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We're more than halfway through the minor league season, so it's time to pass out the awards for June.

If you've checked out the awards for the past two months (April and May), you'll remember that my goal is to recognize the best position player, starting pitcher and reliever in the Orioles' minor league system at the end of each month in 2009.

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The name of the honors -- "Future Stars Awards" -- is obviously fitting because, in most cases, these players represent the potential for future success with the Orioles. There is one top prospect and two sleepers in the awards for this month.

Of course, these choices are only my opinion -- based on the statistics and what I've witnessed -- so feel free to send in your selections if you disagree. You can speak your mind by posting a comment below this entry or e-mailing me if you want to remain anonymous.

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For each award, I picked a winner and five players whose performance last month deserves notice by the loyal O's on Deck readers. There are several other players who could make an argument to be considered, but I tried to narrow it down to six players in each category.

Position player of the month: Robbie Widlansky, utility player, Frederick Keys

Widlansky, who didn't join the Keys until May 19, batted .395 with 17 RBIs during the month of June. The 24-year-old utility player collected seven doubles and 12 runs scored during that span. Widlansky, who was selected by the Orioles in the 11th round of the 2007 MLB draft, earned Carolina League Player of the Week honors for the week ending on June 21. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound left-handed hitter was selected to the New York-Penn League All-Star team in 2008 after hitting .279 with four home runs and 29 RBIs in 43 games for the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds.

Honorable mention (listed alphabetically): Miguel Abreu, second baseman, Bowie Baysox (.306, 10 RBIs, 12 doubles, 11 runs scored); Matt Angle, outfielder, Frederick (.304, nine RBIs, 17 runs scored, 10 stolen bases); Jeff Fiorentino, outfielder, Norfolk Tides (.338, 12 RBIs, nine doubles, 18 runs scored); Joey Gathright, outfielder, Norfolk (.372, six doubles, 14 runs scored, 10 stolen bases); Ronnie Welty, outfielder, Delmarva Shorebirds (.315, three home runs, 14 RBIs, 14 runs scored)Starting pitcher of the month: Brian Matusz, Bowie

For the second consecutive month, Matusz earns recognition as the top starting pitcher in the Orioles' minor league system. The 22-year-old left-hander was 2-0 with a 0.79 ERA in two starts for the Baysox during the month of June after being promoted from Frederick. Matusz struck out 15 batters and issued four walks in 11 1/3 innings during those two games. Prior to his promotion, Matusz was 4-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 11 starts for the Keys. He collected 75 strikeouts and walked 21 hitters in 66 2/3 innings in the Carolina League.

Honorable mention (listed alphabetically): Tim Bascom, Bowie (2-1, 3.75 ERA, 24 innings, 19 strikeouts, seven walks); Zach Britton, Frederick (2-1, 1.61 ERA, 28 innings, 28 strikeouts, eight walks); John Mariotti, Bowie (2-3, 1.70 ERA, 37 innings, 14 strikeouts, 16 walks); Kenny Moreland, Aberdeen (3-0, 1.27 ERA, 21 1/3 innings, 11 strikeouts, one walk); Chris Tillman, Norfolk (0-5, 3.89 ERA, 34 2/3 innings, 31 strikeouts, eight walks)

Relief pitcher of the month: T.R. Keating, Delmarva

Keating joined the Shorebirds from extended spring training on May 30, and he immediately made an impact in the bullpen. The 23-year-old right-hander was 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA in eight appearances for Delmarva during the month of June. Keating, who was selected by the Orioles in the 34th round of the 2008 MLB draft, struck out 16 batters and only allowed one walk in 15 2/3 innings last month. The 6-foot-6, 205-pound relief pitcher was 2-1 with a 3.45 ERA and two saves in 28 2/3 innings for the rookie-level Bluefield Orioles in 2008.

Honorable mention (listed alphabetically): Kam Mickolio, Norfolk (1-0, 1.42 ERA, 11 appearances, 12 2/3 innings); Jim Miller, Norfolk (0-1, 2.61 ERA, nine appearances, 10 1/3 innings, four saves); Josh Perrault, Bowie (0-2, 2.70 ERA, 12 appearances, 10 innings, seven saves); Stephen Procner, Aberdeen (0-0, 0.87 ERA, four appearances, 10 1/3 innings); Ryohei Tanaka, Bowie (0-0, 0.00 ERA, eight appearances, 12 innings, three saves)

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