Braedon Blackford, Brady Tedesco take home MLB Draft League monthly honors

Blackford and Tedesco named Draft League Hitter and Pitcher of the Month, respectively

NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that State College’s Braedon Blackford and West Virginia’s Brady Tedesco were named the July Hitter and Pitcher of the Month, respectively.

Blackford, 25, earned Hitter of the Month honors for the first full month of the 2023 MLB Draft League professional season after batting .321 (25-for-78) with four home runs, six doubles and 13 RBIs in 20 games for State College. The infielder led all Draft League hitters during the month in extra-base hits (11), total bases (45), home runs (tied) and runs scored (tied-16). He also ranked third in hits (tied) and walks (tied-11) and was fourth in slugging (.577) and OPS (.984). 

Blackford recorded eight multi-hit performances while hitting safely in 15 of 20 games for the Spikes in July. He connected on his first home run of the season on July 11 against West Virginia, when he was 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. Blackford had two hits including a home run on July 18 and July 21, driving in a season-high three runs in both contests, and hit his fourth homer on July 24 as part of another two-hit performance. He posted four multi-hit games during his six-game hitting streak (July 15-21) and closed out July by hitting safely in six of seven games.

A Peoria, Ill., native, Blackford was an All-Horizon League First Team selection for Purdue Fort Wayne as a graduate student this spring after batting .302 (65-for-215) with 14 home runs, 17 doubles and a single-season school record 61 RBIs in 55 games. He finished fourth in the Horizon League in RBI and home runs and was fifth in slugging (.586) and OPS (.979).

Tedesco, 26, took home Pitcher of the Month honors after the left-hander went 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA in four starts for West Virginia in July. In 23 innings, Tedesco compiled a Draft League-leading 36 strikeouts against six walks while also posting a .176 batting average against and a 0.91 WHIP that ranked first and second in the Draft League, respectively. 

On July 21, Tedesco struck out 14 batters (25 swinging strikes) over seven innings against State College to establish a new Draft League single-game record. He delivered six-plus scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts (27 swinging strikes) in West Virginia’s win over Mahoning Valley on July 28. Overall, Tedesco registered a 39.5% Whiff% while striking out 39.1 percent of the 92 batters he faced in July.  

Previously, Tedesco pitched professionally for the Evansville Otters in the Frontier League (2022) before signing with the MLB Draft League for the 2023 season. He played collegiately at Campbellsville University (2020-22), going 6-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 94 strikeouts in 70 innings.

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