The International League announced today that Durham Bulls left-handed starter Blake Snell was named the circuit's Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 30-June 5. Across two starts the southpaw went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA on his way to earning his first IL honor.
On May 31 the 23-year-old Washington native dealt five shutout innings against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders at the DBAP, striking out five in an eventual 2-0 loss. On Sunday against the Gwinnett Braves the No. 12 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America extended his shutout streak to 11.0 innings, tossing six scoreless frames and striking out nine in a 9-0 Bulls victory. For the week, he surrendered just eight hits in 11 innings, while punching out 14 batters and issuing five walks.
On the season the Tampa Bay Rays' consensus No. 1 prospect is 3-4 with a 3.14 ERA in 11 starts for Durham, leading the league and ranking second in Minor League Baseball with 77 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings. The 2015 USA Today and Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year has made one start for the Rays this season, when he made his major league debut against the New York Yankees in New York on April 23. In that outing Snell tossed five innings, allowing one run on two hits to earn a no-decision.
Snell becomes the second Bull to earn IL weekly honors in 2016, after infielder/outfielder Richie Shaffer was named the league's Batter of the Week for the season's first week. The Pitcher of the Week award marks the fourth time in Snell's career he's been honored by his respective league, after earning the award with Rookie-level Princeton (2012, Appalachian League), Advanced-A Charlotte (2015, Florida State League) and Double-A Montgomery (2015, Southern League). Indianapolis outfielder Danny Ortiz was named the IL's Batter of the Week.