WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (June 17, 2019) - With a cycle highlighting a monster week, Winston-Salem outfielder Steele Walker has earned the Carolina League's Player of the Week award, while a nine-inning complete game propelled Down East left-hander John King to the circuit's Pitcher of the Week award, as announced by the
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (June 17, 2019) - With a cycle highlighting a monster week, Winston-Salem outfielder Steele Walker has earned the Carolina League's Player of the Week award, while a nine-inning complete game propelled Down East left-hander John King to the circuit's Pitcher of the Week award, as announced by the league office on Monday morning.
Walker delivered his cycle in the Dash's 6-2 win at Carolina on Friday. After grounding out in his first at-bat, the former Oklahoma Sooner went in reverse order, logging a home run in the fourth, a triple in the sixth, a double in the eighth and a single in the ninth. It was the third cycle for the franchise in the Dash era (2009-present), with Gerson Montilla and Mason Robbins accomplishing the feat in April of 2016. Montilla went on to lead the CL with 11 sacrifice flies that season, while Robbins was the top qualified hitter with a .314 batting average.
In seven games last week, the second-round pick in last year's MLB Draft paced the CL in both OPS (1.350) and total bases (20), while his two home runs and 10 hits were good for a share of the top spot. Walker also finished third in batting average (.435) and tied for third in RBIs (9).
King's nine-inning complete game was the first in the Carolina League since August 25, 2018, and the first for the Wood Ducks since Steven Bruce blanked Winston-Salem on August 5, 2018. The 10th-round pick out of Houston limited Potomac to just one unearned run on three hits over 90 pitches, leading Down East to a 4-1 road victory.
King has been outstanding in his six starts since a mid-May promotion from Low-A Hickory. The southpaw is 1-0 with a 1.25 earned run average through six starts spanning 36.0 innings. King and the Wood Ducks finished the first half with a 50-20 record, the second-best record in a half in Carolina League history. Only the 1980 Peninsula Pilots (51-19) posted a better half than the Woodies.
Winston-Salem and Down East combined for 13 All-Stars, with some of the best prospects in Minor League Baseball set to converge in Frederick, Md., on Tuesday for the Carolina League All-Star Classic, presented by Visit Frederick. Stay tuned to carolinaleague.com and frederickkeys.com for more information on the CL's showcase event.