ROUND ROCK, Texas - A career-year for Oklahoma City Dodgers' Wilmer Font has earned the right-hander the Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year. Font is the second Oklahoma City pitcher to win the award, joining Michael Kirkman in 2010.
A PCL mid- and postseason All-Star, Font leads the league in ERA (3.42), strikeouts (178), WHIP (1.11), batting average against (.222), fewest baserunners-per-nine innings (10.18) and strikeout-to-walk-ratio (5.09). He has taken the ball 25 times for the Dodgers, recording 10 wins in 134.1 innings, marks that place third and fifth in the league, respectively.
The Venezuelan native's breakthrough year featured record-setting performances. Font recorded Oklahoma City's single-game strikeout record on May 15, striking out 15 Sacramento River Cats in seven innings; it also marked the most strikeouts in a game for a PCL pitcher since August 27, 2007, when Sacramento's Dallas Braden fanned 17 in a three-hit shutout. His 178 strikeouts on the year, which are currently second-most in Minor League Baseball, shattered the team's previous record of 150 by Matt Perisho in 1999. Font has also had five starts of 10 or more strikeouts, which matches the club's all-time single-season mark.
Video: Oklahoma City's Font registers 15th strikeout
Font's season honors also included being voted the PCL's All-Star Game starter; he threw a scoreless inning on four pitches. The ninth-year professional has twice been tabbed as the league's Pitcher of the Week, being honored for the periods of May 15-21 and July 10-16.
Video: Oklahoma City's Font notches ninth K
The 27-year-old, in his first year in the Dodgers organization, was originally signed by the Texas Ranges. He was in Texas' system until 2014, which included missing all of 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and pitching his only career Major League innings, 3.1 frames across five appearances and two seasons. Font signed with the Ottawa Champions of the independent Can-Am League for the 2015 campaign before re-joining the affiliated ranks in July 2016 as a member of Toronto's organization. He made 12 appearances (11 starts) between the Blue Jays' Double- and Triple-A affiliates, going 4-4 with a 3.68 ERA.
Voting for the award was conducted through a ballot of field managers, media representatives and team officials. The PCL has annually honored the league's top pitcher since 2004. Others to have won the award include Felix Hernandez (2005), R.A. Dickey (2007), Bud Norris (2009) and Jimmy Nelson (2014). Luke Weaver (Memphis) was this season's runner-up, with Salt Lake's Troy Scribner also receiving votes.
Remaining Schedule of 2017 PCL Awards:
Friday, September 1: Most Valuable Player
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.