Scout.com 2007 Cards Minors Starter of Year


Posted Nov 20, 2007


Springfield Cardinals right-hander P.J. Walters has been selected as the St. Louis Cardinals’ top minor league starting pitcher for 2007 by The Birdhouse and Scout.com.

It is time to announce Scout.com’s Starting Pitcher of the Year for the 2007 season from the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league system. This performance-based award is presented to the pitcher having the best overall season on the mound as a starter.

To be considered, pitchers had to meet the following criteria:
- Retained minor league eligibility status (not too much Major League experience)
- Be on an active roster in the Cardinals’ system at season’s end
- More than half of game appearances coming as a starter
- Pitch at least one inning per game played

The 2007 performances of that group were then sliced and diced using both defense-independent statistics such as strikeouts, walks and home runs allowed and more team-oriented ones like Earned Run Average and WHIP. In addition, this year, another category has been added – FIP, or Fielding Independent Pitching – those factors deemed directly under the control of the man on the mound.

Weight was given to both the level at which the pitcher competed and the time period over which the pitcher competed. It should also be noted that none of the members of the Cardinals’ 2007 draft class that started qualified for our post-season awards. In fact, the only starter from short-A on down that qualified was Blake King and that was due only to his innings logged at Quad Cities before his return to Batavia.

Last year, our winner was Memphis starter Blake Hawksworth, who also received similar recognition from the Cardinals organization directly. Anthony Reyes took our honor in 2005.

And our 2007 winner is….

P.J. Walters – Right-Handed Starter –Springfield Cardinals/Palm Beach Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities

P.J. Walters’ 2007 season is judged to have been the best overall starting pitching performance in the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league system. The 22-year-old was honored all season long, snaring our Top Starting Pitcher of the Month in both May and August.

The 6-foot-4, 200 pound Alabama native is a great example of the aggressive in-season promotions given to players who show they can handle the challenge. Walters began the season with the Midwest League’s Swing of the Quad Cities, where he earned a Mid-Season All-Star nod. By mid-June, he was off to Palm Beach of the Florida State League and in late July, Walters made the jump to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League.

Walters was incredibly consistent at each of the three levels this season with ERAs of 2.62, 2.67 and 2.37 respectively and opponent batting averages of .229, .225 and .228. The few concerns in his first taste of Double-A were increases in walks and home runs allowed and a decline in strikeouts.

When compared to the rest of the group, Walters’ 2007 performance was both among the highest and most balanced. He led all qualifying starters in ERA and WHIP and was second in dERA and FIP. He was also second in strikeout-to-walk ratio, strikeout rate, walk rate and ground out to fly out ratio. Walters was third in batting average against. In fact, the only one of the ten categories in which he did not rank was raw innings pitched.

The Birdhouse staff congratulates P.J. Walters on his fine 2007 season.

Honorable Mention -
Tyler Herron – Right-Handed Starter – Springfield Cardinals
Herron was Walters’ chief competition for the Starting Pitcher of the Year honors. To be honest, it was a virtual toss up between the two. As the numbers below validate, they were very close statistically. Herron is about 18 months younger than Walters. But the deciding factor was that almost 55% of Walters' innings were at a higher level than were Herron's. Walters also pitched better than Herron in the post-season. On the other hand, Herron may have the longest career runway.

As said, this could have gone either way. Still, congratulations to Tyler Herron on an excellent 2007 season.

Stats section

For those interested in the numbers behind the story, following are the 2007 results posted by the top qualifiers by statistical category by team. It is worth noting that all categories are not treated equally.

Here’s how we apply the data. The top five players in each category plus any other team leaders are logged. We then sort by the number of ranked categories, with the finalists being those ranked most often. Next, we look at the categories themselves, with the most weight given to dERA, FIP, BAA and WHIP. Tie-breakers include age, level and prior professional experience.

Earned Run Average

Rk Player  ERA  GS IP  ER  Team
1 Walters, P.J. 2.55 30 23 151.2 43 Sp/PB/QC
2 Ottavino, Adam 3.08 27 27 143.1 49 Palm Beach
3 Dickson, Brandon 3.50 31 23 144 56 Quad Cities
4 Norrick, Tyler 3.59 28 28 165.1 66 Palm Beach
5 Herron, Tyler 3.74 30 22 137.1 57 Quad Cities
TL Keisler, Randy 4.79 25 24 156 83 Memphis
TL King, Blake 4.96 35 18 110.2 61 Batavia/QC

DIPS Earned Run Average

Rk Player  GS  dERA dIP dER Team
1 Herron, Tyler 30 22 2.64 138.0 40.5 Quad Cities
2 Walters, P.J. 30 23 2.71 154.1 46.5 Sp/PB/QC
3 Daniels, Adam 27 27 3.68 151.2 61.8 Sp/PB
4 Ottavino, Adam 27 27 3.75 144.5 60.2 Palm Beach
5 King, Blake 35 18 3.80 111.4 47.0 Batavia/QC
TL Smith, Mike 31 25 4.05 166.3 74.8 Memphis

FIP

Rk Player  FIP HR  BB  HB  SO  Team
1 Herron, Tyler 2.78 7 26 11 130 Quad Cities
2 Walters, P.J. 2.88 8 33 14 147 Sp/PB/QC
3T King, Blake 3.81 6 78 3 127 Batavia/QC
3T Ottavino, Adam 3.81 10 63 8 128 Palm Beach
5 Daniels, Adam 3.84 8 47 15 99 Sp/PB
TL Smith, Mike 3.97 17 49 3 127 Memphis

