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September 3, 2013 at 5:18 PM

August Players of the Month: Mookie Betts and Luis Diaz

The August awards go to a pair of players on the playoff-bound Salem Red Sox. Both were awarded earlier in the season while members of the Greenville Drive and have continued to excel in the Carolina League. SoxProspects.com Player of the Month Mookie Betts was twice named Player of the Week in August by both the Carolina League and by the SoxProspects.com community. He previously was awarded in May. It is the second consecutive SoxProspects.com Pitcher of the Month victory for Luis Diaz, whose month included an August 20 promotion from the South Atlantic League.

It has been a breakout season by almost any measure for Betts, the Red Sox fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft out of Overland (TN) High School. August capped his spectacular season with some well-deserved national attention, including an appearance on the Baseball America Hot Sheet. Betts' final August numbers were outstanding, including a .383/.468/.598 with six doubles, five home runs, and 12 stolen bases in 29 games with Salem. He had 12 multi-hit games during the month, and had a particularly impressive two-game stretch going 9 for 11 with five extra base hits and nine runs batted in against Myrtle Beach, who Carolina narrowly edged for the second-half Southern Division championship. Betts' excellent season has been met with a meteoric rise in his SoxProspects.com ranking. After starting the year ranked 53rd, he has climbed all the way to number 14.

The 2013 season was also a huge step forward for Diaz, who takes home the final two Pitcher of the Month awards. After struggling with Greenville in 2012, the 21-year-old Venezuelan right-hander rose to the front of Drive's rotation in 2013. Diaz impressed in Greenville with a 1.20 ERA in 30 July innings, but managed to improve upon that in August. In three starts with the Drive, Diaz gave up only one earned run in 18 2/3 innings, striking out 19 and walking just four. This dominance led to the Red Sox to promote him into the think of the Carolina League playoff chase. There he won both of his starts, allowing just two earned runs on 11 hits in 13 innings. Overall, Diaz had a 0.85 ERA, 0.979 WHIP, as batters were a punchless .202/.254/.228 against him. Diaz joins Anthony Ranaudo as a consecutive winner of the Pitcher of the Month in 2013. 

Photo Credit: Mookie Betts by Kelly O'Connor; Luis Diaz by SoxProspects, LLC