Broderick (DOB 09/01/1986) was drafted in the 21st round (652nd overall) out of Grand Canyon College. He was assigned to Johnson City but finished at short-season A Batavia. The 2008 season was spent at class A Quad Cities. Broderick began and ended 2009 at Palm Beach with just over a month spent at Springfield from mid-June to mid-July. He began 2010 at Palm Beach before being recalled to Springfield on May 27th when injuries to Major Leaguers Brad Penny and Kyle Lohse triggered a series of roster changes. Broderick was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for the period May 31 to June 6. He replaced an injured Scott Gorgen on the mid-season All-Star roster and will pitch for the Surprise Rafters in the 2010 Arizona Fall League.
Looking at this season's stats, Broderick continued to display outstanding control as he averaged just over a walk for every nine innings pitched (1.25/9 IP). That is just under his career average of 1.4 walks every nine innings. Excellent control is a very important part of Broderick's arsenal because he does not strikeout many batters. He averaged 4.9 strikeouts every nine innings this season and 5.3 for his career. That gives him a career strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.75:1. Broderick also averaged under a hit per inning pitched in 2010: 8.6/9 IP. Tellingly, Broderick was chosen as Springfield's game one starter in their post-season series with eventual champion Northwest Arkansas. He won his start, allowing two runs, earned, on five hits in six innings. Broderick struck out five and did not walk a batter. As an aside Broderick is one tall dude, standing 6-feet 6.
David Kopp (DOB 10/22/85) was a second round pick (71st overall) out of Clemson University. When reviewing his Scout player page the chief thing that sticks out in his inability to remain on the mound. His 2007 campaign was an abbreviated two games due to an ankle injury and then tendonitis. Kopp began 2008 at Palm Beach but landed back on the Disabled List in late May with bursitis in his shoulder. Kopp underwent arthroscopic shoulder surgery in late July. Thus his 2008 campaign ended after just 42 innings. Kopp began 2009 at Palm Beach but was promoted to Springfield in late May. He spent time on the Double-A disabled list with shoulder inflammation and was returned to Palm Beach on July 20th. Kopp's subsequent assignment to the 2009 Arizona Fall League was quashed when he underwent another arthroscopic shoulder surgery in September.
Kopp's 2010 season can be considered a success simply because he managed to stay off of the disabled list the entire season. He was named to the mid-season All-Star squad but did not compete because of a promotion to Memphis. Kopp was also named to the more elite post-season All-Star roster. He finished the season at Springfield.
Keeping in mind that Kopp totaled 136.1 innings in three previous seasons, his 2010 Double-A numbers are impressive even if they do not compare favorably with Broderick's stats. He pitched a combined total of 145 innings this year and managed a 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio at Springfield. That workload was undoubtedly a factor in him not being named to the 2010 Arizona Fall League squad. Watch for how his shoulder holds up next season.
Honorable Mention -
While Scott McGregor was not among the finalists for Starter of the Year at this level, his 2010 campaign is worth noting. McGregor, a 15th round selection in June 2008, began the season at Palm Beach before making his Double-A debut in late June. Overall, he made 15 appearances, 12 starts, and tossed 80.2 innings for Springfield. McGregor (DOB 12/19/86) allowed 82 hits and just nine walks with 49 strikeouts for a 5.4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He compiled a 3.46 ERA, 3.75 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, .264 BAA and .277 BABIP in the regular season.
But Springfield's Starter of the Year is Brian Broderick. Congrats to him!
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