Hot starts for Walker, Dziedzic earn weekly honors

Walker collects 16 RBI; Dziedzic rides 13.1 inning scoreless streak

By Pacific Coast League | April 17, 2017 2:14 PM ET

ROUND ROCK, Texas - Reno Aces' first baseman Christian Walker and Omaha Storm Chasers' left-hander Jonathan Dziedzic have been tabbed the Pacific Coast League's Player and Pitcher of the Week for the extended opening week of April 6-16, the League office announced Monday. 

Playing in his first 11 games in the Diamondbacks organization, Walker hit .348 (16-for-46) with four home runs and 16 RBI, totals that tied for second and first in the PCL, respectively. He also led the PCL in runs scored (12), finished second in hits (16) and tied for second among all Triple-A players in extra-base hits (8) and total bases (32). Additionally, Walker reached base at a .392 clip and slugged .696, producing a 1.088 OPS. Walker collected at least one hit in nine games, while registering at least one RBI in nine games, too. He had five contests with multiple hits and four contests with multiple RBI.

The 26-year-old reached base a season-best four times, scoring three runs, in a season-opening win against Fresno. In an April 10 victory, also over Fresno, he had the game-winning two-run single in a 5-2 decision. Walker has been one of six players in the PCL to hit multiple home runs in a game, doing so April 12 against Albuquerque as part of a three-hit, three-RBI effort. He drove in a season-high four runs April 16, collecting a double and a home run.

The Norristown, Pennsylvania native spent the first five years of his professional career in the Orioles organization after getting selected by Baltimore in the fourth round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of South Carolina. Walker was designated for assignment by the Orioles in February and claimed first by the Atlanta Braves and then the Cincinnati Reds before latching on with Arizona at the end of March. Walker's been a MiLB.com Organizational All-Star each of the last four years for the Orioles. This is his seventh career Player of the Week award, and third at Minor League Baseball's highest classification, having previously been honored with the International League's Norfolk Tides in 2015 and 2016.

Video: Christian Walker homers for the Aces again

Dziedzic made three starts for the Storm Chasers, going 2-1 with a 1.04 ERA (17.1 IP, 2 ER), but did not allow a run over his final 13.1 innings. In his most recent start, April 16 against New Orleans, Dziedzic pitched 6.2 hitless innings, retiring the first 16 batters he faced; an error followed by a walk in the sixth inning ended the perfect game bid. Dziedzic departed an inning later, having thrown 100 pitches. Omaha's combined no-hit bid was taken into the ninth inning, with the Baby Cakes' Ryan Jackson singling to leadoff the frame.

A start earlier, April 11 against Round Rock, Dziedzic tossed 5.2 innings of scoreless ball, scattering six singles, to go with five strikeouts in picking up his first win of the season. His season debut came in Colorado Springs, April 6, and Dziedzic took the defeat despite only giving up two runs over 5.0 innings in Omaha's 2-1 loss.

The Houston native is in his fifth professional season, all coming in the Royals organization, after getting selected by Kansas City in the 13th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Dziedzic has spent parts of the last three seasons with Omaha, going 7-12 with a 4.09 ERA (160.2 IP, 73 ER) in 30 games (29 starts). A team-leading 25 of those starts came last season in a club-best 140.0 innings. Dziedzic was also tabbed the PCL's Pitcher of the Week in the 2016 season's extended opening week (April 7-17) - the only other time in his career he's been honored with the award. 

Video: Omaha's Dziedzic finishes 6 2/3 hitless

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

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