The Orioles today announced that left-hander Alex Wells has been named the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year for the 2017 season. Wells will be presented with his award tonight during a pregame ceremony with Orioles Director of Player Development Brian Graham and Orioles Director of Pacific Rim Operations and Baseball Development Mike Snyder.
Wells went 11-5 with a 2.38 ERA (37 ER/140.0 IP) and a career-high 113 strikeouts, 17 Quality Starts, and 25 starts for Class-A Delmarva this season. He led the South Atlantic League in ERA and WHIP (0.91), and was tied for second in wins. In 11 starts at home, he went 7-0 with a 1.75 ERA (13 ER/67.0 IP), three walks and 52 strikeouts. He finished the season with 68.0-straight innings without walking a batter, including not issuing a walk in his final 11 starts of the season. He walked just 10 batters all season, the fewest in all of minor league baseball (min. 110.0 IP). He held right-handed batters to a .215 (78-for-363) average with seven walks and 77 strikeouts. Left-handers batted .237 (40-for-169) with three walks and 36 strikeouts. He had a streak of 36.0 consecutive scoreless innings from June 30-July 30. In five starts in July, Wells did not allow a run or a walk, going 3-0 with 26 strikeouts in 31.0 innings. He was selected as both the SAL Player of the Month and the Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July. He was also named a South Atlantic League (SAL) Mid-Season All-Star with the Shorebirds.
Recipients of the remaining player development and scouting awards for 2017 including the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year, the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Player Development Award, and the Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award will be announced during the club’s final homestand.