ROUND ROCK, Texas - Luis Mendoza of the Omaha Storm Chasers has been named the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, the league announced today.
Mendoza garnered over two-thirds of the votes cast by the PCL field managers and representatives from the media in each city across the league.
Mendoza, 27, is 11-5 with a PCL-best 2.15 earned run average in 32 games (17 starts) this season. He has struck out 75 batters, his most since 2009 with the Oklahoma City RedHawks, and has surrendered five home runs all season, the fewest among PCL pitchers with at least 110 innings pitched. Among qualifying pitchers, the right-hander also leads the league in batting average against (.241) and WHIP (1.25).
Since becoming a full-time starter on June 6th, Mendoza has registered a 1.31 ERA over 96 1/3 innings pitched while also posting a record of 9-2 in the 15 starts. Over the last three months, Mendoza pitched for the PCL in the Triple-A All-Star Game; carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Memphis on July 18th, falling short of his second career no-hitter in the PCL but closed out the game out for a complete-game, one-hit shutout; and was named the PCL Pitcher of the Week for the week of August 15-21. He was also honored as the right-handed pitcher on the 2011 All-PCL team earlier this week.
Originally signed by the Boston Red Sox as an undrafted free agent in 2000, the native of Veracruz, Mexico becomes the first Omaha pitcher to earn the PCL's top pitcher honor since the award's inception in 2001.
Others to receive votes for the Pitcher of the Year award include Dana Eveland (Albuquerque) Graham Godfrey (Sacramento), Brad Mills (Las Vegas) and Neil Ramirez (Round Rock).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.