The Pacific Coast League office announced Tuesday that infielder Wilmer Difo of the Fresno Grizzlies and Round Rock Express left-hander Kent Emanuel were named Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of August 26- September 2, 2019.
For the week, Difo hit .444 (16-for-36) with a home run and 12 RBI. In eight games for the Grizzlies, Difo led the league in hits (16), triples (2, t-1st), total bases (26), at-bats (36, t-1st), plate appearances (41), and finished in the top 10 in several offensive categories including; RBI (12, t-3rd), average (.444, 4th), runs (8, t-4th), doubles (3, t-4th), on-base percentage (.512, 6th), OPS (1.234, 6th), walks (5, 9th) and SLUG (.722, 9th). Difo hit in seven of eight games, and had multi-hit performances in four of those. The switch-hitter went a perfect 5-for-5 on August 29 against Tacoma, as he had two doubles, a triple and five RBI. He missed hitting for the cycle by a home run.
Difo, who signed as an International Free Agent with the Washington Nationals in June of 2010, hit .300 (70-for-223) with four home runs and 30 RBI in 61 games for Fresno this season. His 51 strikeouts on the campaign are the fewest in his career with a full-season minor league affiliate. This is the first Player of the Week honor in 10 professional seasons for Difo.
In just one start for the Round Rock Express this week, Emanuel picked up the win tossing eight scoreless innings, while issuing just one hit while striking out six batters. The southpaw retired the first three batters he faced before issuing a lead-off single to Travis Shaw in the second inning against the San Antonio Missions on August 27. Emanuel responded by retiring the final 21 batters he faced, and in all retired 24 of 25 batters he faced on the night. He notched the league's best WHIP at 0.13 in just the one outing and held the Missions to a .040 average for the game.
On the season, the 27-year-old is 8-2 with a 3.90 ERA in 28 games (7 starts) for Round Rock. Emanuel, who was selected in the third round by the Houston Astros in the 2013 draft out of the University of North Carolina, has racked up 81 strikeouts with the Express this season while walking just 23 batters. This is the first Pitcher of the Week honor in seven professional seasons.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.