Urias named PCL Player of the Week


El Paso Chihuahuas IF Luis Urias and New Orleans Baby Cakes RHP Zac Gallen have been selected the Player and Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 22-28, 2019, the League office announced Monday.

Urias slugged six home runs in six games, totaling 35 bases, the most in Minor League Baseball. He batted .429 (12-for-28) and finished among PCL weekly leaders in home runs (t-1st), runs scored (11, t-1st), OPS (1.750, 2nd), hits (t-2nd), slugging percentage (1.250, 3rd) and RBI (11, 4th). Urias also drew nearly as many walks (3) as strikeouts (4). Urias’ efforts helped El Paso sweep a five-game series from Las Vegas to overtake first place in the Pacific Southern Division.

The Mexico native finished the week in historic fashion. He had a pair of solo home runs in a 12-3 win over Las Vegas on April 27. The next day, he homered in each of his first three at-bats to become the first player in El Paso Chihuahuas history to hit three or more home runs in a single game. His five home runs in consecutive games matched the PCL record for home runs in a two-game span, done twice previously, most recently by Phoenix’s Matt Williams in 1988 (May 25-26). In total, Urias had hits in five of six contests. He also had three hits on April 24 against the Aviators, finishing the game with two triples, one walk and one RBI.

Urias began the season in El Paso, playing four games for the Chihuahuas, before getting recalled to San Diego. He appeared in 11 games for the Padres and then got optioned back to El Paso on April 21. In his 10 games with Chihuahuas this season, Urias has hit .391 (18-for-46) with seven home runs, 12 RBI and a 1.440 OPS. Urias was a mid- and post-season PCL All-Star in 2018 after collecting 133 hits in 120 games. The 21-year-old, who entered the season as the Padres’ No. 3 prospect by Baseball America, has won Player of the Week once before. He was honored by the Double-A Texas League in April 2017 as a member of San Antonio.

Gallen posted two quality starts for the Baby Cakes, going 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA (14.2 IP, 2 ER), walking four and striking out 13. On April 22 against Omaha, he went 6.2 innings, allowing one unearned run on seven hits with six strikeouts. Five days later, on April 28 at Round Rock, he tossed 8.0 innings, the longest start in the PCL this season. He surrendered only two solo home runs, the only hits he gave up in the game. Gallen retired 10 in a row at one point and struck out seven.

The New Jersey native collects his second PCL Pitcher of the Week award this season. He was also honored for the season’s extended opening period of April 4-14 after allowing one run in 13.0 innings in a pair of starts. In five starts this season, Gallen has the PCL’s second-best ERA (0.81). The 23-year-old leads the League in innings (33.1), strikeouts (38), batting average against (.126) and WHIP (0.57). He is in his second season in the Marlins organization after being acquired in a trade from St. Louis. He made 25 starts for the Baby Cakes last year, earning mid-season All-Star recognition after posting a 3.65 ERA in 133.1 innings. This is his third career Pitcher of the Week honor.

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