Ideally, The Cardinal Nation announces our Players and Pitchers of the Month ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals organization. That way, I can do my own independent analysis and am not encumbered by the knowledge of the Cardinals’ choice.
That did not happen with the top pitcher this month. On Sunday, the Cardinals bestowed their July honor on the Memphis Redbirds’ Tim Cooney. As a result, as I do my review of the numbers, Cooney will be the man to beat – or to try to beat.
A month after eight starting pitchers across the system with 20 innings pitched or more had ERAs under 2.00, just four pitchers accomplished that during July. Cooney was one of them, but only third-best behind Springfield’s Sam Gaviglio and Frederis Parra of the Gulf Coast League Cards. Cooney’s teammate Boone Whiting was the fourth, with an almost identical ERA.
The eight other starters with ERAs between 2.00 and 3.00 are also listed below. These were the top 12 of 33 qualifying pitchers in July.
Strikeouts and walks are the next measurements to be considered. Only seven qualifying starters had more than eight strikeouts per nine innings. Youngster Alex Reyes is on top, but his walk rate is also highest among all starters by a considerable amount, an unhealthy 6.6 per nine innings.
In a strong showing, 10 starters walked fewer than 1.5 batters per nine innings. Jimmy Reed, promoted to Springfield during the month, is head and shoulders above the competition. Our ERA leader Gaviglio made the top 10, but Cooney did not.
When combining the two, Reed’s strikeout to walk ratio of 9.5-to-1 again leads the top nine, all with ratios of 4-to-1 or better. Gaviglio is fifth, with Cooney eighth.
Following are those starters with at least eight strikeouts per nine innings, those with 1.5 or fewer walks per nine innings and the group with a 4-to-1 or better strikeout to walk ratio during the month.
|Alex Reyes||PEO||23.3||11.6||Jimmy Reed||PB-SPR||34.3||0.5|
|Derian Gonzalez||DSL||22.0||11.0||Tyler Lyons||MEM||27.0||1.0|
|David Oca||DSL||24.3||10.7||Arturo Reyes||PEO||26.7||1.0|
|Boone Whiting||MEM||23.0||10.2||Will Anderson||SC||28.7||1.3|
|Sam Gaviglio||SPR||23.7||8.7||Oneiver Diaz||DSL||21.0||1.3|
|Juan Perez||JC||24.0||8.6||Zach Petrick||MEM||31.7||1.4|
|Arturo Reyes||PEO||26.7||8.4||Chase Brookshire||PEO||30.7||1.5|
Is Gaviglio a higher-ranked prospect than Cooney? No, he is not. Is Gaviglio closer to the major leagues? Nope. Has Gaviglio put together a better 2014 season overall than Cooney? Nope, not even close. Is Gaviglio younger? No, he is seven months older than Cooney.
Does any of that matter? Not to me - in the context of this award.
The only downside is that Gaviglio missed his final start of the month and is currently on the temporarily inactive list. Still, his four July starts in aggregate were exceptional.
To summarize, Gaviglio not only had the lowest ERA in the system, he had a higher strikeout rate and a lower walk rate than Cooney last month. For that reason, The Cardinal Nation crowns Gaviglio as our Pitcher of the Month for July.
Honorable Mentions – Full Season
The strong months by Cooney, Whiting and Reed have already been noted. They made a strong case for the July award.
Peoria’s Chase Brookshire is back for the second month, a long way removed from having been shifted to the bullpen in May. The returns from injury by John Gast and Tyler Lyons are very encouraging.
Interestingly, the less well-known Reyes from Peoria, Arturo Reyes, placed among both the July strikeout and walk leaders, yet his ERA was an ugly 5.40.
Honorable Mentions – Short-Season
Johnson City’s Juan Perez was among the ERA and strikeout leaders, especially impressive given the Venezuelan just turned 19 during July.
The DSL’s Gonzalez and Oca are back here after a second strong month, joined by Oneiver Diaz, sixth in the system ERA and stingy with the free passes.
June’s Winner in July
How did Rob Kaminsky, the consensus Pitcher of the Month for June, fare in July?
As his 2.05 ERA indicates, the lefty continued to perform at a high level. Yet, how high was it really? Kaminsky’s strikeout rate of 4.5 per nine innings was very low while his walk rate of 3.3 was very high. They compare to 8.3 and 0.9, respectively, in June.
|Pitcher of Month||Pitcher of Month||Starter of Month||Reliever of Month|
|2014||The Cardinal Nation||Cards organization||The Cardinal Nation||The Cardinal Nation||2014|
|April||Tim Cooney||Nick Petree||Justin Wright||April|
|May||Chris Perry||Chris Perry||(none)||(Perry)||May|
|June||Rob Kaminsky||Rob Kaminsky||Kyle Grana||June|
|July||Tim Cooney||Sam Gaviglio||July|
|Player of Month|
|2014||The Cardinal Nation||Cards organization||2014|
|April||James Ramsey||Jonathan Rodriguez||April|
|May||Randal Grichuk||Randal Grichuk||May|
|June||Rowan Wick||Rowan Wick||June|
|July||Magneuris Sierra||Magneuris Sierra||July|
The Cardinal Nation’s Relief Pitcher of the Month will be announced next, as will our monthly update to the Cardinals top 40 prospect rankings, the latter exclusively for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation.
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