ROUND ROCK, Texas – El Paso right-hander Bryan Rodriguez and Memphis infielder Breyvic Valera have been tabbed the Pacific Coast League’s Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of July 31-August 6, the League office announced Monday.
Valera was among the League’s weekly leaders in several offensive categories, while Rodriguez tossed only the second nine-inning complete game shutout in the PCL this season.
Rodriguez made his only appearance of the week count; on August 1 at Round Rock, the righty limited the Express to five hits – four of which were singles – while striking out three in his 106-pitch complete game win.
The start marked the first time a Chihuahuas pitcher went nine innings in the team’s four-year history. After giving up a leadoff double in the first inning, Rodriguez retired 26 of the final 30 hitters, inducing 13 groundball outs, one of which produced a double play.
The shutout was the second of Rodriguez’s seven-year career, previously doing last April in a rain-shortened, five-inning victory in Salt Lake.
The 26-year-has been in the San Diego organization his entire career. He has appeared in 40 games, making 34 starts, for the Chihuahuas over the last three years. In that time, he has gone 10-17 with a 5.27 ERA (198.0 IP, 116 ER).
The Dominican native, who was on the Chihuahuas Opening Day roster, has made 23 appearances between El Paso and Double-A San Antonio this season, pitching to a 4.70 ERA (111.0 IP, 58 ER) with 33 walks and 48 strikeouts.
This is his second career Pitcher of the Week honor, also having been awarded for the period of May 12-18, 2014 with the Single-A California League’s Lake Elsinore Storm.
Meanwhile, Valera compiled a league-best 14 hits, batting .483 (14-for-19) in six games as Memphis’ leadoff hitter. He also paced the PCL in total bases (24), while matching the league’s weekly-high in extra-base hits (6) and doubles (4). The switch-hitter also hit two home runs, drove in seven and scored eight runs.
His efforts helped the Redbirds, owners of Triple-A Baseball’s best record, score 41 runs during the week.
The Venezuelan native had five multiple hit contests, including a trio of consecutive three-hit games. He twice reached base four times, collecting three hits and walk in each of July 31 and August 3 victories; the latter of those games included a two-run homer.
The game prior, the series finale against Reno, Valera hit a three-run homer, part of a three-hit day. He capped the week with back-to-back two-hit, one-RBI performances in games against Tacoma.
The eighth-year professional has been in the Cardinals organization his entire career. He was added to St. Louis’ 40-man roster for the first time this past offseason and then optioned to Memphis, where he has spent the entire year. His 106 hits on the season are second-most for the first-place Redbirds.
The 25-year-old has hit .320 (106-for-331) with four homers and 29 RBI in 94 games. Valera has also seen action in 205 Venezuelan Winter League games, all with Margarita, over the past five seasons. He hit .356 (78-for-219) this past year en route to being named the League’s Most Valuable Player. This is his first career Player of the Week award.