July 7, 2013 at 10:07 PM
It may have been more appropriate to title this entry "players de la month." Outfielder Keury De La Cruz earned his first career SoxProspects.com Player of the Month for the first time in his career, and pitcher Rubby De La Rosa, acquired in the August 2012 Dodgers mega-deal, earns honors as SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month.
De La Cruz was chosen by the SoxProspects.com forum as Player of the Week from June 10-16, part of a fantastic month from the outfielder. A 2009 signee out of the Dominican Republic, De La Cruz hit .387/.415/.523 with a phenomenal 43 hits in June to lead the organization. Among those 43 hits were 10 doubles, most in the organization, leading to a 27-RBI month.
Following a breakout 2012 campaign, The 21-year-old had struggled in the first two months of 2013, with a line of only .250/.285/.403 when June began. After starting the month 0 for 9, De Le Cruz then went on a roll, going 2 for 3 with a triple and four runs batted in on June 3 to begin a 19-game hitting streak and 27-game on-base streak. By the time the calendar flipped to July, he had raised both his batting average and OBP by 50 points.
De La Rosa, 24, was one of the two top-five prospects acquired in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. While Allen Webster has already started to make his mark on the Red Sox rotation, De La Rosa's June shows that he may not be far behind. The right-hander had a minuscule 1.01 ERA in 26 1/3 June innings, striking out 26 and compiling a 0.975 WHIP. Triple-A batters were hapless against him, hitting an anemic .176/.265/.286 on the month.
The quality of work wasn't the only thing important for De La Rosa's development -- it was also the quantity. As he continues to recover from 2011 Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa started 2013 on a strict 50-pitch limit. He has continued to build strength throughout the year, while keeping his surgically-repaired right elbow healthy. On June 2, De La Rosa touched season highs with 4 2/3 innings pitched and 83 pitches. Seemingly comfortable with the higher workload, he reached or surpassed five innings in his next four June starts, getting over 90 pitches on two occasion.
Photo Credit: Keury De La Cruz and Rubby De La Rosa by Kelly O'Connor