The Pacific Coast League announced Monday that El Paso Chihuahuas’ first baseman Jamie Romak and Reno Aces’ right-hander Zack Godley have been named the League’s Player and Pitcher of the Week for April 17-23. Romak slugged five home runs, while Godley took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his lone start.
In six games, Romak hit .478 (11-for-23), tying for the lead in professional baseball in home runs, total bases (28), while pacing Minor League Baseball’s highest classification in slugging (1.217), OPS (1.737) and runs scored (9). Further, Romak got on-base at a .520 clip, drove in nine runs and walked twice compared to four strikeouts.
Romak’s power surge was highlighted by a two-homer game April 21, part of a four-hit, four-RBI effort. That was his second multi-homer game of the season, a feat only one other PCL player has accomplished thus far (Oswaldo Arcia, Reno). Romak started his week by hitting the go-ahead – and eventual game-winning – homer in a 4-3 decision over Tacoma on April 18. He collected at least one hit and one run scored in all six contests.
El Paso is Romak’s fifth PCL team, having previously spent time with Omaha, Memphis, Albuquerque and Reno. In parts of five seasons in the PCL, Romak has hit 82 home runs, driven in 290, while hitting .270 (423-for-1569) in 429 games. Romak was the 2015 PCL Home Run Champion, hitting 27 with Reno. The Canada native was selected by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft. He has played in 27 major league contests between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks, hitting .167 (6-for-36) with four RBI. Romak played the 2016 season with the Yokohama Bay Stars in the Japanese Central League before returning stateside.
Godley was nearly flawless in his only start of the week, April 19 at Albuquerque. He faced the minimum 21 batters over seven innings. The only two baserunners he allowed – a hit batter to leadoff the second inning and a single to start the seventh inning – were both erased on double plays by the following batter. He struck out seven, six of which were consecutively covering parts of the fourth through sixth innings. Godley, making the start two days prior to his 27th birthday, threw 44 of his 61 pitches for strikes.
The South Carolina native was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 10th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Tennessee. He was in the Cubs organization for two years before being swapped to Arizona in a December 2014 deal involving Miguel Montero. Godley made his MLB debut with the Diamondbacks the following campaign, pitching to a 3.19 ERA over 36.2 innings in nine appearances (six starts). The majority of Godley’s major league time came in 2016, as he tossed 74.2 innings in 27 appearances, 18 of which were out of the bullpen. He has also pitched to a 3.04 ERA (50.1 IP, 17 ER) over parts of the last two seasons with Reno, his only career appearances in Triple-A.