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River Ryan, Payton Martin win minor league pitcher of the week awards

MLB: MAY 22 Dodgers at Braves Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

No games for the top four Dodgers minor league affiliates Monday or Tuesday this week (they are all playing next Monday during July 4 weekend), but there is still minor league news. A pair of Dodgers won pitcher of the week awards for the week ending June 25 — River Ryan for Double-A Tulsa in the Texas League, and Payton Martin for Low-A Rancho Cucamonga in the California League.

Ryan did not allow a hit in his lone start for the Drillers last Wednesday, retiring 15 of his 16 batters faced against Northwest Arkansas, throwing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts. It’s the second hitless, scoreless start for Ryan in his last four outings, and the five innings in both outings represented season and career highs.

The 24-year-old right-hander was acquired by the Padres in March 2022 for Matt Beaty. In 13 games this year, including 11 starts, Ryan has a 2.70 ERA with 55 strikeouts and 26 walks in 50 innings.

Ryan captured the sixth weekly honor this season for Tulsa, joining pitcher Alec Gamboa (May 1-7), plus outfielder Andy Pages (April 10-16), second baseman Jorbit Vivas (April 17-23), shortstop Eddys Leonard (May 1-7), and first baseman/outfielder Imanol Vargas (May 29-June 4).

Martin pitched twice last week for Rancho Cucamonga, throwing three scoreless innings each time. He started and struck out six against last Elsinore last Tuesday, allowing only a single and a walk, then retired all nine batters he faced in closing out Sunday’s win, striking out five.

The Dodgers drafted Martin in the 17th round in 2022 out of high school in Georgia, and he’s just over a month past his 19th birthday. He’s thrived in his professional debut this year for the Quakes, with a 1.65 ERA in 32⅔ innings, with 40 strikeouts and 14 walks. Though Martin is the youngest to pitch for the Quakes this season, his 10.7-percent walk rate is fifth-lowest among 16 Rancho Cucamonga pitchers with at least 20 innings.

Martin is the third Quakes player to win a weekly award in 2023, along with third baseman Kyle Nevin (April 10-16) and outfielder Chris Newell (April 24-30).