WHIP

Rk Player  ERA  IP  BB  WHIP  Team
1 Walters, P.J. 2.55 151.2 130 33 1.07 Sp/PB/QC
2 Herron, Tyler 3.74 137.1 123 26 1.08 Quad Cities
3 Norrick, Tyler 3.59 165.1 134 73 1.25 Palm Beach
4 Dickson, Brandon 3.50 144 148 41 1.31 Quad Cities
5 Ottavino, Adam 3.08 143.1 130 63 1.35 Palm Beach
TL Smith, Mike 5.19 159.2 182 49 1.45 Memphis
TL King, Blake 4.96 110.2 92 78 1.54 Batavia/QC

Strike-Outs-to-Walks Ratio

Rk Player  IP  BB  SO  K/BB Team
1 Herron, Tyler 137.1 26 130 5.00 Quad Cities
2 Walters, P.J. 151.2 33 147 4.45 Sp/PB/QC
3 Smith, Mike 159.2 49 127 2.59 Memphis
4 Daniels, Adam 144.1 47 99 2.11 Sp/PB
5 Dickson, Brandon 144 41 84 2.05 Quad Cities
TL Ottavino, Adam 143.1 63 128 2.03 Palm Beach
TL King, Blake 110.2 78 127 1.63 Batavia/QC

The Flamethrowers

Rk Player  IP  SO  K/9IP Team
1 King, Blake - comb 110.2 127 10.3 Batavia/QC
2 Walters, P.J. - comb 151.2 147 8.7 Sp/PB/QC
3 Herron, Tyler 137.1 130 8.5 Quad Cities
4 Ottavino, Adam 143.1 128 8.0 Palm Beach
5 Norrick, Tyler 165.1 134 7.3 Palm Beach
TL Smith, Mike 159.2 127 7.2 Memphis

The Control Artists

Rk Player  IP  BB  BB/9IP Team
1 Herron, Tyler 137.1 26 1.70 Quad Cities
2 Walters, P.J. 151.2 33 1.96 Sp/PB/QC
3 Dickson, Brandon 144 41 2.56 Quad Cities
4 Smith, Mike 159.2 49 2.76 Memphis
5 Daniels, Adam 144.1 47 2.93 Sp/PB
TL Ottavino, Adam 143.1 63 3.96 Palm Beach
TL King, Blake 110.2 78 6.34 Batavia/QC

Lowest Batting Average Against

Rk Player  IP  TBF BAA Team
1 Norrick, Tyler 165.1 134 696 0.221 Palm Beach
2 King, Blake 110.2 92 491 0.226 Batavia/QC
3 Walters, P.J. 151.2 130 626 0.228 Sp/PB/QC
4 Ottavino, Adam 143.1 130 620 0.239 Palm Beach
5 Herron, Tyler 137.1 123 556 0.240 Quad Cities
TL Smith, Mike 159.2 182 697 0.288 Memphis

No ‘Flies’ on Me - Best GO/AO Ratio

Rk Player  IP  GO AO SO GO/AO Team
1 Dickson, Brandon 144 233 110 84 2.12 Quad Cities
2 Walters, P.J.-comb 151.2 123 67 110 1.84 Sp/PB/QC
3 Haberer, Eric 152 232 138 72 1.68 Springfield
4 Daniels, Adam-comb 144.1 202 121 104 1.67 Sp/PB
5 Rauschenberger, C. 144.1 204 143 80 1.43 Springfield
TL Parisi, Mike 165 211 159 111 1.33 Memphis
TL Ottavino, Adam 143.1 166 129 128 1.29 Palm Beach
TL King, Blake-comb 110.2 105 84 127 1.25 Batavia/QC

The Innings Eaters

Rk Player  GS  IP  Team
1 Norrick, Tyler 28 28 165.1 Palm Beach
2 Parisi, Mike 28 28 165 Memphis
3 Smith, Mike 31 25 159.2 Memphis
4 Keisler, Randy 25 24 156 Memphis
5 Boggs, Mitchell 26 26 152.1 Springfield
TL Dickson, Brandon 31 23 144 Quad Cities
TL King, Blake-comb 35 18 110.2 Batavia/QC

2007 Cardinals Minor League Awards

Scout.com Position Player Starting Pitcher Relief Pitcher
Cards Players
of the Year P.J. Walters Luke Gregerson
Memphis (AAA) Rick Ankiel Mike Parisi Mark Worrell
Springfield (AA) Colby Rasmus Mitchell Boggs Jason Motte
Palm Beach (A+) Allen Craig Adam Ottavino Luke Gregerson
Quad Cities (A) Jared Schweitzer  Brandon Dickson Kenny Maiques
Batavia (SS) Steven Hill Jess Todd Josh Dew
Johnson City (SS) Beau Riportella Brian Broderick Eduardo Sanchez
Gulf Coast (SS) D’Marcus Ingram Carlos Gonzalez Reynier Gonzalez
Domincan (SS) Juan Mosquera Arquimedes Nieto  Angel Tapia
Venezuelan (SS) Ismael Cardona  Richard Castillo  Carlos Oraa

(Click on the name highlighted above to be taken to that detailed article.)

Next up: Scout.com’s 2007 Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year.



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© 2007 www.thestlcardinals.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


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