Trent Thornton named PCL Pitcher of the Week

Fresno RHP narrowly misses a no-hitter

By Fresno Grizzlies | June 19, 2018 5:49 PM

Reno Aces outfielder Socrates Brito and Fresno Grizzlies right-hander Trent Thornton have been selected as the Pacific Coast League Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of June 11-17, 2018, the League office announced Monday.

Brito, who helped the Aces win four of their six games during the week by averaging over eight runs a contest, notched at least two hits, one run and one RBI in each of the six games he played. He posted a Minors-best 31 total bases, eight extra-base hits and a 1.883 OPS. Brito hit .600 (15-for-25) with a PCL weekly-high four home runs, 11 RBI, 10 runs scored, while drawing more walks (3) than strikeouts (2).

The Dominican Republic native's week began by hitting a double and a home run in a one-run win at Memphis. The following game, in the series opener against Iowa, he added three hits and two RBI. His most prolific offensive performance of the week came on June 14; Brito hit two doubles, part of a four-hit, one-walk effort, drove in four and scored twice in the Aces' 11-4 victory. He had three consecutive two-hit games to finish off his week, highlighted by back-to-back contests with home runs, June 15 against Iowa and June 16 versus Omaha.  

The ninth-year professional opened the season on a Triple-A roster for the first time in his career. He played in 42 games for the Aces, in which he hit .323 (51-for-158), before getting recalled to Arizona on May 22. After an eight-game stint in the Majors, Brito got optioned, and in the 11 games with the Aces since, he has hit .457 (21-for-46) with five home runs, 15 RBI and a 1.393 OPS. In total, his .353 average (72-for-204) on the season ranks third in the PCL. Brito has spent parts of the last three seasons in Reno, hitting .308 (246-for-799) with 18 home runs and 119 RBI in that time. This is the first time in his career he has been selected as a Player of the Week.

In his lone start of the week, June 16 at Round Rock, Thornton was four outs away from tossing the PCL's first individual no-hitter since 2014. He retired the first 15 batters of the game before issuing a leadoff walk in the sixth inning. The University of North Carolina product then set down the next five hitters before allowing a two-out walk in the seventh inning. He gave up his first hit with two outs in the eighth inning, as Nick Noonan singled into right field. The 7.2 innings without allowing a hit was the deepest a PCL starter has taken a no-hit bit since the start of the 2017 season. Thornton matched a career-high by working eight innings, allowing only the three baserunners (one hit, two walks) in his 102-pitch effort.

Thornton, now in his fourth year in the Astros organization, has made 12 appearances (11 starts) for the Grizzlies this season. In 65.2 innings, he has worked to a 2.88 ERA, the fifth-best mark in the League. Thornton has topped all PCL starters by limiting batters to a .202 average and permitting only 8.76 baserunners-per-nine innings; his 0.96 WHIP on the year also leads PCL hurlers. The 24-year-old made his Triple-A debut last year with the Grizzlies and went 8-4 with a 5.09 ERA (115.0 IP, 65 ER) in 21 appearances (20 starts). The Astros' fifth-round pick in 2015 has a career 28-15 record with a 3.95 ERA (387.2 IP, 170 ER). This is Thornton's first career Pitcher of the Week award.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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