Pitchers of the Year, Part I
We’re on a roll here now and I wanted to keep the momentum going. Over the last two days, I provided 10 potential candidates for Player of the Year in the Minor Leagues. Now it’s time to move on to pitchers.
Once again, here’s the disclaimer: Pitcher of the Year does not necessarily mean prospect of the year. I’m looking at performance, not status. With that in mind, here are three nominees for your consideration. As always, please interact and give suggestions in comments.
Joe Gardner, RHP, Indians: Not a bad first season for the 2009
third-round selection. The right-hander has held hitters at two levels
to a .188 BAA, fourth lowest in MiLB. At the same time, he’s been a
groundball machine, topping MiLB with a 3.50 GO/AO ratio. He’s struck
out 113 in 104 innings and has a 1.07 WHIP to go along with a 2.77 ERA.
John Lamb, LHP, Royals: Other arms in this system may get the attention (Crow, Montgomery), but that should change now. The 2008 fifth-round pick just turned 20 this month and has already jumped a level, from Class A to Class A Advanced ball. And he’s pitched better up a level. Overall, he leads Minor League Baseball with a 1.38 ERA and hitters have hit just .197 against him (good for seventh lowest in MiLB). His 0.98 WHIP is eighth lowest. He’s seventh overall with 128 K’s, doing that while walking just 32 in 110 2/3 IP.
Michael Pineda, RHP, Mariners: Just 21 years old, he’s already in Triple-A. Combined, he’s gone 11-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 18 starts. Over 106 IP, he’s struck out 109 while walking just 26. The right-hander has held opposing hitters to a .219 batting average against (just .196 in his five Triple-A starts thus far).
More to come…