Scout.com 2007 Cards Minors Reliever of Year

Scout.com 2007 Cards Minors Reliever of Year

Palm Beach Cardinals right-handed closer Luke Gregerson has been selected as the St. Louis Cardinals' top minor league relief pitcher for 2007 by The Birdhouse and Scout.com.

It is time to announce Scout.com's Relief 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 reliever.

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 reliever

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.

2007 marks our first-ever Scout.com Cardinals Reliever of the Year Award. In the past, we had lumped all pitchers together, but have since decided that from here on out, the non-starters will receive their own recognition. And our 2007 winner is….

Luke Gregerson – Right-Handed Closer – Palm Beach Cardinals/Springfield Cardinals

Luke Gregerson's 2007 season is judged to have been the best overall relief pitching performance in the St. Louis Cardinals' minor league system. After being selected in the 28th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, Gregerson built upon his solid rookie campaign between Johnson City and State College.

This year, the 23-year-old was honored throughout the season, snaring our Top Relief Pitcher of the Month in May and the Cardinals organization's own Reliever of the Month nod in August.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Illinois native made the jump to the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League on September 1. Prior to that at the A-Advanced level with Palm Beach, Gregerson was magnificent. Gregerson made 53 of his 54 2007 appearances out of Palm Beach's pen, saving 29 games for the Florida State League club. Overall, he posted a stellar 1.94 ERA, striking out 72 and walking 20 in 65 innings. Opposing batters managed to hit just .189 against him.

Gregerson was recognized as one of the very best in the FSL, being named to both their 2007 All-Star teams – mid-season and post-season.

When compared to the rest of the qualifying relief group, Gregerson's 2007 performance stood out in a wide variety of categories. He led all the candidates in dERA, FIP and ground out-to-fly out ratio. He was third in saves, fourth in strikeout rate and fifth in batting average against and WHIP.

Following the regular season, the Cardinals rewarded Gregerson with an invitation to play in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. He joined at mid-season, competing against players more experienced than he. Though he scuffled a bit initially, his ERA was 2.35 after his first outing and he fanned ten in 7 2/3 Arizona innings.

The Birdhouse staff congratulates Luke Gregerson on his fine 2007 season.

Honorable Mentions -
Josh Dew – Right-Handed Closer – Batavia Muckdogs
Justin Fiske – Right-Handed Reliever – Batavia Muckdogs
The three finalists were Gregerson, Josh Dew and Justin Fiske. Although Fiske had more first-place finishes than did Gregerson, the latter pitched more than twice as many innings, did it at much higher levels and is a closer. Since the closer is usually the best reliever on the staff, being a closer is one of the higher-weighted categories for Reliever of the Year. Also, Fiske and Gregerson are within a few months of each other in age.

Still, Fiske having this kind of success after having been signed from an independent league team is most admirable and 2007 14th-rounder Dew has the pedigree to perhaps eventually go the farthest of the three. He was our Cardinals Reliever of the Month for August.

Congratulations to both Josh Dew and Justin Fiske on excellent 2007 seasons.

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.

It should be noted that when Gregerson ranked in the top five, he was counted as Palm Beach's team leader although he did pitch one inning in Springfield at season's end.

Earned Run Average

Rk Player  ERA  IP  ER  Team
1 Fiske, Justin 1.03 15 26.1 3 Batavia
2 Pichardo, Joel 1.23 21 29.1 4 JC/GCL
3 Gonzalez, Marco 1.44 18 25 4 QC/Batavia
4 Maiques, Kenny 1.53 52 53 9 Quad Cities
5 Mura, Kyle 1.66 45 59.2 11 Quad Cities
TL McClellan, Kyle 1.81 40 59.2 12 Sp/PB
TL Mikrut, Jon 2.91 53 68 22 Palm Beach
TL Perez, Chris 2.96 54 54.2 18 Memphis/Sp

DIPS Earned Run Average

Rk Player  dERA dIP dER Team
T1 Gregerson, Luke 54 1.95 64.2 13.9 Sp/PB
T1 Dew, Josh 24 1.95 24.6 5.3 Batavia
3 Fiske, Justin 15 2.10 25.2 5.9 Batavia
4 McClellan, Kyle 40 2.39 57.4 15.2 Sp/PB
5 Mura, Kyle 45 2.59 58.5 16.8 Quad Cities
TL Falkenborg, Brian 51 2.61 57.3 16.6 Memphis
TL Pichardo, Joel 21 4.44 29.6 14.6 JC/GCL

