August 7, 2012 at 3:25 AM
In a first in the history of the honor a pair of GCL Red Sox Jeremias Pineda and Ricardo Betancourt were named SoxProspects.com Player and Pitcher of the Month of July.
Pineda's torrid July in which he hit .436/.470/.553 (41-for-94) with seven doubles and two triples over 25 games was enough to raise his profile among Red Sox prospect watchers as well as other clubs as he was dealt to Minnesota in exchange for third baseman Danny Valencia August 5. He also scored 14 runs, batted in six, walked five times versus 14 strikeouts and on the base paths stole ten bases and was caught stealing six times. In 37 GCL games in 2012 Pineda, 21, is batting .416/.441/.526 (57-for-137) with nine doubles, three triples and 15 stolen bases (seven CS). He was signed as a free agent out of the Dominican Republic in March 2011.
In four July appearances, three starts, Betancourt was 3-1 with a 0.00 ERA, limiting opposing batters to two unearned runs on 16 hits for a .211 average, while striking out 16 and walking six over 22.2 innings pitched. Three of his four outings Betancourt opposed the GCL Rays, working six innings out of the bullpen on the road July 5, and allowed six hits, no walks and stuck out four, earning the win; and again July 11 making the start and working 5.1 innings allowing three hits, one base on balls, and striking out six en route to the win; and finally suffering his sole loss against them at home July 24, allowing both unearned runs on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched. Betancourt's non-GCL Rays contest came on the road against the CGL Orioles in which he worked six innings of no-hit ball, walked three, struck out four and recorded a victory. Logging time in both the Dominican Summer League (two appearances, six innings) and the Gulf Coast League (seven games, three starts, 30 innings), Betancourt, 19, owns a 5-1 record with a 0.75 ERA, having allowed three earned on 33 hits over 36 innings and held opposing batters to a .250 average. He was signed as a free agent out of Venezuela in July 2009.