The Pacific Coast League has announced Fresno Grizzlies right-handed starter Brady Rodgers has won the circuit's Pitcher of the Year award for the 2016 season. Rodgers is the first Fresno pitcher to earn the honor (first awarded in 2004). Rodgers, in his fifth professional season with the Houston Astros organization, was a third round draft pick of the Astros in 2012 out of Arizona State University; he's a Houston-area native from Richmond, TX.
Rodgers, 25, led all PCL starters in earned run average at 2.91 (as of August 31). Rodgers' 2016 campaign will go down as the third-best ERA season in the Grizzlies' 19-year history (minimum 75 innings pitched), behind only Ben Weber in 2000 (2.42) and Cory Bailey in 1998 (2.47). Putting Rodgers' superb 2016 season into further perspective, 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner sported a 3.16 ERA in his lone season in Fresno, 2010.
By walking just 1.50 batters per nine innings, Rodgers has led the PCL in that statistic for nearly the entire season. He's issued just 22 free passes in 131 innings. Rodgers' 12 wins are tied for third in the league, putting him in a seven-way tie for the third-most winning decisions in a season by Fresno Grizzlies pitcher.
As he inches closer to his Major League debut with the Astros, Rodgers has already pitched in both the Little League World Series and the College World Series. In 2003, Rodgers was a member of Lamar National Little League, the representative of the Southwest Region at the event in Williamsport, PA. Rodgers will become the second player from that Little League squad to reach the Majors, joining St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Randall Grichuk.
During Rodgers' freshman season at Arizona State, the Sun Devils reached Omaha. Rodgers is also looking to be the fifth Major Leaguer from that 2010 ASU squad, joining Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, Diamondbacks pitcher Jake Barrett, Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun, and Red Sox shortstop Deven Marrero. Rodgers was also a teammate of Fresno Grizzlies outfielder Andrew Aplin each of his three seasons at Arizona State.
PREVIOUS AWARDS WON BY RODGERS: 2016 Mid-Season All-Star, Fresno Grizzlies…2013 Mid-Season All-Star, Lancaster JetHawks (A-Advanced, California League)…California League Pitcher of the Week, Lancaster JetHawks (6/3/13)…Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week, Fresno Grizzlies (5/8/16).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.