Cards Minors Starters of the Month - June

The Birdhouse recognizes the top starting pitching performances in ten categories across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. Tyler Herron is our overall top starting pitcher for the month of June, 2007.

It is time to recognize those pitchers leading the entire St. Louis Cardinals minor league system in various categories. We let you know the top five in each category. The starter listed first at each level is that team's ‘Team Leader'. If a team does not have a pitcher in the top five, a team leader is designated a ‘TL'. To qualify for consideration a starter must have one inning pitched per game played for that month and have had the majority of his game appearances come in a starting role. The only exception is at Quad Cities with their recently discontinued tandem rotation which limited the number of available starter innings. In their case each member of the tandem rotation must be within one inning of the ‘one inning pitched per game played for that month' total. Also, all short-season squads are not included in this month's awards due to the limited number of games played.

A list of qualifying and non-qualifying pitchers is included at the end. Those pitchers changing teams during the month are first listed by the team with which they ended the month with their initial team listed subsequently. Their stats are combined.

Methodology for Choosing the Overall Winner
The top five in each of the nine categories were ranked numerically one through five with the team leader being noted only if that team did not have a representative in the top five. For June there were 13 qualifying starters that placed in the top five in at least one category. No starter placed in the top five in all nine categories but there were three pitchers that ranked in at least six of the nine categories. Those were the finalists. And the winner is…

Starter of the Month for June 2007 –
RHP Tyler Herron, Swing of the Quad Cities
7 G, 4 GS, 0 CG, 5-0, 31.2 IP, 24 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 2 BB, 37 SO, 2.27 ERA, 1.11 dERA, 0.82 WHIP, 18.5:1 K/BB, 10.5 K/9 IP, 0.57 BB/9 IP, .212 BAA, .316 BABIP, 1.23:1 GO/FO

When then 18-year-old Tyler Herron was drafted in the supplemental first round of the 2005 June draft, many knowledgeable fans were very excited because of Herron's combination of youth and projected upside. Herron showed flashes of his promise during both the 2005 and 2006 campaigns in short-season ball but they were brief glimpses. He put it all together this month and is the well-deserving winner of The Birdhouse Starter of the Month award.

Herron ranked in seven of the nine categories and was the Quad Cities' team leader in innings pitched. He was the best in dERA, WHIP, strike-out-to-walk ratio, and walks-per-nine innings pitched average. The only category in which he did not factor was ground-out-to-fly-out ratio. If he continues to perform like this, it will only be a matter of time before he joins former teammates P.J. Walters and Eddie Degerman in the Palm Beach rotation.

Honorable Mention
RHP P.J. Walters, Palm Beach Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities
6 G, 4 GS, 0 CG, 4-0, 29.1 IP, 21 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 3 HR, 2 HB, 6 BB, 39 SO, 2.15 ERA, 2.65 dERA, 0.92 WHIP, 6.5:1 K/BB, 12 K/9 IP, 1.8 BB/9 IP, .189 BAA, .261 BABIP, 1.88:1 GO/FO

Last month's Starter of the Month here at The Birdhouse, Walters ranked in the top five in eight of the nine qualifying categories. Due in great part to the tandem rotation at Quad Cities, Walters did not place in the ‘Innings Pitched' category. Walters led the system in average strike outs per nine innings pitched and was second in another five categories.

Walters started two games at Palm Beach after his June 22nd promotion. Those two starts more than doubled his total innings pitched for the month and were an improvement on his Quad Cities numbers. A very good argument can be made for Walters to be a back-to-back winner of the Starter of the Month award. He ranked in more categories than did Herron and performed at a higher level for part of the time. However, Herron's Quad Cities numbers were superior to Walters' in every category except for strike outs and Herron topped four categories. In the end, June was a good month for both of them.

RHP Adam Ottavino, Palm Beach Cardinals
5 G, 5 GS, 0 CG, 3-1, 32 IP, 25 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 2 HR, 2 HB, 9 BB, 28 SO, 1.97 ERA, 3.22 dERA, 1.06 WHIP, 3.1:1 K/BB, 7.9 K/9 IP, 2.5 BB/9 IP, .214 BAA, .264 BABIP, 1.27 GO/FO

June was the best month in Adam Ottavino's 2006 season. He placed in the top five in six of the nine categories, missing out in average strike outs, innings pitched and ground out-to-fly out ratio. He received this Honorable Mention because of a combination of performance and level at which he pitched. Ottavino was basically the best pitcher in St. Louis' minor league system not named either Herron or Walters.

Earned Run Average
The Best
RHP Brandon Dickson, Swing of the Quad Cities
6 G, 3 GS, 1.75 ERA, five earned runs in 25.2 innings pitched

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  ERA  GS  IP  ER  Team Level
2 Hernandez, Elvis 1.96 6 4 23 5 Quad Cities A
3 Ottavino, Adam 1.97 5 5 32 7 Palm Beach A-Advanced
4 Walters, P. J. 2.15 6 4 29.1 7 PB/QC
5 Herron, Tyler 2.27 7 4 31.2 8 Quad Cities A
TL - Boggs, Mitch 2.38 5 5 34 9 Springfield Double-A
TL - Parisi, Mike 3.97 5 5 34 15 Memphis Triple-A

DIPS Earned Run Average
The Best
RHP Tyler Herron, Swing of the Quad Cities 7 G, 4 GS, 1.11 dERA, 3.91 dearned runs in 31.71 dIP

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  GS  dERA dIP dER Team
2 Walters, P. J. 6 4 2.65 30.27 8.92 PB/QC
3 Boggs, Mitch 5 5 2.97 34.17 11.29 Springfield
4 Dickson, Brandon 6 3 3.01 25.29 8.46 Quad Cities
5 Ottavino, Adam 5 5 3.22 31.14 11.14 Palm Beach
TL - Smith, Mike 6 4 3.53 27.91 10.96 Memphis

