2013 State College Spikes Starter of the Year

Ninth-round draftee and former Missouri State star Nick Petree is our top Cardinals starting pitcher in the New York-Penn League.

The St. Louis Cardinals' ninth round selection from Missouri State in this June's First-Year Player Draft, Nick Petree came to the State College Spikes with an impressive collegiate resume behind him.

As the Bears ace, Petree had started 14 games, posted an 8-1 record with a 1.61 ERA and walked just 19 batters to 111 strikeouts.

Petree got out to a hot start with the New York-Penn League club, allowing just one earned run on six hits in his two June starts, then really came into his own in July. In the 19 1/3 innings Petree hurled in his five July outings, including four starts, he allowed just two earned runs on 16 hits while striking out 22, on his way to a 0.93 ERA.

The Clinton, Mo. native saw his walk rate jump up a little bit in State College, but that was due in large part to a change in approach, rather than the discerning eye of professional hitters.

Spikes manager Oliver Marmol and pitching coach Dernier Orozco wanted Petree to start throwing more balls in an attempt to get hitters to chase bad pitches. Although Petree walked almost as many batters in his 55 2/3 professional innings as he did in his 100 collegiate innings, he posted a 1.62 ERA, just 0.01 point higher than his collegiate 1.61 ERA.

Of the 49 NY-PL pitchers who threw 50 or more innings, Petree's 1.62 ERA was the second lowest. Had he pitched 4 1/3 innings more, he would have qualified for and won the league ERA title.

Despite his modest 3-1 record, the 6-foot-1 righty was the Spikes' most reliable starter all season. Petree posted the best ERA and WHIP, 1.11, of any pitcher with more than 35 innings on a Spikes club that had the lowest ERA in the league.

Petree struggled a bit down the stretch, giving his worst performance of the season in the Spikes' first playoff game against the Jamestown Jammers. The Jammers put up six earned runs on nine hits in Petree's three innings of work, but it was clear in September that he was weary.

The 275th overall pick in 2013 pitched 156 total innings this year between his stints at Missouri State and State College. Although he tired toward the end, Petree put together an impressive season all the way around. As such, the 23-year-old is a deserving winner of The Cardinal Nation State College Starting Pitcher of the Year award.

Link to master article with all 2013 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series. Of course, that will include our selections as the State College Spikes Player of the Year.

Follow Robert Davidson on Twitter at @robo_tweets, and on Flickr at flickr.com/photos/robert_davidson.

© 2013 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories