ROUND ROCK, Texas - Thomas Pham of the Memphis Redbirds and Rafael Montero of the Las Vegas 51s have been named Pacific Coast League Player and Pitcher of the Week for the week of August 4-10, the league office announced today.
Thomas Pham collected a PCL-best 14 hits in seven games this week for a .500 batting average. The center fielder also tied for the most runs scored in the league with ten, while his four stolen bases were the second-highest total. Pham recorded four multi-hit games highlighted by back-to-back four-hit performances to end the week. In Saturday's 21-3 victory over New Orleans, he compiled four runs scored, four RBIs, and knocked out a solo home run in the eighth inning. The home run was one of two he hit during the week, giving him nine for the season. The 26-year-old boasts a .345 average and a team-best 13 stolen bases this year with Memphis.
Pham was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 16th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. Baseball America ranked him as the Cardinals' 23rd best prospect entering the 2014 season. The Player of the Week accolade is the second he has received in his nine-year career, with the first coming in 2008 when he played for the Quad Cities River Bandits in the Midwest League.
Rafael Montero had the top pitching performance of the week, when he struck out 11 batters in eight innings during the Las Vegas 51s' combined one-hit shutout at Sacramento. The outing was Montero's longest of the season, while his season-best 11 strikeouts were three away from his career-high. He allowed just three River Cats to reach base during the game, by the way of two walks and a fifth-inning single from Nick Buss. After yielding the only hit of game, Montero went onto retire the final 12 batters he faced. Out of the 105 pitches he threw that night, 73 were for strikes, setting a new season-high for the right-hander. The New York Mets' No. 3 prospect now owns a 6-3 record with Las Vegas as well as a 3.28 ERA and 75 strikeouts.
The 2014 season marks the fourth in Montero's professional career, after signing with the Mets as an international free agent on Jan. 20, 2011, out of Higuerito, Dominican Republic. The 23-year-old made his major league debut this season with the Mets, going six innings against the New York Yankees on May 14 at Citi Field. Montero has now won two Pitcher of the Week honors in his career, with the first being awarded in 2012 as a member of the St. Lucie Mets in the Florida State League.