WHIP
The Best
RHP Tyler Herron, Swing of the Quad Cities
7 G, 4 GS, 31.2 IP, 24 H, 2 BB, 0.82 WHIP, 2.27 ERA

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  ERA  IP  BB  WHIP  Team
2 Walters, P. J. 2.15 29.1 21 6 0.92 PB/QC
3 Ottavino, Adam 1.97 32 25 9 1.06 Palm Beach
4 Hernandez, Elvis 1.96 23 16 11 1.17 Quad Cities
5 Dickson, Brandon 1.75 25.2 24 7 1.21 Quad Cities
TL - Keisler, Randy 5.04 30.1 29 9 1.25 Memphis
TL - Daniels - comb 3.82 35.1 34 11 1.27 Springfield

Strike-Outs-to-Walks Ratio
The Best
RHP Tyler Herron, Swing of the Quad Cities
18.5:1 ratio, 37 strikeouts to two walks in 31.2 innings pitched

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  IP  BB  SO  K/BB Team
2 Walters, P. J. 29.1 6 39 6.50 PB/QC
3 Garcia, Jaime 28 8 25 3.13 Springfield
4 Ottavino, Adam 32 9 28 3.11 Palm Beach
5 Daniels, Adam 35.1 11 30 2.73 Sp/PB
TL - Keisler, Randy 30.1 9 23 2.56 Memphis

The Flamethrowers
Note: With the understanding that some listed here may not actually be ‘Flamethrowers', here are the top five –

The Best
RHP P. J. Walters, Palm Beach Cardinals/Swing of the Quad Cities
12 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, 39 strikeouts in 29.1 pitched

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  IP  SO  K/9 IP Team
2 Herron, Tyler 31.2 37 10.52 Quad Cities
3 Hernandez, Elvis 23 23 9.00 Quad Cities
4 Smith, Mike 26.2 25 8.44 Memphis
5 Norrick, Tyler 35 32 8.23 Palm Beach
TL - Garcia, Jaime 28 25 8.04 Springfield

The Control Artists
The Best
RHP Tyler Herron, Swing of the Quad Cities
0.57 walks per nine innings pitched, two walks in 31.2 innings pitched

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  IP  BB  BB/9 IP Team
2 Walters, P. J. 29.1 6 1.84 PB/QC
3 Dickson, Brandon 25.2 7 2.45 Quad Cities
4 Ottavino, Adam 32 9 2.53 Palm Beach
5 Garcia, Jaime 28 8 2.57 Springfield
TL - Keisler, Randy 30.1 9 2.67 Memphis

Lowest Batting Average Against
The Best
RHP Elvis Hernandez, Swing of the Quad Cities
Opponents hit just .188 against him; 98 batters faced Hernandez and only 16 got hits in 23 innings pitched

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  IP  TBF BAA Team
2 Walters, P. J. 29.1 21 119 0.189 PB/QC
3 Herron, Tyler 31.2 24 118 0.212 Quad Cities
4 Ottavino, Adam 32 25 129 0.214 Palm Beach
5 Norrick, Tyler 35 27 149 0.216 Palm Beach
TL - Keisler, Randy 30.1 29 131 0.244 Memphis
TL - Daniels, Adam 35.1 34 150 0.252 Sp/PB

No ‘Flies' on Me - Best GO/FO Ratio
The Best
LHP Jaime Garcia, Springfield Cardinals
3.4:1 GO/FO ratio, 44 groundouts to 13 fly outs in 28 innings pitched

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  IP  GO FO SO GO/FO Team
2 Dickson, Brandon 25.2 43 18 14 2.39 Quad Cities
3 Daniels, Adam 35.1 48 25 30 1.92 Sp/PB
4 Walters, P. J. 29.1 15 8 20 1.88 PB/QC
5 Rauschenberger, Cory 27.2 41 22 18 1.86 Springfield
TL - Keisler, Randy 30.1 43 24 23 1.79 Memphis

The Innings Eaters
The Best
LHP Adam Daniels, Springfield Cardinals/Palm Beach Cardinals
35.1 innings pitched in six games, all starts

Balance of the Top Five

Rank Player  GS  IP  Team Level
2 Norrick, Tyler 6 6 35 Palm Beach A-Advanced
3 - tie Haberer, Eric 6 6 34 Springfield Double-A
3 - tie Parisi, Mike 5 5 34 Memphis Triple-A
3 - tie Boggs, Mitch 5 5 34 Springfield Double-A
TL - Herron, Tyler 7 4 31.2 Quad Cities A

Qualifiers (#): RHP Mitch Boggs, LHP Adam Daniels, RHP Brandon Dickson, LHP Jaime Garcia, LHP Eric Haberer, RHP Blake Hawksworth, RHP Elvis Hernandez, RHP Tyler Herron, LHP Randy Keisler, LHP Tyler Norrick, RHP Adam Ottavino, RHP Mike Parisi, RHP Cory Rauschenberger, RHP Mike Smith, RHP P. J. Walters

Non-Qualifiers (#): LHP Troy Cate, RHP Gary Daley Jr., RHP Eddie Degerman, LHP Brad Furnish, RHP Shaun Garceau, RHP Blake King, RHP Tomo Ohka, LHP Kevin Ool, RHP Anthony Reyes, RHP Robert Ransom, RHP Fernando Salas

The Birdhouse
Cards Minor League Starters of the Month
April, 2007 Tyler Norrick link to story
May, 2007 P.J. Walters link to story




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