Tauchman, Santana tabbed week's best

Albuquerque OF mashes five home runs; Oklahoma City RHP dominates in first Triple-A start

Photo Credits: Tim March / Albuquerque Isotopes (left), Cody Roper / OKC Dodgers (right)

By Pacific Coast League | May 21, 2018 1:23 PM

ROUND ROCK, Texas - Albuquerque Isotopes outfielder Mike Tauchman and Oklahoma City Dodgers right-hander Dennis Santana have been selected as the Pacific Coast League's Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of May 14-20, 2018, the League office announced Monday. Tauchman hit five home runs in six games, while Santana dazzled in his first career Triple-A start.

Tauchman was among PCL leaders for the week in nearly every major offensive category, including home runs (1st), total bases (27, 1st), runs scored (8, 1st), RBI (8, t-1st) and extra-base hits (6, t-1st). He hit .417 (10-for-24), with a PCL-best 1.125 slugging percentage; Tauchman also reached base in nearly half of his plate appearances (12-of-26), accounting for a 1.587 OPS.

The Illinois native had a pair of multi-home run games, each contributing to an Isotopes win. On May 15 in Las Vegas, Tauchman had two solo home runs, part of a three-hit game. Four days later against Reno, he went deep twice more, driving home three of the 'Topes five runs. Tauchman is one of only four PCL players this year to have at least two multiple home run games. His week's performance also featured a season-high-tying four-hit effort on May 18 versus the Aces, as he fell a double shy of the cycle.  

Video: Isotopes' Tauchman homers

Tauchman has been a key cog for an Isotopes offense that has plated the third-most runs in the League. Since getting optioned to Albuquerque on April 22, Tauchman has the most total bases in the PCL (78). His 19 extra-base hits and 28 RBI in that that time also match the top total in the League. All told, he has hit .392 (40-for-102) in 26 games with a 1.208 OPS. He has spent his entire six-year career in the Rockies organization after getting selected by Colorado in the 10th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Bradley University. The 27-year-old has spent parts of the last three seasons with the 'Topes, hitting .316 (315-for-997) with 25 home runs. He was a member of the PCL's post-season All-Star team last year. Tauchman made his Major League debut that same season and has played in 46 games with Colorado the last two years. This is his second career Player of the Week (Tri-City, 2013).

Santana, who received his first Triple-A promotion earlier in the week, went six shutout innings, striking out 11 of the 21 batters he faced, while not issuing a walk. The first time through the order, Santana retired all nine hitters, striking out six. The righty surrendered back-to-back singles to start the fourth inning but struck out two of the next three batters to escape the jam. The only other baserunner he allowed was virtue of a fifth inning single. Santana capped his outing by setting down the final six hitters that came to the plate.

Video: Dodgers' Santana fans his 11th batter

The 22-year-old began the year with Double-A Tulsa, where he posted a 2.56 ERA (38.2 IP, 11 ER) over eight starts. At the time of his promotion, he led Texas League starters in strikeouts-per-9 innings (11.87), while limiting hitters to a .183 average, a total that was the second-best mark in the league. The converted infielder is in his sixth year in the Dodgers organization. Santana has a been a mid-season All-Star the past two seasons, with Single-A Great Lakes in 2016 and Advanced-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2017. Since 2014, when he became a full-time pitcher, Santana has recorded an 18-24 record with a 3.56 ERA (356.1 IP, 141 ER) with 405 strikeouts. This is his first career Pitcher of the Week award.   

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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