DSL Cards 2012 Starting Pitcher of the Year

The selection of right-hander Luis Perdomo as the Cardinals' top starting pitcher in the 2012 Dominican Summer League is clear.

Here in the third phase of our annual recaps of the top players across the St. Louis Cardinals system, we move from relief pitchers to starters, beginning with the entry classification, the Dominican Summer League.

Pitching was clearly the strength of the DSL Cardinals as they collectively logged an ERA of 3.12, eighth-best in the 35-team DSL. They finished third in strikeouts and probably would have been in second had they been able to play their final two games, canceled due to bad weather. The Cards were just below midpoint, 16th, in walks issued.

Seven Cardinals pitchers made at least six starts during the 2012 season. In a contrast to past years, six of them were exclusively starters. In other words, the piggyback or tandem system was not deployed in the DSL this season.

This group of starters had some very solid numbers. Starting with ERA, six were at 3.38 or lower, including three under 3.00. In terms of opposing baserunners, six logged WHIPs at 1.28 or less, including three under 1.16.

Only one of the group did not average above or close to a strikeout per inning, Dailyn Martinez. Also, only one, Juan Perez, did not have at least twice as many strikeouts as walks, though a second, Jonathan Escudero, was very close.

Luis Perdomo 3 3 2.27 9 9 1 47.2 42 20 12 0 3 8 47 1.05
Isaac Silva 3 1 2.59 11 11 0 48.2 40 18 14 0 2 19 52 1.21
Jonathan Escudero 7 1 2.88 13 6 0 50 40 24 16 2 1 24 49 1.28
Dewin Perez 1 4 3.06 8 8 0 35.1 27 16 12 1 1 13 38 1.13
Dailyn Martinez 1 5 3.18 11 11 0 56.2 48 31 20 2 0 18 41 1.16
Hector Salazar 2 5 3.38 10 10 0 50.2 42 25 19 1 12 15 46 1.13
Juan Perez 2 5 4.33 12 12 0 52 43 29 25 2 0 34 55 1.48

Using the delineation of ERA under three, WHIP under 1.16, a strikeout per inning and no more than half as many walks as strikeouts cuts our list of seven down to just one name.

That is Luis Perdomo, our choice as The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Dominican Summer League Cardinals Starting Pitcher of the Year.

Originally signed in late 2010, the 19-year-old began 2012 in the DSL for the second consecutive season. He fanned an impressive 47 in 47 1/3 frames, but even more eye-catching was his stinginess with the free passes, having issued just eight. Perdomo posted a 2.27 ERA in his nine DSL starts and did not allow an opposing home run.

Another factor that set Perdomo apart from his DSL Cardinals peers is that he went deeper into games than the others; he averaged about 5 1/3 innings per start. Perdomo tossed the only complete game on the staff. Martinez and Hector Salazar were the only others to average at least five innings per start.

The native of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic was one of two Cardinals named to the 2012 DSL All-Star Team. In addition, the right-hander was rewarded with a promotion to the US and the Gulf Coast League at the start of August. Though he is not a formal member of fall instructional league camp, Perdomo remains at the Cardinals complex in Jupiter.

Perdomo is first cousins with the Minnesota Twins right-handed pitcher of the same name who was also with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in the second half of 2008. This Perdomo is almost nine years younger than his cousin, who is the son of his father Teofilo's brother Mateo.

Link to master article with all 2012 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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