ROUND ROCK, Texas – The Pacific Coast League announced Monday that El Paso Chihuahuas third baseman Ryan Schimpf and Iowa Cubs right-hander Jake Buchanan have been tabbed the Player and Pitcher of the Week for May 30-June 5.
In a week that saw the Reno Aces’ Peter O’Brien hit two grand slams, including one walk-off, and drive in 18, Schimpf bested all of Triple-A in six offensive categories – extra-base hits (9), total bases (31), home runs (5), on-base percentage (.586), slugging percentage (1.292) and OPS (1.878).
Additionally, the LSU product hit .500 (12-for-24) with 11 RBI, walked more times than he struck out (5-to-4) and scored nine runs in six games. The highlight of his week came on Memorial Day when he blasted two home runs, including one grand slam, driving in five, to pace a 12-run attack.
The 28-year-old has been the Chihuahuas everyday third baseman this year, hitting .333 (47-for-141) with 12 home runs and 43 RBI in 44 games. His .688 slugging percentage trails only teammate Alex Dickerson for the league lead, while his home runs have come once every 11.75 at-bats, best mark in the PCL.
Schimpf is in his first year in the Padres organization after spending his first seven professional seasons in the Blue Jays farm system. He has been named a Toronto MiLB.com organizational All-Star the last four years, while appearing in Mid-Season All-Star games with Single-A Lansing (2010) and Single-A Dunedin (2012).
This is his first career Player of the Week. Schimpf is the third different Chihuahua to win this award this season, joining Hunter Renfroe (April 18-24) and Casey McElroy (May 2-8).
In a pair of home starts, Buchanan won both, not allowing a run or walk over 13.0 innings, the second-most innings tossed in the league last week. He surrendered eight hits, just one for extra bases, struck out nine, while posting a 0.62 WHIP and .174 batting average against.
On May 30 against Albuquerque, Buchanan went 6.0 innings, giving up four hits, throwing 47-of-68 pitches for strikes, as Iowa broke open a 6th inning scoreless tie with 10-run inning and won 11-0. In his most recent outing on June 4 vs. Memphis, the righty went 7.0 shutout innings with seven strikeouts as the Cubs took a 4-0 win.
Before signing with the Cubs organization on April 3, the 26-year-old North Carolina State grad had spent parts of the last four seasons in the PCL with the Astros organization. In nine starts this season, Buchanan has a 4.22 ERA in 53.1 innings, but 16 of the 25 earned runs he’s given up have come in two starts.
This is Buchanan’s second career Pitcher of the Week honor, having previously won in May 2013 with the Double-A Texas League’s Corpus Christi Hooks. Over his seven-year professional career, Buchanan has twice been named a Mid-Season All-Star (2011, 2013) and once been named an MiLB.com organizational All-Star (2011, Houston).