VISALIA, CA -The California League of Professional Baseball Clubs and the Visalia Rawhide announced today the Post-Season Awards for the 2018 regular season.
RHP Emilio Vargas, who spent the bulk of the season with the Rawhide, has been named the California League Pitcher of the Year and is the first pitcher to win the award in franchise history. Vargas, along with catcher Dominic Miroglio, were named to the Cal League Post-Season All-Star Team and Pitching Coach Jeff Bajenaru was named the Coach of the Year for the second straight season.
Vargas went 8-5 in 108 innings for Visalia this year while compiling a Cal-League best 2.50 ERA. Despite having pitched his last game in a Rawhide uniform on July 27, Vargas still owns top marks in ERA, Strikeouts (140), Average Against (.230), Strikeout Rate (11.80), and is tied for first in WHIP (1.23). The 21-year old had two streaks of at least 20 innings without allowing a run, leading to a 1.04 ERA through the first half. He put an exclamation mark on his season by striking out 13 Modesto hitters over five innings on July 10. Though he was unranked heading into the season, Vargas is now the fourteenth-ranked prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks system by MLB Pipeline.
Arizona's twentieth round pick of last year's draft, Miroglio began the season as Visalia's backup catcher and earned playing time with consistent production. In 76 games for the Rawhide, he hit .327 with four home runs, an .855 OPS, and an impressive .320 batting average with runners in scoring position. He is currently the thirtieth-ranked prospect in the Diamondbacks system by MLB Pipeline and was promoted to Class-AA Jackson on August 3.
Bajenaru has been named the California League Coach of the Year for the second straight season after heading up one of the league's best pitching staffs. The Rawhide are currently second in the League in team ERA (3.72) and strikeouts (1,223), tied for third in shutouts (10), and are fourth in average against (.252). Bajenaru is in his eighth year as a coach in the D-backs organization and his third with Visalia.
The Rawhide are in the midst of a playoff push while they look to end their 40-year championship drought, the longest active streak in the California League. The final regular season homestand of the season starts tonight and runs through August 27th. Tickets are available on rawhidebaseball.com.
The Visalia Rawhide are a professional baseball team in the Class A Advanced California League and are the only professional sports team in Tulare and Kings counties. The team has been an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks since 2007 and is entering their 72nd year of play in 2018. The Rawhide renovated their home at Recreation Ballpark in 2009 and have since become the largest gathering of individuals in Tulare County, having set an attendance record for the seventh time in the past eight seasons in 2017. In 2018, the Rawhide look to continue their reputation for hosting competitive baseball while providing affordable family entertainment. To be a part of the 2018 Visalia Rawhide season, please contact the Visalia Rawhide Ticket Office at 559.732.4433, visit us online at rawhidebaseball.com, or follow us on Facebook (TheRawhide), Instagram (@VisaliaRawhide), and Twitter (@VisaliaRawhide).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.