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Tristin English earns Pacific Coast Player of the Week honors with the Reno Aces

Tristin English was a standout athlete for the Pike County High School Pirates and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and he is continuing to be honored for his athletic abilities in the Minor League. He was recently named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week. He currently plays for the Reno Aces and helped them win five games over the Sacramento River Cats shortly after being called up. English, 26, hit .467 (7-for-15) with four extra-base hits (one double and three home runs) and eight runs scored. He led the Pacific Coast League with a 1.133 slugging percentage while ranking second in the league in RBI (9) and OPS (1.712). On May 17, he went 3-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI and two runs scored in Reno’s 9-4 win over Sacramento.

He was the first Aces player to earn the PCL Player of the Week honor so far this season.
While he has lived in big cities as he chases his dream to be in the Major League, he still remembers lessons from home.

“Be where your feet are,” English said of the biggest lesson he learned growing up in a small town. “You grow up with the same people. Everybody knows everybody. You get a good feel of how everybody is. You get to know everybody and you get really close and form a lot of close relationships with people that you’ve been going to school with since you were 4 or 5 years old. It’s definitely a different feeling, especially going from there to a big city like Atlanta where I went to school.”

English was a multiple-time All-American at Georgia Tech as a two-way player who contributed some important post season games for the Yellowjackets. His career was interrupted by Tommy John surgery ahead of his sophomore season. A two-way standout, he was a third-round draft pick in 2019, going 93rd overall and getting a $500,000 signing bonus. While English was under the impression he was being drafted as a two-way player, he quickly switched to a full-time position player.

“The Diamondbacks called me before the draft and asked me if I would want to go two ways if they drafted me, and I said, ‘Sure,’” English said. “I’d been doing it pretty much since I started pitching in high school. When I got drafted, I was in my meeting with everybody, and at the end of the meeting I was like, ‘Am I still pitching or not?’ Because they didn’t mention it. And then they said, ‘No. We looked over your medical history and we’re just going to let you hit for a little bit.’ But we’ve got that in the back pocket if we need it.”

English said he misses pitching because that allowed him full control over the game. His experience on the mound — he was 5-4 with seven saves and a 3.98 ERA in 81.1 college innings — plays a role in his success at the plate, English said, although sometimes it’s not always a positive thing.

“I think you can get a feel for how the at-bat is going and whether it’d be a swing and miss or a good take how it would set up from a pitchers perspective their next pitch,” English said. “At the same time, I think sometimes it hurts me a little bit because I think too much about, ‘This is what they should throw because this is what I would throw,’ and then you get caught sitting on something you shouldn’t be sitting on. It’s definitely a love-hate relationship being a pitcher before.”

Since turning his full focus to hitting after being drafted by Arizona, English moved up the Diamondbacks’ minor-league system. He was promoted to Triple-A Reno and was hitting .349 with three homers in 12 games with the Aces. On the season between Double-A Amarillo and Reno, he’s hitting .339 with nine homers and a 1.116 OPS in 30 games, by far the best season of his pro career.

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