By Benjamin Upson
We have hit the midway point of the 2022 Futures League season and the All-Star break is just a few short weeks away. This year has already been filled with dramatic finishes and the competition has been intense as we enter the playoff push phase. The Futures League’s Zorian Bats Team of the Month is a compilation of players at their specific positions that have raised the bar in league competition over the course of the last month.
Westfield Starfires catcher Jackson Hornung and Vermont Lake Monsters pitcher Sean Matson were previously named the 78 Sports Player of the Month and ChangeUp Pitcher of the Month for May/June, respectively.
C, Jackson Hornung, Westfield
78 SPORTS PLAYER OF THE MONTH
40 for 104 | .385 AVG | 6 HR | 7 2B | 26 R | 29 RBI
Jackson Hornung has been the best power hitter in the league so far this season. With a league-leading 6 home runs, he has been on a tear to start off 2022. He began the season on a 6-game hitting streak and at one point, ripped home runs in 3 consecutive games. The Skidmore catcher locked up player of the month as he has an offensive approach that stands out the most among the other members in our team of the month.
1B, Ryan Marra, Vermont
28 for 80 | .350 AVG | 2 HR | 9 2B | 26 R | 22 RBI
Our first member from the Lake Monsters is Brown University senior Ryan Marra. One of the better contact hitters through the opening month, Marra excels at plate discipline and is not afraid to sit back and wait for the right pitch to hit. It shows in the stats as he has been walked a total of 17 times. His month was highlighted by a pair of 4 RBI contests against Norwich and Pittsfield back on June 19th and 22nd.
2B, Robbie Burnett, Pittsfield
24 for 71 | .338 AVG | 1 HR | 7 2B | 17 R | 10 RBI
Robbie Burnett took off in the month of June with a 12-game hitting streak. In fact, he hit in all but 3 games during the first half of this season. Burnett leads the team in doubles and had a 4 consecutive game stretch with an extra base hit. His best game came on June 26th against the Westfield Starfires where he homered with 3 hits and put up 3 RBI.
3B, Drew Metzdorf, Pittsfield
32 for 96 | .333 AVG | 1 HR | 5 2B | 14 R | 16 RBI
Drew Metzdorf joins his teammate across the diamond on our list. He racked up 9 multi-hit games over the course of this month, making his impact throughout the duration of a game. Drew’s best game of the season was in a June 5th matchup with Norwich. A 3-4 afternoon with 3 runs scored, 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases shows that he plays a crucial role in the Suns lineup.
SS, Noah Campanelli, Westfield
19 for 74 | .257 AVG | 1 HR | 6 2B | 11 R | 13 RBI
A pair of Westfield Starfires make the list as Noah Campanelli joins Jackson Hornung. While the numbers aren’t as flashy in terms of his batting average, he did knock 4 extra base hits in a span of 3 games earlier this month. Campanelli is at his best when it comes to scoring runs. He posted 3 RBIs against Norwich on June 7th, and also pieced together multi-RBI games in 3 other matchups during the first half of the season.
OF, Teddy Schoenfeld, New Britain
29 for 69 | .420 AVG | 0 HR | 4 2B | 14 R | 12 RBI
The Bees have buzzed to a plus .500 record and that has to do with the bat of Teddy Schoenfeld. He might not be known for his power hitting and scoring, but he consistently finds ways to get on base. A 14-game hitting streak and a hit in 17 of 19 games shows that and has led him to a spot in the team of the month. His best stretch of the season so far came between June 3rd-12th where he piled up 14 combined hits and 4 RBI.
OF, Jackson Kline, Vermont
37 for 100 | .370 AVG | 0 HR | 4 2B | 30 R | 15 RBI
Jackson Kline is an everyday outfielder this season that makes our list as just the second player to reach 100 at-bats. Spending the majority of his time in the leadoff spot, it’s fit for the University of Kansas freshman as he sets the tone of an inning for the Lake Monsters. Getting on-base certainly hasn’t been a problem as he racked up 13 multi-hit games. He also scored a league-leading 30 runs as he also gets driven in to score.
OF, Joel Lara, New Britain
32 for 94 | .340 AVG | 2 HR | 9 2B | 25 R | 16 RBI
Yet another Bees outfielder makes our list for his incredible feats. It has been a special treat to watch Joel Lara with his new team in New Britain. Whenever he finds 1st base, you can almost guarantee that the Franklin Pierce senior will turn on the jets to steal 2nd. In fact, he stole 4 bases in a single game against the Vermont Lake Monsters on June 18th. He brings a key offensive component to the team as well, leading the Bees in hits (32), runs scored (26), RBI (16), and steals (27).
