By Benjamin Upson
We are rapidly approaching the mid-point of the 2021 Futures League season and the All-Star break. There has been some very exciting action to this point, with lots of offense and dramatic finishes. It is key for teams to remain consistent in the standings to position themselves for the postseason.
Presented by On Demand Storage, the Team of the Month is a compilation of players at their specific positions that maintain that same level of consistency much like an entire team does. Here are the members:
Catcher: Jackson Appel - Pittsfield Suns - University of Pennsylvania
22 for 58 | .379 AVG | 0 HR | 2 2B | 13 R | 18 RBI
Jackson Appel has been one of the key contributors to the Pittsfield offense this season. He began the 2021 campaign scorching hot, recording a total of 8 RBIs over his first 5 games. During that stretch, he was named FCBL Player of the Week. He has found success particularly against New Britain this season, recording 7 hits in 4 games against the Bees.
First Base: Jake Hyde - New Britain Bees - Georgetown University
26 for 98 | .265 AVG | 0 HR | 4 2B | 13 R | 23 RBI
Jake Hyde has been the reliable everyday man at first base for New Britain. He has racked up the RBIs to this point with a total of 6 multi-RBI games. He leads the league with 23 through the month of June. He was a key piece of the team’s 13-6 victory at Norwich on June 23rd, with a 3-5 night and 3 RBIs.
Second Base: Noah Granet - Vermont Lake Monsters - Princeton University
28 for 94 | .298 AVG | 2 HR | 7 2B | 10 R | 13 RBI
Noah Granet is another regular for the Vermont Lake Monsters, as he approached 100 at bats over the month. His highlight game was on June 12th at Centennial. He went 3-4 on the night, with a 1st inning home run and 2 RBIs. Granet also recorded 9 extra base hits in June (7 doubles and 2 triples).
Third Base: Luke Broadhurst - New Britain Bees - Eastern Connecticut State University (PLAYER OF THE MONTH)
28 for 79 | .354 AVG | 5 HR | 0 2B | 21 R | 18 RBI
There is no doubt for the player of the month award, as Luke “The Nuke” Broadhurst is the perfect candidate. After making his debut on June 3rd against Westfield, going 2-3 with a 3 run walk-off home run, he has never looked back since, now leading the league with 5 home runs. During the month, he was almost automatic, recording a hit in 13 of 14 consecutive games.
Shortstop: Jaden Brown - Westfield Starfires - Iowa Western Community College
23 for 67 | .343 AVG | 1 HR | 4 2B | 12 R | 19 RBI
The first player out of Westfield we recognize is shortstop Jaden Brown. The Starfires have faced Vermont often early in this 2021 season and this has been a team that he has figured out quickly. In 3 June meetings between the teams, Brown made his impact with 8 hits and 5 RBIs in those games.
Outfield: Christian Beal - Westfield Starfires - University of Richmond
24 for 71 | .338 AVG | 0 HR | 3 2B | 18 R | 14 RBI
Christian Beal is another member from the Starfires on our Team of the Month list. He recorded a 4 RBI game in the team’s 12-2 victory at Brockton on June 17th. He also brings speed with him to the base paths as he stole 8 bases during the month of June.
Outfield: Ryan Bagdasarian - New Britain Bees - Eastern Connecticut State University
29 for 81 | .358 AVG | 1 HR | 6 2B | 22 R | 9 RBI
Ryan Bagdasarian has found success early in his 2021 Futures League campaign. Much like his teammate Luke Broadhurst, Ryan ended the month of June on a 6-game hitting streak. His best game of the month was on June 19th at home in a 7-6 win against Pittsfield. Bags went a perfect 5-5 with 2 RBIs, along with hitting the go-ahead single in the 8th inning.
Outfield: Michael Golankiewicz - Brockton Rox - Merrimack College
23 for 55 | .418 AVG | 4 HR | 3 2B | 15 R | 20 RBI
Mike Golankiewicz is one of the key contributors that has led to the early season success of the Brockton Rox offense. He was on fire during the opening stretch. In the June 5th, 6th and 8th games, Mike went 3-4 with a home run in each of those 3 games, racking up 11 RBIs in that time.
