mestre, makes our team of the month list from Pittsfield. Him and Sean Matson put together the two lowest ERAs league-wide in July with a 1.02 and 1.13, some of the best work you’ll see on the mound. It all started for Mestre on the 4th of July game at home, where he recorded 11 strikeouts, his season high and second outing with double digit strikeouts. He tallied 19 combined innings in his first three starts of July and picked up a pair of wins over Worcester (July 10) and Norwich (July 17). Some “Mestre”-ful pitching if you ask me.
Relief P Silas Reed, Vermont
1-1 | 1.45 ERA | 18.2 IP | 12 H | 3 R | 6 BB | 21 K | 11 Games
One of the foundations of the Vermont bullpen is Silas Reed, a teammate of Jimmy Evans at Tufts University who joins him on this list. While names like George Goldstein and Wyatt Cameron have been getting the attention out of the bullpen, Reed has been quietly consistent as he recorded a string of six scoreless relief outings during July. He additionally recorded his lone save of the season back on July 27th against Nashua, which put the Lake Monsters one step closer to the No. 1 overall seed which they ultimately locked up later that week.
Relief P Marshall Whitmer, Brockton
2-0 | 0.00 ERA | 15 IP | 7 H | 0 R | 3 BB | 21 K | 6 Games
Marshall Whitmer is the only pitcher that makes our list with a perfect 0.00 ERA. He appeared in six games during the month of July, primarily pitching in relief, but also with a couple of starts mixed in. Almost half of his overall strikeouts on the season came over a stretch of just four games. Outside of one appearance where he got roughed up in June, Whitmer has been one of the most consistent relief pitchers throughout the season throughout his 13 appearances.