Austin Gomber kicked off the 2015 season for the Class-A Peoria Chiefs with a three-inning start with four runs scored, three earned, to take his first loss and an ERA of 9.00. He quickly changed things after that.
The southpaw had a plethora of accomplishments throughout the Midwest League season and became a staple in the starting rotation. Gomber capped off the year with a 15-3 record, an ERA of 2.67, and 140 strikeouts in 135 innings.
Gomber proved to be an efficient starter in his first season in Peoria and first full season as a professional. He turned heads in the organization, including earning Cardinals Pitcher of the Month recognition for his 4-0 record and 0.35 ERA in August. During the month of August as well, the lefty notched his 15th win of the season on August 29, tied for second-most single season wins in Peoria franchise history.
After his first few starts in April, Gomber settled in quite nicely after transitioning from his 2014 with the State College Spikes. In his total of 22 appearances, the opponent batting average against Gomber was a .196 and according to MLB Farm stats database, he also sent 26-percent of his hitters faced down on strikes.
His highlight game of the year came on May 18 against the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Gomber went the distance in a shortened game to complete a one-hitter through seven innings with four punchouts. At the time, he was coming off having been named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week for the period ending May 10.
Gomber’s three losses all came in his first four starts. From then on, he made 18 more starts, with 14 wins and four no-decisions. As the season ended, he has a streak of seven straight starts with a win and 11 of his last 12 (with one no-decision).
The 21-year old from Winter Garden, Florida also received all-star nods in both the mid-season and the post-season for the Midwest League to add to his extensive accomplishment list. His season win and strikeout totals were tops in the Midwest League and were first and second, respectively, in the entire Cardinals minor league system.
2015 was a very promising season for Austin Gomber as we can look forward to the spring to see what the St. Louis organization will do with this potential star in the making.
Luis Perdomo marked his second stint with the Peoria Chiefs and did not disappoint. The hard-throwing righty racked up the strikeouts, finishing with 100 right before his call-up to Palm Beach on August 8.
Perdomo started for the Midwest League at the 2015 All-Star Game in front of the home crowd at Dozer Park. Just a few weeks later, the 22-year-old also represented the Cardinals in the MLB Futures Game in Cincinnati, OH. However, with a 5-9 record, Perdomo had an up-and-down season with control and consistency.
Matt Pearce’s season was also phenomenal as the 21-year-old broke the Midwest League record for most hitters retired without allowing a walk at 54 1/3 innings. A 2.43 ERA is another excellent point of consideration in Pearce’s case, but his dominance was not as evident as Gomber’s down the stretch.
Link to master article with all 2015 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series. Of course, that includes our selections as the Peoria Chiefs Relief Pitcher and Player of the Year.
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