Taijuan Walker has been named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week for August 19-25, the league office announced on Monday.
Walker, 21, earned wins in each of his two starts during that span, allowing just one run and striking out a total 15 batters in11.0 innings pitched. On Tuesday, he threw five shutout innings against Colorado Springs, giving up just three hits while striking out six and walking four and hitting a batter. On Sunday, he worked six innings in Tucson, giving up one run on six hits with nine strikeouts, two walks and a hit batter.
The hard-throwing right-hander and top Mariners prospect is 5-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 11 starts in his first Triple-A season. Walker debuted in Tacoma on May 25 at age 20, becoming the youngest starting pitcher to make his Rainiers debut since a 19-year-old Felix Hernandez made his first Triple-A start in 2005.
Walker is now the fifth different Rainiers player to garner a weekly league award and the fourth to nab Pitcher of the Week honors. Pitchers Andrew Carraway (April 22-29), Jeremy Bonderman (April 29-May6) and James Paxton (June 17-23), and infielder Nick Franklin (April 22-29) were each recognized for producing outstanding weeks earlier this season.
Double A Jackson picked up a 4-3 win over Chattanooga, coming from behind in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Jabari Blash was named the Southern League hitter of the week. During the past week Blash batted .500 (12-for-24) with 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs, 4 runs and 14 walks in 9 games. Blash also posted a .692 on-base percentage this week.
Class A High Desert rolled to a 9-3 win over Inland Empire to move a half-game ahead of Rancho Cucamonga for the final Cal League playoff spot. Patrick Kivlehan, Kevin Rivers and Dillon Hazlett all homered in the win.
Class A Clinton dropped its fourth straight games, falling 6-4 to Beloit. They still remain three games up on two teams for the final playoff spot in the Western division of the Midwest League.
Rookie League Pulaski hammered Kingsport, 15-0. Three pitchers - Eddie Campbell, Wander Marte and Isliexel Gonzalez - combined for a one-hit shutout. Campbell pitched six innings, giving up the one run and striking out 12 while walking one. He is one of 50 minor leaguers this season to strike out 12 or more batters in a game.