Happ, Tracy win June Phils honors

Happ, Tracy win June Phils honors

Left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ is the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Month for June, while slugging first baseman Andy Tracy was named Player of the Month, Phils Minor League director Steve Noworyta announced Thursday.

Both are with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the International League.

Happ, 25, had his best month of the season, finishing with a 3-1 record and 2.51 ERA over five starts. In 32 1/3 innings, he allowed 24 hits, nine runs and eight walks. He struck out 33 and leads the league with 104 strikeouts for the season. Opponents batted .209 against him last month.

The Northwestern University product, who was selected in the third round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, was also the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week (June 23-29), going 1-0 in two starts with a 0.66 ERA in 13 2/3 innings.

Happ started the season 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA in his first four starts. Since then, he has gone 5-3 with a 3.06 ERA.

"He was very consistent during his five starts last month," said Lehigh Valley manager Dave Huppert. "Every time he took the mound, he gave us a chance to win the game. He's been locating well and attacking hitters and continues to improve every time."

Tracy, a left-handed batter, was one of the hottest hitters in the Minors last month, posting a .446 average. He hit in 20 of 25 games, including 13 multiple-hit games, and raised his batting average 63 points from .247 at the end of May.

The 34-year-old, who was signed as a Minor League free agent last fall, led all Phillies Minor Leaguers with 21 runs, 37 hits and 11 doubles in June. He was the IL Player of the Week last week, batting .520 with three doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

For the season, Tracy is hitting .305 with an organization-high 13 home runs. Defensively, he has one error in 57 games.

"Tracy has been a big part of our offense. He has swung the bat well, which has been a big key to our turnaround," said Huppert. "He kept coming up with big hits all month and was our big RBI guy."