CLINTON — Clinton LumberKings right-handed pitcher Ljay Newsome has been named the Seattle Mariners' "60-feet 6-inch" award winner. The award recognizes the best pitcher in the Mariners organization to dominate in 0-0 and 0-1 counts while also showing an ability to get back in counts when behind.
Newsome, 20, was the opening day starter in 2017 and posted an 8-9 record with a 4.10 ERA over 129 2/3 innings with Clinton. The Maryland native, ranked as the stingiest pitcher in the Midwest League in walks per nine innings (1.11) and fourth in the league in fewest baserunners allowed (10.34) over nine innings.
Newsome won the award in a bracket style contest that faced off Mariners minor-league pitchers in weekly matchups that advanced the pitcher who had controlled the strike zone better. Another 2017 LumberKing pitcher, JP Sears, reached the final four of the contest.
The win of the "60 feet 6 inch Award" comes with an invitation to the Mariners major-league camp in spring training for 2018. Newsome will be in Peoria, Arizona, in big-league camp when his 2018 season begins in late February.
Earlier this fall, LumberKings outfielder Dimas Ojeda was named winner of the Dan Wilson Community Service award.
Several former LumberKings also have been honored by the Mariners: Ian Miller (2014), minor-league hitter of the year; Nick Neidert (2016), minor-league pitcher of the year; Chris Mariscal (2015, 2016), Mr. Mariner; and Cesar Nichols (2016 hitting coach), minor-league staff member of the year.