ROUND ROCK, Texas - Nick Evans of the Reno Aces and Duane Below of the Las Vegas 51s were awarded the Pacific Coast League's Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 18-24, the league office announced today.
Nick Evans held league-highs in runs scored (eight), hits (12), and RBIs (13), while hitting safely in all six games he played for a .462 batting average. The left fielder also tied for the PCL-lead in totals bases (24) backed by three doubles and three home runs. He accumulated four multi-hit games during the week, including a pair of three-hit performances. Evans homered in consecutive games starting Thursday at Omaha, while producing three RBIs in each contest. He also drove in four runs Monday during an 11-8 defeat to Salt Lake. The 29-year-old is currently on an eight-game hit streak and ranks third in the PCL this season with 40 RBIs.
The 2015 season is Evans' third in the Arizona Diamondbacks' organization after signing with the club on March 28, 2013. He was originally chosen by the New York Mets in the fifth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft out of St. Mary's High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Evans has spent portions of five seasons in the major leagues, most recently playing 18 games for the Diamondbacks in 2014. This is the second Player of the Week accolade he has received from the PCL in his career, with the other coming on May 13, 2014 with the Aces.
Duane Below went the distance Tuesday during Las Vegas' 2-0 win at Tacoma, pitching the PCL's first nine-inning complete-game shutout of the season. The left-hander accomplished his first career complete game in 98 pitches, while yielding only one walk and two strikeouts. He also initiated 12 ground outs and nine fly outs in his outing. Below retired the first eight batters he faced, before allowing his first of four hits in the game. The start was just his third of the season, after being moved to the 51s' starting rotation on May 9. He owns a 3-2 record and 2.51 ERA through eight appearances this season.
Below, 29, signed with the New York Mets on Jan. 29, 2015, the third organization he has played for in his career. The Lake Michigan College (Benton Harbor, Michigan) alum was Detroit's 19th round draft selection in 2006, before making his MLB debut with the Tigers in 2011. During that 2011 season, he also won his only other Pitcher of the Week award as a member of the Toledo Mud Hens in the International League. Below is the second 51s pitcher to earn a weekly honor from the PCL this season, joining Noah Syndergaard who was recognized May 4. This is the first time since 2011 that Las Vegas has won two Pitcher of the Week awards in the same season.