On Monday, the Southern League announced that BayBears starter Kyler Newby was its Pitcher of the Week for the period ending August 2 after tossing five scoreless innings and striking out seven against the Montgomery Biscuits last Friday at Hank Aaron Stadium.
Newby, a 50th-round draft choice of the Diamondbacks in 2004, was only making his sixth career pro start against the Biscuits after beginning the season and spending most of his career in the bullpen. Despite being a reliever by trade, Newby has the size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) and repertoire (four-seamer, two-seamer, slider, and splitter) to be effective as a starter, and Newby has proven that of late. He has a 3.38 ERA and 19 strikeouts in his four starts this season, although he maintains his aggressive pitching style as a member of the rotation.
"I still want to be a fastball dominant pitcher," Newby told FutureBacks. "I like throwing fastballs; I like going after hitters. I don't want to sit back and try to throw junk. I'm not really going to change my approach on hitters."
Newby posted a 3.99 ERA for the BayBears in 2009 and even spent one day on the major league roster as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He has a 3.73 ERA so far this season with a 2-2 record. He has fanned 56 hitters and walked 16 in 50.2 innings. Newby's seven-strikeout performance against the Biscuits tied a season-high while he set a new career-high by lasting five innings in a ballgame.
Also on Monday, Yakima Bears right-hander Jake Hale was named Northwest League Pitcher of the Week .In three relief appearances during that stretch Hale earned two victories, allowing no runs on just three hits while striking out five and walking zero in five innings. Ohio State's all-time leading saves earner now boasts a 0.36 ERA in 25.1 innings of work for the Bears, with two saves and a 3-2 record.
At 24 years of age, Hale's dominance of the Northwest League does not come as a surprise. What is somewhat surprising is that Hale has not yet received a promotion. Having been a star at Ohio State, Hale would likely be a draw for the Midwest League. Alternatively, he could skip South Bend and go straight to Hi-A Visalia for the Rawhide playoff run.
"Hale is a big, tall kid with a nice slider," said South Bend manager Mark Haley, who saw Hale both during instructs and in spring training.
Newby and Hale become the first BayBear and Bear to be honored with a league Player of the Week Award in 2010.
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