Albuquerque Isotopes ace John Ely has been named Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year by vote of league managers and media representatives, becoming the first Albuquerque pitcher to claim the award since the honor was created in 2001.
While working half his games in one of the toughest pitcher's ballparks in baseball, Ely has been magnificent, setting a franchise-record with 14 wins as well as a new team mark for home victories with nine. Currently tied for the PCL lead in wins, Ely has a chance to become the first pitcher since Donne Wall in 1995 to win the league's pitching Triple Crown. The 'Topes ace is first in the circuit with a 3.20 ERA while pacing the circuit in strikeouts with 165, 14 punch-outs more than his closest competitor. Ely also ranks among league leaders in innings-pitched (168.2 - 1st), WHIP (1.10 - 1st), average against (.238 - 3rd), lowest walk / 9.0 inning ratio (1.92 - 3rd), and fewest baserunners / 9.0 inning ratio (10.14 - 1st).
From July 23 to August 18, Ely became the first pitcher in franchise history to win six consecutive starts, posting a 1.96 ERA in that span. Of his 27 total starts this season, 18 have been quality starts, including a stretch of six straight quality appearances from April 30 to May 26. In the first game of a doubleheader vs. Tucson on August 8, Ely became the first and so far only Isotope this year to author a complete game shutout when he tossed 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing just six hits and a walk while fanning eight in a 4-0 Isotopes win. On May 10, the right-hander set a career-high with 11 strikeouts, shattering his previous high of nine.
It's been a season of accolades for Ely, who was selected to pitch for the Pacific Coast League squad in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Buffalo and was named to the All-PCL Team on Monday.
The Pacific Coast League season-ending accolades continue with the Most Valuable Player announcement on Thursday before the circuit's Manager of the Year is named on Friday.