Twenty-three year old Lindsey Caughel of the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes was named the California League Pitcher of the Week, MiLB.com announced yesterday. Drafted in the 23rd round by Los Angeles in the 2012 draft, Caughel was masterful in his only start of the week, scattering three hits while striking out eight in seven scoreless innings. The award is the second Pitcher of the Week recognition for Caughel who was also recognized in September 2012. A 6’3” Florida native, Caughel is 4-3 with a 3.81 ERA in nine appearances this season.
Caughel caught the Dodgers’ eye after a standout career at Stetson University. As a freshman in 2009, Caughel was voted to the Atlantic Sun Conference All-Freshman team, finishing second on the Hatters in starts and wins. The following season he led Stetson in wins, strikeouts, and complete games and was drafted by Baltimore in the in the 35th round in 2011.
Spurning the Orioles, Caughel instead opted to return to Stetson for his junior year. There he elevated his draft status by going 6-2 and earning all-conference honors.
In his first professional season divided between the Pioneer and Arizona Fall leagues, Caughel went 5-4 with a 3.32 ERA in seven starts. After beginning 2013 with Great Lakes in Low-A ball, Caughel pitched well enough to earn a promotion to High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
This season, his second with the Quakes, Caughel has been solid, lasting more than five innings in eight of his nine outings, featuring three games of at least seven innings. In three professional seasons, Caughel has shown steady improvement, particularly in his command. The Dodgers are especially pleased with his increased strikeout rate and his strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Caughel’s performance has helped the Quakes rebound from a disappointing first half when they finished 12 games behind the Lancaster Jethawks in the California League’s Southern Division. Heading into Tuesday’s games, Rancho Cucamonga has the league’s best second-half record at 10-1.
The next start for Caughel looks to be Friday at Lancaster where the Jethawks are scheduled to throw Mark Appel, the first overall selection in the 2013 draft.