Designated Hitter: Kaelen Culpepper - Norwich Sea Unicorns - Kansas State University
20 for 59 | .339 AVG | 0 HR | 5 2B | 15 R | 8 RBI The Norwich Sea Unicorns have joined the Futures League in 2021 and they have a standout player in Kaelen Culpepper. His efforts on June 12th in a 9-4 win at Nashua earned him the FCBL Player of the Night honors, when he recorded a 5-6 game with 2 RBIs on a pair of singles and 2 stolen bases.
Pitcher: Dillon Ryan - Brockton Rox - UMass Boston (PITCHER OF THE MONTH)
3-0 | 1.20 ERA | 22.1 IP | 12 H | 3 R | 10 BB | 37 K | 5 Games
There are a variety of superlatives that we could use to describe the greatness we have seen out of Dillon Ryan so far in 2021. He is the clear pick for pitcher of the month, allowing just 3 earned runs through 5 appearances this season. His best performance came on June 1st at Vermont, where he tossed 5 scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits and struck out 10 batters.
Pitcher: Patrick Harrington - Vermont Lake Monsters - Assumption University
1-2 | 1.50 ERA | 30 IP | 18 H | 7 R | 16 BB | 36 K | 6 Games
In the opening month of the season, Patrick Harrington has shown that he has a lot of endurance. He beats out our other starting pitchers on the team of the month list by almost a 3 inning margin. His best performance came on June 26th in Vermont’s 1-0 victory at Norwich. Harrington tossed 7 scoreless innings, surrendering just 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9 batters.
Pitcher: Alex Amalfi - Worcester Bravehearts - UMass Boston
2-1 | 2.70 ERA | 23.1 IP | 22 H | 7 R | 13 BB | 29 K | 5 Games
Alex Amalfi comes from UMass Boston and joins Worcester for the 2021 season. He has been a bright spot in the rotation this season. He posted two spectacular back-to-back starts during the month that earned him this position. In a pair of home victories June 11th against Norwich and June 19th against Brockton, Amalfi combined to throw 11 scoreless innings, while allowing 6 hits and 14 strikeouts in those 2 starts.
Pitcher: Aidan Crowley - Nashua Silver Knights - Boston College
2-1 | 3.13 ERA | 23 IP | 21 H | 11 R | 12 BB | 25 K | 6 Games
Aidan Crowley has been used in a dual role for the Nashua Silver Knights. He came out of the bullpen and tossed a scoreless 5th inning while allowing 2 hits on June 11th in a 7-inning game at Westfield. His best start also occurred against Westfield on June 26th at Bullens Field. There he pitched 5.2 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits with 2 strikeouts.
Pitcher: Tim Cianciolo - Pittsfield Suns - UMass Boston
3-1 | 3.28 ERA | 24.2 IP | 18 H | 10 R | 16 BB | 31 K | 5 Games
Tim Cianciolo was a regular interview after Pittsfield Suns games when he pitched during June and it’s only fitting that he gets placed on our team of the month. Tim got off to a shaky start to his 2021 campaign but quickly rebounded with a terrific 3-game stretch. During that stretch, he recorded 16 innings, allowing just 1 run on 8 hits with 19 strikeouts.
Relief Pitcher: Spencer Fox - Norwich Sea Unicorns - Southern Connecticut State University
1-1 | 2.37 ERA | 19.2 IP | 14 H | 5 R | 19 BB | 32 K | 3 SV | 10 Games
Spencer Fox is a regular bullpen pitcher for the Norwich Sea Unicorns and is the only one to make our team of the month. Clearly his best relief performance was during a home game on June 2nd against New Britain. He pitched 4 scoreless, no-hit innings, allowing 3 walks while striking out 6 batters. Fox appeared in 10 games during the month and was among the top relievers in the league for most appearances.