Infielder Maikel Franco of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs is the Phillies Minor League Player of the Month for July. Pitching honors go to Williamsport left-hander Brandon Leibrandt.
Franco, 21, batted .343 with four home runs, 23 RBI and a .967 OPS for the month. A native of the Dominican Republic, he was signed by Koby Perez as an amateur free agent on January 13, 2010.
The 6-foot-1 right-handed hitter hit safely in 24 of his 30 games played in July, while tallying multiple hits in 13 of those 24 contests. Franco's 23 RBI for the month were good for eighth place in all of Triple-A for July. So far this season, he has recorded 59 RBI in 108 games, which ranks eighth in the International League.
A participant in the 2014 Futures Game, Franco was a non-roster invitee to the Phillies spring training. Ranked as the top prospect in the Phillies organization this past off season, Franco was ranked 17th in all of minor league baseball by Baseball America.
Leibrandt, a native of Alpharetta, GA., went 2-1 and posted 1.42 ERA over six games played between the GCL Phillies and Williamsport in July. The 6-foot-4 lefty struck out 36 batters while walking only six in 31.2 innings of work, averaging 10.38 strikeouts per nine innings during the month. He allowed only 14 hits in 104 at-bats, holding opponents to a .135 average.
The 21-year-old was selected by the Phillies in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft out of Florida State University where he was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Academic Team. Leibrandt was signed by Aaron Jersild.