Pelicans’ Baez, Clifton win Carolina League top honors

pel-29Myrtle Beach Pelicans outfielder Jeffrey Baez and right-handed pitcher Trevor Clifton have been named the Carolina League’s Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for the week of August 1-7, the league office announced Monday. This is the third straight week a Pelican has earned a weekly honor.

Baez went 9-for-23 in seven games over the week, batting .391/.400/.957 with two doubles, one triple, three home runs and 11 RBIs. The El Tigre, Venezuela native recorded four multi-RBI games and three multi-hit games throughout the week.

Signed by the Cubs as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Baez has streaked to a .782 OPS in the second half of the 2016 campaign after posting a .596 mark in the first half. He leads all active players in the circuit with 33 steals.

Clifton made one start during the week, carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning of his August 3 outing at Frederick. He went 7+ frames in that start, yielding only a leadoff double in the eighth inning. He whiffed six without walking a batter.

The Maryville, Tenn. native is the league’s active ERA leader at 3.15 while also topping the circuit with a .232 batting average against. A 12th-round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2013 out of Heritage High School in Tennessee, Clifton is also first among starters with 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings, second among all pitchers in total strikeouts (101) and third in WHIP (1.22).

Yasiel Balaguert also won the circuit’s Player of the Week for May 16-22, July 18-24 and July 25-31. Former Pelicans infielder Ian Happ took home the award for April 18-24 and June 13-19, while current infielder Jason Vosler was named the league’s honoree for May 9-15.

Myrtle Beach, currently on a nine-game winning streak, begins a three-game series with Tuesday’s 7:05 p.m. contest against Salem. The Pelicans currently reside in first place of the Carolina League’s Southern Division, 2.5 games ahead of the Red Sox.

Photo by Larry Kave/MB Pelicans

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