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Dean, Gagnon receive weekly awards

New Orleans OF records MiLB-best 2.053 OPS; Las Vegas RHP strikes out 19 in 13 innings
Photo Credits: Parker Waters (left), Steve Spatafore (right)
August 13, 2018

ROUND ROCK, Texas - New Orleans Baby Cakes outfielder Austin Dean and Las Vegas 51s right-hander Drew Gagnon have been selected as the Pacific Coast League's Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of August 6-12, 2018.

ROUND ROCK, Texas - New Orleans Baby Cakes outfielder Austin Dean and Las Vegas 51s right-hander Drew Gagnon have been selected as the Pacific Coast League's Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of August 6-12, 2018.

Dean's 2.053 OPS over five games bested all players in Minor League Baseball. He also paced the PCL in batting average (.647; 11-for-17), slugging percentage (1.353), on-base percentage (.700), total bases (23), while matching the League's top home run (3) and extra-base hit (6) marks. Additionally, he drove in seven runs, scored seven runs and walked (3) nearly as many times as he struck out (5).
The Spring, Texas native collected hits in all five games, including a stretch of four consecutive multi-hit contests. The first of those games, August 6 at Albuquerque, Dean reached base four times (three hits, one walk) and drove in two to help the Baby Cakes to a 7-2 win. He then posted consecutive two-hit games, against the Isotopes and the Iowa Cubs. Dean capped the stretch with his first two-homer game in his Triple-A career. He had a pair of solo home runs and added an RBI single in New Orleans' 9-2 victory against Iowa on August 11.
Video: Dean goes yard for Baby Cakes
Dean, in his seventh season in the Marlins organization, began the year with Double-A Jacksonville before earning his first Triple-A promotion on April 29, where he has been ever since. In 86 games with New Orleans, Dean has amassed 102 hits and batted .327 (102-for-312), a mark that, since his call-up, is eighth-highest in the circuit. The 24-year-old has also hit nine home runs and drove in 54, compiling a .876 OPS. He earned the promotion after a 22-game stint with the Jumbo Shrimp, in which he hit .420 (34-for-81) en route to Minor League Baseball's Southern League Player of the Month honors. This is Dean's third career Player of the Week award. He was most recently honored this year, for the period of April 16-22 with Jacksonville, after hitting .520 (13-for-25) in seven games.
Gagnon posted the highest strikeout total in Minor League Baseball last week, punching out 19 hitters in 13.0 innings, while only walking two. He tossed a pair of quality starts, winning both, and had a 0.92 WHIP. On August 7 at Iowa, he went six innings and surrendered just two runs on six hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in Las Vegas' 9-6 win. Gagnon then fired a seven-inning complete game, striking out 10, on August 12 against Reno. He was only touched for one run, which came on a home run, and four hits. Gagnon's efforts have helped the surging 51s climb over .500, 60-59; since June 17, Las Vegas has ripped off 32 wins in 49 games.
The 28-year-old, who has made a PCL-best 23 starts this season, has also posted the highest strikeout total in the League (147), while his 131.0 innings and 1.26 WHIP both rank second. Gagnon started the year with Double-A Binghamton and made only one start for the Rumble Ponies before being promoted to Las Vegas. His only other start this year came when he made his Major League debut with the Mets on July 10 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Gagnon is in his eighth professional season. The first six came in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, who drafted him in the third round in 2011. He then spent a year in the Angels organization before his first season with the Mets. This is his third career Pitcher of the Week award, previously being honored by the Single-A Florida State League in 2013 (Brevard County) and the Double-A Southern League in 2014 (Huntsville).