from Will Cornelius Hoppers’ media:
MARLINS DUB SMOLINSKI MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE MONTH
GREENSBORO, NCâ€”The Florida Marlins recently announced Grasshoppersâ€™ third basemen Jake Smolinski as Juneâ€™s minor league Player of the Month, making him the second Grasshopper infielder to receive the honor during the 2009 season.
Smolinski joins Ben Lasater as the only other Grasshopper to garner the title this season, and adds his praise to the Grasshoppersâ€™ growing list of season accolades. Lasater grabbed the award for April, and was one of five Hoppers selected to participate in the leagueâ€™s annual All-Star game in Charleston, W. Va.
Although Smolinski was not present at the All-Star shindig, he has quietly made a splash in the Marlins organization since his arrival this past off-season. Smolinski began his professional career as a second round selection by the Washington Nationals in 2007, and was a highly touted Nationalsâ€™ farm hand after being tabbed the best hitter for average in the Washington system.
Since coming to the Marlins in a 2008 trade highlighted by big-league names such as Emilio Bonaficio and Josh Willingham, Smolinski has answered the call at the plate, putting on an impressive display in June to snag the Marlinsâ€™ month-long hittersâ€™ award.
In 22 games with the Grasshoppers in June, Smolinski posted a .299 batting average, scoring 17 runs on 23 hits, including four doubles and three home runs to go along with 12 RBIs and two steals. He registered seven multi-hit games during the month, including a two-home run contest against West Virginia, and was held without a base hit in just nine games.
Smolinski, a tough out from the middle of the Grasshoppersâ€™ lineup, has continued his June success into July, where his .294 average falls just five points shy of his June standard. On the year, Smolinski is second to only Lasater in on-base percentage, at .371, and averages a meager one strike out per one and a half games. He has also maintained a consistent average as the season has progressed, ranking third only to heavy-hitters Lasater and Jeremy Synan, while breaking the mold as an exclusive average hitter to crack six home runs thus far, good for sixth in the team.
Media Relations, Intern
Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball