J.P. Crawford continued his season revival in July, leading him to a share of the Phillies Minor League Hitter of the Month Award with Williamsport’s Jhailyn Ortiz. Meanwhile, left-hander Kyle Young (Williamsport) was named the Pitcher of the Month and Arquimedes Gamboa (Lakewood) picked up the award as the Minor League Defender of the Month.
Crawford, 22, batted .281 (27-96) with four doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 18 RBI, 16 walks, 21 runs scored, a .389 on-base percentage and a 1.025 OPS in 27 games. A part of an impressive IronPigs offense, his 15 extra-base hits and 16 walks were both tied for second-most in the International League in July. Crawford recorded seven multi-hit games, including his first multi-home run game of the season on July 4. One of his Independence Day home runs was an inside-the-park grand slam, and the eight home runs that he hit in July were the most he has ever hit in a month. The power surge now has him equaling his career-high of 11 home runs this season.
The 18-year old Ortiz was no slouch at the plate, either, batting .342 (27-79) with eight doubles, a triple, five home runs, 19 RBI, nine walks, a .436 on-base percentage and a 1.094 OPS in 23 games. He recorded 11 multi-hit games, and finished third among New York-Penn League players in batting average during the month. Ortiz leads the league this season in slugging percentage (.565), is tied for first in home runs (7) and extra-base hits (17), second in RBI (25) and fourth in both on-base percentage (.407) and total bases (65). He was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on July 9, 2015.
On the mound, Young made five starts in July, going 4-0 with a 0.72 ERA (2 ER, 25.0 IP). The 19-year old surrendered just 15 hits and six walks (0.84 WHIP) while striking out 29 batters and holding opponents to a .172 batting average. Four of his five starts were scoreless, and he began the month with a 15.0-inning scoreless streak over three starts. Young’s ERA for the month of July was the lowest in the New York-Penn League by more than a full run, and his 1.60 ERA for the season (7 ER, 39.1 IP) ranks second. The 6-foot-10 southpaw is also tied for fourth in the league in strikeouts with 47. Young was selected by the Phillies in the 22nd round of the June 2016 draft.
The 19-year-old Gamboa played in 23 games at shortstop for Lakewood in July, and committed only one error. He had a 20-game errorless streak from June 29 to July 24, the longest such streak of his professional career. Gamboa, a Venezuela native in his third professional season, was signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent on July 17, 2014.