ST. LOUIS, Mo., August 2, 2013 -The St. Louis Cardinals announced their Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for July by honoring first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez at Palm Beach (A) and left-handed starting pitcher Tyler Lyons at Memphis (AAA) for their accomplishments on the field.
Rodriguez, 23, the Cardinals 17th round (519th overall) selection out of Manatee (FL) Community College in the 2009 first-year player draft, batted .382 (34-89) with six home runs and 28 RBI during the month. The San Juan, Puerto Rico, native tallied 11 multi-hit games and had a two home run game which included his first career grand slam vs. Tampa on July 21. Rodriguez, the starting designated hitter in the Florida State League All-Star Game for the South, is among the Top 10 in the Florida State League in batting (.298, 7th), runs batted in (58, 7th), on base percentage (.376, 8th), slugging (.484, 6th), on base+slugging (.861, 4th) and doubles (30, 2nd). He is currently five doubles away from tying the Palm Beach franchise mark of 35 and his 17 stolen bases put him in position to be the first Palm Beach Cardinal to steal 20 bases in a season since Adron Chambers in 2009.
"Jonathan really put together a tremendous well-rounded month, and his combination of power, run production and ability to get on base made him a clear choice for the award," explained Cardinals Director of Minor League Operations John Vuch. "He's improved in all areas of his game, and in addition to his offense has made himself a better base runner and defensive player."
Lyons, 25, the Cardinals ninth round (289th overall) selection out of Oklahoma State University in the 2010 first-year player draft, was 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA over six starts at Memphis. He struck out 33 batters over 33.2 innings and his 0.68 WHIP (walks+hits/IP) in the month was fourth overall among all minor league pitchers. The lefty posted two scoreless starts of seven innings and had only one start in which he allowed over three hits. He finished the month with a call-up to St. Louis to pitch the second game of a doubleheader in Pittsburgh on July 31.
"While we had several pitchers who were worthy candidates for this month's award, Tyler has really done an outstanding job of applying the experiences he obtained at the Major League level earlier this year into making him even more effective at Memphis," said Vuch. "His improved command of all of his pitches, has allowed him to pitch deeper into games and enabled him to have a great deal of success against both lefty and righty hitters."