GCL Cardinals Reliever of the Year: 2008

St. Louis Cardinals prospect and converted catcher David Carpenter used the 2008 Gulf Coast League to jump-start his career on the mound.

In its second season in the Gulf Coast League, the Cardinals struggled home with a record of 17-38. The Baby Birds were edged out only by the Orioles for the league's worst mark. But among the defeats, the Cardinals saw the career resurrection of a light-hitting catcher who found success on the pitcher's mound.

Though he had played in close to 100 minor league games as a catcher, David Carpenter experienced a career change that started in the Gulf Coast League. After the successful transition of Jason Motte from behind the plate, the Cardinals saw a similar possibility for the same of the strong-armed Carpenter.

In nine games for the GCL Cardinals, Carpenter allowed only one earned run on six hits. He would tie for the team in saves, three, even though he was promoted to Johnson City at the beginning of August.

His save total ranked in the top 20 in the league. The former West Virginia Mountaineer averaged 9.35 strikeouts per nine innings. Carpenter continued to improve, posting a 12.00 K/9 mark at Johnson City and improving his walks per nine innings by almost five per game.

When informed of being named the Gulf Coast Cardinals Reliever of the Year, Carpenter had this to say, "Wow, I feel shocked actually. There were plenty of deserving guys on the staff and I feel honored to be chosen. Hopefully I'll be able to continue having success and will be able to have my name mentioned again under this award at future levels."

Honorable Mentions

Adam Prange had a bad month that really knocked his final statistics out of kilter. The 6-foot-6 right-hander finished the game with a 6.92 ERA but that is really deceiving. In his first month of pro ball, Prange posted an ERA of 2.08. This was followed by a July during which he was tagged for eight earned runs in only four games covering six appearances. The 20-year-old rebounded nicely in August with a mark of 1.93. He would finish tied with Carpenter for the team lead in saves with three.

Kevin Siegrist established himself as a force from the left side of the pitching rubber. The southpaw made five appearances out of the bullpen and held opponents to a .095 average. Left-handed hitters were a combined 0-for-12 against him.

Master article with all 2008 Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Players of the Year and the schedule for daily announcements: link. (This link is also permanently located at the lower left of The Birdhouse home page.)

Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at dustin@whiteyball.com

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