The criteria I made to make the selection were as follows:
• Primarily worked as a starter, not from the bullpen
• Minimum 10 starts
• ERA under 3.50
• Minimum of five wins
Hernandez had a great season, but his lack of time with the Chiefs put him on the outside looking in for this award. However, there was no doubt the lefty was one of the Chiefs best starters this year. Not only did Hernandez have the stats to be considered for this award, he also passed the eye test. He was one of the more impressive pitchers with the team this season and should have a bright future with the Cardinals organization.
There is no chance Peoria would have had as successful of a season without Helisek. He was the one constant in the rotation and you could almost always count on him to pitch well and keep you in the ballgame. There are really no negative things to say about Helisek. Had he received more run support and been able to increase his win total, Helisek could have won this award. His nine no-decisions led the team. Regardless, the lefty had a fantastic season and should be commended.
Jones was dominant and almost unhittable at times. He had a stretch of seven starts during which he allowed two earned runs or less and pitched at least six innings. From both a statistical perspective and the eye test, Jones was the best pitcher in Peoria this season. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done had he been able to make more than 11 starts.
So congratulations to Cory Jones, The Cardinal Nation Starting Pitcher of the Year for the Class-A affiliate. He was more than deserving after a great season and has an extremely bright future ahead.
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 selection as the Peoria Chiefs Player of the Year.
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