Morel Named June Player of the Month

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indianapolis Indians have named infielder Brent Morel as Player of the Month for June. The slugger also received a promotion to the Pittsburgh Pirates following his standout month, and Tribe hitting coach Butch Wynegar accepted the award – a custom-made watch courtesy of Windsor Jewelry – on Morel’s behalf in a ceremony prior to tonight’s 7:15 p.m. home game against the Louisville Bats.

Morel, the Indians’ reigning “Best Defensive Infielder,” excelled at the plate to win his first team award of the 2015 season. The 28 year old entered June with just a .218 batting average before rebounding in dramatic fashion to hit .301 (31-for-103) with seven doubles, one triple, six home runs and 20 RBIs in 28 games last month. He led the Tribe and ranked third in the International League in homers and total bases (58), was fourth in the league in both extra-base hits (14) and slugging percentage (.563) and finished tied for fourth in RBIs.

The Bakersfield, California native owned his newfound role as the cleanup batter in Indianapolis’ lineup, and beginning June 20, led all of Minor League Baseball by homering five times in eight games through June 27. He opened that stretch with a game-tying solo homer on June 20 at Charlotte, went deep off former Tribe pitcher Jake Brigham on June 23 at Gwinnett and capped the run by clearing the fences in three straight games from June 25-27.

In addition, Morel concluded the month with the foundation of what proved to be a team-high 11-game hit streak. He collected a base knock in each of the last eight games of June, finishing the award-winning period having hit safely in 19 of 28 games with 10 multi-hit efforts.

Overall and prior to his big-league promotion on July 20, Morel batted .266 (79-for-297) with 32 extra-base hits, 36 runs scored and 37 RBIs in 81 games. His 21 doubles on the year are the most since 2013, and his nine home runs are a personal best dating back to the 2010 campaign.

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