Adam Engel ran the risk of being another Arizona Fall League mirage when he struggled to do anything with balls in play at the start of the season. Engel hit just .170/.314/.310 over his first 26 games, with a strikeout percentage (23 percent) that was way too high for his lack of home-run pop.
A couple weeks in Winston-Salem appeared to do the prospect good. Upon returning to the Barons on May 25, Engel found his hit tool. He hit .264/.366/.396 in June, and while he could stand to cut his strikeouts further (20 percent), there's enough production otherwise -- a .132 ISO and 10 steals in 12 attempts -- to regain his footing as a fringe prospect, and perhaps a September pinch-running threat.
Other noteworthy Junes in Birmingham:
*Carson Fulmer: He posted a 4.34 ERA, but the peripherals are starting to come around, namely the 39 strikeouts to 10 walks over 29 innings. He finished the month with seven scoreless innings, and he started July with the same.
*Eddy Alvarez: Just when you could start to write him off as an A-ball novelty, here he comes hitting .352/.434/.507 with more walks (11) than strikeouts (nine) over 88 plate appearances. He still isn't stealing bases, though, as he's just 5-for-9 on the season.
*Courtney Hawkins: The overall production isn't noteworthy, but at least everything's heading in the right direction. He was healthy enough to play 23 games, and all his component stats --.256/.327/.419, 26-percent strikeout rate -- provide a semblance of a foundation.
*Jake Peter: He earned a promotion to Charlotte in the final week after hitting .329/.413/.395 over 92 plate appearances. He had an OBP of .341 in April and .378 in May.
Sunday's box scores will appear in the comments shortly.