Add yet another accolade for Albuquerque Isotopes ace John Ely
, who has been named the Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher of the Year by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ely will be honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to Friday's game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium.
In 2012 Ely put together the greatest season by a pitcher in Isotopes history, becoming the first man since Donne Wall in 1995 to win the Pacific Coast League's pitching Triple Crown. The right-hander tied for the league lead in wins with 14 (also a franchise record) while finishing first in the circuit in ERA (3.20) and strikeouts (165). In addition to receiving recognition as a mid-season and post-season PCL All-Star, Ely became the first Isotope to earn the league's Pitcher of the Year honor. He also ranked second in the circuit in innings-pitched (168.2), first in WHIP (1.10), and second in average against (.238).
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, 18 were quality outings, 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 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 'Topes win. On May 10, the right-hander set a career-high with 11 strikeouts, shattering his previous high of nine.
Ely now joins Dodgers stalwarts Chad Billingsley and Scott Elbert as winners of the prestigious Branch Rickey Pitcher of the Year honor, awarded annually by the Dodgers since 1989. The last time an Albuquerque starter earned the accolade was in 1997, when Dennys Reyes won a combined 14 games with a 4.12 ERA in 22 starts between the Dukes and Double-A San Antonio.
The Isotopes' 10th season was exceptional both on and off the field, but 2013 promises to be even better. Season tickets and Mini-Plans are on sale now at Isotopes Park. For more information, visit www.abqisotopes.com or call (505) 924-BALL.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.