BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) --- he Bowling Green Hot Rods, Class-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays and 2018 Midwest League Champions, announced on Thursday that 2018 American League Cy Young Award winner, Blake Snell, has been elected to the Hot Rods Hall of Fame by the selection committee. Snell’s Hall of Fame induction and unveiling of his plaque will take place, in addition to the Hot Rods’ Snellzilla bobblehead giveaway sponsored by Reinhart Food Service, on Friday, June 7th.
Snell becomes the third inductee to the Hot Rods Hall of Fame in its second year of existence. He spent parts of two seasons (2013 and 2014) on the mound with Bowling Green, climbing his way into the franchise’s record books in the process. During the 2013 season, the lefty posted a 4-6 record with a 4.27 ERA led the team in strikeouts with 106 over 99.0 innings of work.
He returned in 2014 to start eight games with the Hot Rods and overwhelmed his Midwest League opponents. Snell went 3-2 with a 1.79 ERA while striking out 42 batters over 40.1 innings of work, all while starting more games (31) than anyone else in club history. He is also third on the career strikeouts list with 148.
The Seattle, WA native was truly dominant in 2018 en route to the AL Cy Young Award. In addition to earning the prestigious honor, Snell also earned the Warren Spahn Award for best left-handed pitcher in the MLB, appeared in his first MLB All-Star game, was named AL Pitcher of the Month in August and September, and won the MLB Players Choice Award for AL Outstanding Pitcher.
The awards and accolades piled up thanks, in part, to the southpaw’s super-low 1.89 ERA during the season, a mark that led the league. Over 180.2 innings as a starter, Snell also led the AL in wins, taking 21 games over his 31 starts while piling up 221 strikeouts, a total that left him just outside of the top-5. Snell allowed the lowest batting average to hitters in the league (.178) while posting a 0.97 WHIP, good for second in the AL.
Snell made his MLB debut in 2016 after making 12 starts for the Triple-A Durham Bulls, finishing the season with a 6-8 record and a 3.54 ERA with the Rays. He continued to rack up strikeouts, collecting 98 in his 89.0 innings of work as a starter that season. He spent time with both Durham and Tampa Bay again in 2017 before sticking with the Rays in late June.
The southpaw joins Matt Moore and Kevin Kiermaier as the third former Hot Rods player to be enshrined in the club’s Hall of Fame. Snell’s induction will take place on Friday, June 7, in conjunction with the Snellzilla Bobblehead Giveaway presented by Reinhart for the first 1,000 fans. The 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner’s plaque will be unveiled that night, as well.
Following the conclusion of a six-game road trip, the Hot Rods return to Bowling Green Ballpark for four games with the Lansing Lugnuts on April 25. The game will serve as the first Bootleggers Thursday of the season sponsored by Casey Jones Distillery. Fans can take advantage of $1 and $2 drink specials all night while the team wears their alternate Bowling Green Bootleggers uniforms. Tickets are available now by calling the Hot Rods Front Office at 270-901-2121 or by visiting www.bghotrods.com.