photo: Luken Baker (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The St. Louis Cardinals have a Pitcher and Player of the Week across the minors. Memphis’ Daniel Ponce de Leon is the Pacific Coast League’s top pitcher and Palm Beach first baseman Luken Baker was named top hitter in the Florida State League for the period of August 5-11.
Ponce de Leon (Memphis Redbirds release)
Memphis Redbirds starting pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon has been named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for August 5-11, the league announced Monday.
Ponce de Leon earned the honor after throwing seven scoreless frames and allowing just two hits on Friday’s 15-0 Memphis win over the Sacramento River Cats (Giants) in Sacramento. He struck out a season-high 11 batters, which was also the most strikeouts by a Redbirds pitcher this season, and issued no walks.
In his last three starts with Memphis, Ponce de Leon has allowed just three hits and no runs over 14.0 innings of work, whiffing 21 batters compared to issuing six walks.
In 13 starts for the Redbirds this season, Ponce de Leon is 5-4 with a 3.26 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 66.1 innings. He has held opponents to just a .211 average against. If he qualified, Ponce de Leon would have the lowest ERA and lowest average against among PCL league leaders.
This is Ponce de Leon’s second PCL weekly award. He won this award last season during the week of July 9-15, 2018. He joins fellow pitchers Austin Gomber (April 15-21) and Jake Woodford (June 17-23) as Redbirds players to capture a PCL weekly award this season.
Palm Beach first baseman Luken Baker is the Florida State League Player of the Week for the period of August 5-11. In five games, St. Louis’ second-round draft pick in 2018 had eight hits in 16 at-bats for a .500 average. Five of those eight hits went for extra bases – four doubles and a home run.
Baker also drew three walks, drove in three, scored five runs and fanned just twice. His slash line for the week was a most impressive .500/.579/.938/1.517.
This is a welcome oasis for the famished right-handed hitter, who came into the week with a season slash line of .223/.311/.332/.643. It is now up to .235/.323/.358/.681. Baker dropped to 30th in the July top prospect rankings from The Cardinal Nation.
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