DH, TJ Wachter, Worcester
19 for 54 | .352 AVG | 3 HR | 2 2B | 13 R | 14 RBI
TJ Wachter played in just 13 games during the month and put on a show with the Worcester Bravehearts. 5 of those games included multiple hits, and his best was on display in a matchup against the Pittsfield Suns on June 11th. He’s also another player who went on a power tear as he drilled 3 consecutive home runs during a stretch of the month. A pair of 4 RBI games against Brockton and Norwich (June 1st, 3rd) also show some worth in being a part of the team of the month.
P, Sean Matson, Vermont
CHANGEUP PITCHER OF THE MONTH
3-1 | 2.00 ERA | 27 IP | 20 H | 6 R | 3 BB | 46 K | 6 Games
It’s only fitting that the league-leading Vermont Lake Monsters have the pitcher of the month in Sean Matson. The Harvard sophomore has had a phenomenal opening to his 2022 campaign, most notably that he continues to lead the league in strikeouts with 46, an average of almost 8 per game. A pitcher of the week award winner already, he put his name on our team of the month radar right off the bat. In his first 2 starts against Westfield and Nashua (May 26th and June 1st), he pitched 9 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits and 1 walk. He also racked up 18 strikeouts in the process, numbers that just about locked him in for our pitcher of the month pick.
P, Jonah Wachter, Nashua
1-0 | 1.44 ERA | 25 IP | 15 H | 4 R | 1 BB | 27 K | 4 Games
Jonah Wachter has been a durable starter for the Nashua Silver Knights. He showed his ability to go deep into games early on with a pair of 7-inning starts under his belt where just 1 run came across to score and he struck out 11 batters combined. His most notable performance yet came against the Westfield Starfires on June 4th. It placed him in the pitcher of the night spotlight where he threw 6 scoreless innings, surrendering just 3 hits equipped with 8 strikeouts.
P, Tim Cianciolo, Pittsfield
3-1 | 2.37 ERA | 30.1 IP | 24 H | 8 R | 11 BB | 35 K | 6 Games
A familiar face returns to the team of the month as Tim Cianicolo is back for another summer in the Futures League. He has appeared on the team of the month in 2021, and a year later, the UMass Boston product continues to rank among the best starters out there. It showed in his June 16th start against New Britain. He pitched 6 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits, 2 walks while striking out 7. He also has the most wins out of our other pitchers on the list with a 3-1 record as the Suns offense has backed him up.
P, Tanner Smith, Worcester
2-1 | 2.17 ERA | 29 IP | 19 H | 7 R | 7 BB | 29 K | 5 Games
Tanner Smith has been very efficient in his first half of the season. The Braveheart does not waver in confidence when he is on the mound, as he racked up 20 innings over 3 starts to end the month of June, including a pair of 7-inning performances. His best start of the season happened on June 10th against Norwich, with 6 innings of 1 run, 1 hit ball allowed on a home run in a 1-0 loss.
P, Michael Quigley, Brockton
0-1 | 1.80 ERA | 20 IP | 11 H | 4 R | 10 BB | 35 K | 5 Games
Michael Quigley is the lone Brockton player to make our list. Originally a bullpen guy, he is another pitcher on this list that has an exceptional strikeout rate. He pitched a gem against Westfield on June 15th during the peak of the Starfires hot start, going 6 scoreless frames, allowing 1 hit, 3 walks and 12 strikeouts, the most Ks in a single start this season.
Relief P, George Goldstein, Vermont
1-0 | 0.51 ERA | 17.2 IP | 11 H | 1 R | 5 BB | 28 K | 13 Games
Closer George Goldstein makes the list as one of our relief pitchers. It was so close that we couldn’t settle on just one. The tall 6’2” senior out of Middlebury College has been solid as a rock when called upon out of the bullpen. With just 1 earned run to his name, Goldstein has been mowing batters down at the plate, recording at least 1 strikeout in each of his relief appearances during the month of June. He also has 7 saves to complement his other impressive accolades.
Relief P, Ian Donahue, Pittsfield
0-1 | 0.71 ERA | 12.2 IP | 6 H | 1 R | 5 BB | 16 K | 12 Games
Ian Donahue is another returning member of the Pittsfield Suns and takes our final pitcher spot. It was a phenomenal opening stretch for him, as he is right in the conversation with Goldstein as the best closer in the league to this point. With just 6 hits and 1 run allowed in 12 appearances, Donahue is another lock down closer in this league that continues to string together dominant appearances for Pittsfield.