FIP

Rk Player  FIP HR  BB  HB  SO  Team
1 Gregerson, Luke 1.95 0 20 1 72 Sp/PB
2 Fiske, Justin 2.02 1 4 0 28 Batavia
3 Dew, Josh 2.12 1 6 2 32 Batavia
4 McClellan, Kyle 2.43 2 10 2 54 Sp/PB
5 Falkenborg, Brian 2.46 2 17 0 58 Memphis
TL Mura, Kyle 2.56 2 13 1 53 Quad Cities
TL Pichardo, Joel 4.50 3 11 2 20 JC/GCL

WHIP

Rk Player  ERA  IP  BB  WHIP  Team
T1 Fiske, Justin 1.03 15 26.1 17 4 0.80 Batavia
T1 Dew, Josh 1.80 24 25 14 6 0.80 Batavia
3 McClellan, Kyle 1.81 40 59.2 46 10 0.94 Sp/PB
4 Mura, Kyle 1.66 45 59.2 44 13 0.96 Quad Cities
5 Gregerson, Luke 1.94 54 65 43 20 0.97 Sp/PB
TL Perez, Chris 2.96 54 54.2 23 41 1.17 Memphis/Sp
TL Pichardo, Joel 1.23 21 29.1 28 11 1.33 JC/GCL

Strike-Outs-to-Walks Ratio

Rk Player  IP  BB  SO  K/BB Team
1 Fiske, Justin 26.1 4 28 7.00 Batavia
2 McClellan, Kyle 59.2 10 54 5.40 Sp/PB
3 Dew, Josh 25 6 32 5.33 Batavia
4 Mura, Kyle 59.2 13 53 4.08 Quad Cities
5 Vander Weg, Scott 63.1 10 40 4.00 Palm Beach
TL Falkenborg, Brian 52.2 17 58 3.41 Memphis
TL Pichardo, Joel 29.1 11 20 1.82 JC/GCL

The Flamethrowers

Rk Player  IP  SO  K/9 IP Team
1 Perez, Chris 54.2 77 12.7 Memphis/Sp
2 Dew, Josh 25 32 11.5 Batavia
3 Motte, Jason 59 69 10.5 Springfield
4 Gregerson, Luke 65 72 10.0 Sp/PB
5 Falkenborg, Brian 52.2 58 9.9 Memphis
TL Maiques, Kenny 53 57 9.7 Quad Cities
TL Pichardo, Joel 29.1 20 6.1 JC/GCL

The Control Artists

Rk Player  IP  BB  BB/9 IP Team
1 Fiske, Justin 26.1 4 1.37 Batavia
2 Vander Weg, Scott 63.1 10 1.42 Palm Beach
3 McClellan, Kyle 59.2 10 1.5 Sp/PB
4 Mura, Kyle 59.2 13 2.0 Quad Cities
5 Dew, Josh 25 6 2.2 Batavia
TL Falkenborg, Brian 52.2 17 2.9 Memphis
TL Pichardo, Joel 29.1 11 3.4 JC/GCL

Lowest Batting Average Against

Rk Player  IP  TBF BAA Team
1 Perez, Chris 54.2 23 230 0.130 Memphis/Sp
2 Dew, Josh 25 14 97 0.159 Batavia
3 Fiske, Justin 26.1 17 97 0.185 Batavia
4 Maiques, Kenny 53 34 208 0.186 Quad Cities
5 Gregerson, Luke 65 43 255 0.189 Sp/PB
TL Motte, Jason 59 43 238 0.206 Sp/PB
TL Pichardo, Joel 29.1 28 129 0.243 JC/GCL

No ‘Flies' on Me - Best GO/AO Ratio

Rk Player  IP  GO FO SO GO/AO Team
1 Gregerson, Luke 65 92 35 72 2.63 Sp/PB
2 Fick, Chuckie 39 63 25 25 2.52 QC/JC
3 Carrasco, Armando 53.1 72 33 49 2.18 Quad Cities
4 Castellanos, Hugo 67.2 100 46 42 2.17 Memphis/Sp
5 McClellan, Kyle 59.2 80 43 54 1.86 Sp/PB
TL Bilardello, Davis 30.1 43 26 18 1.65 Batavia
TL Pichardo, Joel 29.1 34 34 18 1.00 JC/GCL

Saves

Rk Player  SV  IP  Team
1 Perez, Chris 54 35 54.2 Memphis/Sp
2 Maiques, Kenny 52 31 53 Quad Cities
3 Gregerson, Luke 54 29 65 Sp/PB
4 Falkenborg, Brian 51 23 52.2 Memphis
5 Dew, Josh 24 15 25 Batavia
TL Motte, Jason 53 11 59 Sp/PB

2007 Cardinals Minor League Awards

Scout.com Position Player Starting Pitcher Relief Pitcher
Cards Players
of the Year 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 Starting Pitcher of the Year.

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