Samuel Benjamin, Fidel Ulloa earn MLB Draft League weekly honors

Benjamin, Ulloa named Draft League Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively
JUNE 24-30 Players of the Week

NEW YORK -- The MLB Draft League announced that State College’s Samuel Benjamin and Fidel Ulloa were named Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for the period of June 24-30.

Benjamin, 22, earned Hitter of the honors after batting .588 (10-for-17) with eight runs scored, two home runs, six RBI and six stolen bases in six games for the Spikes. He led all MLB Draft League hitters during the period in average, OBP (.708), slugging (.941), OPS (1.649), runs, hits, total bases (16) and stolen bases. He also tied for the lead in home runs and second in RBI.

Benjamin recorded four multi-hit performances while hitting safely in five of six games for State College during his award-winning week. He was 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base at Trenton on June 25, added three more steals and a walk the following day after entering the game as a pinch-hitter. He also connected on a solo home run in a 1-for-3 showing Thursday in the Spikes’ series finale against Trenton. Benjamin collected multiple hits in each of State College’s three games against West Virginia, finishing the weekend 7-for-9 at the plate with three walks and six runs scored. After reaching base four times against the Black Bears on June 28 -- 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a walk and another stolen base -- Benjamin hit a second-inning grand slam in a 2-for-3, two-walk performance to lead State College over the Black Bears, 14-7, on Saturday. He reached base four times again in the series finale, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base to close out the week.

A Katy, Texas native, Benjamin leads the Draft League in a host of offensive categories this season: average (.443), OBP (.560), slugging (.696), OPS (1.256), runs (23), hits (35), home runs (5), extra-base hits (10), total bases (55) and RBI (23). His 14 stolen bases (16 attempts) rank second in the circuit. Benjamin has 12 multi-hit games and has hit safely in 20 of 23 games for the Spikes this season, highlighted by a season-opening 14-game hit streak. He’s had five games with multiple RBI, posting a pair of three- and four-RBI performances apiece.

Benjamin was a first-team all-Southland Conference selection as a Houston Christian University senior this past spring after batting .309 with a team-leading 48 runs scored and 15 home runs, a Huskies single-season record. He had 17 multi-hit games in 2024, including seven with three-plus hits. Benjamin’s 26 home runs in two seasons at Houston Christian is tied for third-most in program history and the Huskies’ largest two-season total.

Ulloa, 21, garnered Pitcher of the Week honors after he struck out seven batters over four innings in his Draft League debut for State College at Trenton on June 25. The right-hander allowed one hit, a two-out single in the fourth, in the outing, throwing 44 of 65 pitches for strikes. Ulloa struck out the first five batters of the game in order and recorded his first six outs via the strikeout.

A Lodi, Calif., native, Ulloa joined the Spikes after completing his junior season at LSU, where he was 2-2 with two saves and a 4.63 ERA in 19 appearances out of the Tigers’ bullpen. He allowed 20 hits and 11 walks while totaling 26 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings. In 2022, Ulloa was named an Appalachian League All-Star as a member of the Bristol State Liners.

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