MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Pacific Coast League announced Monday that Memphis Redbirds starting pitcher Luke Weaver has been named the league's player of the month for May. Weaver was tabbed after a vote cast by the league's managers.
Weaver made six starts for the Redbirds in May and went 5-1 with a 2.19 ERA (9er/37.0ip). Across his outings, he struck out 37 with just six walks. During the month, the 23-year-old paced the league in wins, and was second in ERA, innings pitched, and fewest runs and walks allowed (minimum 35.0 IP). He also ranked fourth in the circuit in strikeouts and ninth in WHIP (1.00).
Weaver's dominance helped the Redbirds put together an 11-game winning streak from April 28 - May 8, which was the longest in franchise history. In his first two starts after returning from missing 22 games due to injury, he tossed 13.0 shutout innings in two wins and did not issue a walk. He allowed just seven total hits in the two starts, and combined to strike out nine. He capped the month off on Memorial Day with a seven-inning performance against Iowa, in which he tied his season-high with nine strikeouts.
This is the first career league player of the month award for Weaver, who was named the Cardinals' organization pitcher of the month in June 2016 and July 2015. He is also the reigning minor league pitcher of the year in the St. Louis system and rated as the No. 2 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America and No. 3 by MLB.com.
The accolade is rare for a pitcher to accomplish, as the last eight PCL players of the month were position players. The last pitcher to win the award was Carlos Pimentel for Iowa in June 2015.