To say that it was difficult to choose the Gulf Coast League Cardinals Starter of the Year is an understatement. Hampering the assessment of the team's starters is the organization's use of the tandem-starter system, cutting starting assignments in half.
Gary Daley led the team with 11 starts but he was there on an extended "rehab" assignment and posted an ERA of 24.39. Three pitchers made six starts with two of those, Jose Rada and Omar Diaz posting ERAs over five. Rada's ERA was over eight in games he started.
Not Moor(park), but the Most
Though he went winless in his six starts, Chris Notti put up very solid numbers after being drafted out of Moorpark (CA) Junior College. In 23.1 innings as a starter, the 20-year-old posted a 3.09 ERA while inducing 1.60 groundouts per fly out. Hitters managed only a .217 average against the right-hander. Notti was the recipient of some bad luck, as almost as many unearned runs scored on his watch, seven, as did earned runs, eight.
The 36th round pick in the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft will need to continue to work on his command of the strike zone. As a starter, Notti struck out 15 compared to 11 walks.
Overall, the 6-foot-6 Notti finished with 33 strikeouts compared to 17 walks in 41 innings. He posted a 3.20 ERA overall with a 1.69 groundball to fly ball ratio.
Matching up against the GCL Dodgers on August 7, Notti spun five shutout innings while allowing only three hits. For the month of August, he finished strongly, posting a 2.45 ERA while getting over two groundball outs for every fly ball out. In the month of July, Notti struck out 23.4% of the batters he faced.
Good, Just Not Enough
Miguel Flores and Eric Fornataro had both positioned
themselves to be the top starter on the team before being promoted to
Anthony Ferrara made
only two starts covering 10 innings for the team. But in those two outings, he posted a
1.80 ERA with nine strikeouts and a .206 batting average against. Overall,
Catch a Tiger by the Tail
Scott McGregor was tagged for five runs in only four Gulf Coast League innings. The 21-year-old did post a 2.67-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio. It was quite a tune up, as the Memphis Tiger posted a record of 4-0 with a miniscule 0.33 ERA for the Johnson City Cardinals. Such stinginess garnered attention and McGregor would skip a level and land in the Midwest League. For the Quad Cities, he worked six innings of relief and allowed only two earned runs.
On the Mend
Rehabbing starters Blake Hawksworth, Mark McCormick, and David Kopp all saw action during the noon games at the Roger Dean Stadium complex. Joining them were southpaws Zack Zuercher and J.D. Stambaugh along with Colombian right-hander Andres Rosales.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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