Clinton LumberKings RHP Chris Vallimont and Great Lakes Loons outfielder Niko Hulsizer respectively were named the Midwest League’s pitcher and offensive player of the week for May 20-26.
Vallimont made two starts during that time, giving up only one hit, one unearned run, and three walks while striking out 18 batters in 13 innings. He earned a win on May 21 when he took a perfect game into the 7th inning against the Beloit Snappers (read about that here), and got a no-decision Sunday despite one-hitting the Burlington Bees for six innings (read about that here). The Miami Marlins prospect is 3-3 with a 2.43 ERA, 70 strikeouts and 17 walks in 59.1 innings/10 starts for the LumberKings this season. His strikeout total leads the Midwest League.
In seven games during the specified period, Hulsizer batted .313 (10-for-32) with five homers, two doubles, nine runs batted in, and seven runs scored. The Los Angeles Dodgers prospect currently is tied with Lake County Captains outfielder Will Benson for the MWL lead in both HR (13) and RBI (41), and is batting .280 through 43 games with the Loons this season.
Smeltzer sharp in MLB debut
Former Loons LHP Devin Smeltzer brought his A-game to the mound for his major-league debut with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, allowing only three hits and no walks while striking out seven batters in six shutout innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. He got a no-decision, but the Twins won the game 5-3.
Smeltzer, a 23-year-old survivor of childhood cancer, made 10 starts for the Loons in 2017. He went 2-3 with a 3.78 ERA, 57 strikeouts and 12 walks in 52.1 innings. He was one of three players the Dodgers traded to the Twins for MLB second baseman Brian Dozier last July. Dozier, a former Snappers shortstop (2010), now plays for the Washington Nationals.
Reynolds first to 100 Ks
Tuesday’s LumberKings game notes included an item of infamy about first baseman Sean Reynolds. His first of four strikeouts Sunday was his 100th of the season, making him the first professional ballplayer to reach the century mark in Ks in 2019. The Marlins farmhand now has 105 strikeouts and is batting .195 through his first 50 games this season; he needs only 29 more strikeouts to surpass his 2018 total of 133, which he racked up in 76 games with the short-season Batavia Muckdogs.