2008 Cards Minors Rookie Reliever of the Year

By a dominating professional debut with the New York-Penn League champion Batavia Muckdogs, Adam Reifer is our Scout.com 2008 St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Rookie Reliever of the Year.

Adam Reifer's dominance in his professional debut helped earn his team a championship and him our inaugural Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Rookie Reliever of the Year Award. Serving as the closer for the Batavia Muckdogs, Reifer saved two games in the post-season, including a 1.2 inning save in the New York-Penn League championship game.

The 22-year-old led all Cardinals organization rookie relievers in WHIP and saves. His 23 saves were the second-best mark in the New York-Penn League and the third best in the entire St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. The opposition managed only a .162 average against him which was not only stingiest of any rookie reliever but was tops among all relievers who qualified.

The flame-throwing right-hander finished second in K/9 with 12.2. The University of California-Riverside product showed excellent command, averaging 2.7 strikeouts for every base on balls.

Honorable Mention

32nd round pick Samuel Freeman opened plenty of eyes with his excellent debut pitching out of the Johnson City and later, Palm Beach bullpens. The southpaw led all the rookie relievers by averaging 13 K/9 IP. Freeman led the first-year relievers in FIP.

The former Kansas Jayhawk showed excellent command with a 2.9-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio while allowing the opposition only a .235 batting average.

After finishing up his Louisiana State career in Omaha at the College World Series, Jared Bradford held his own against the hitters of the Midwest League. Bradford was masterful with his control while toeing the rubber for the Quad Cities.

The former Bayou Bengal struck out four batters for every one he walked, which comes out to a 1.6 walks per nine innings average, both tops among this group. He finished second to Reifer in WHIP and third in FIP.

By the numbers

As with all system-wide awards, there was significant competition. Our own Leonda Markee assembled 2008 system-wide stats, both traditional and sabermetric, for first-year Cardinals minor league relief pitchers.

Earned Run Average
Rk Player  Team ERA  IP  ER 
1 David Carpenter JC/GCL 1.84 15 14.2 3
2 Jason Buursma Bat 2.35 25 23 6
3 Matt Frevert QC/JC 2.70 24 23.1 7
DIPS Earned Run Average
Rk Player  Team dERA dIP dER
1 Santo Maertz JC 17 2.74 20.7 6.3
2 Samuel Freeman PB/JC 21 2.93 27.9 9.1
3 Adam Reifer Bat 32 2.94 30.9 10.1
Rk Player  Team FIP HR  BB  HB  SO 
1 Samuel Freeman PB/JC 2.89 2 13 1 38
2 Santo Maertz JC 2.95 0 13 2 25
3 Jared Bradford QC 2.97 2 7 0 28
Rk Player  Team FIP IP  BB  WHIP 
1 Adam Reifer Bat 3.13 30.1 18 15 1.09
2 Jared Bradford QC 2.97 39.1 42 7 1.25
3 Matt Frevert QC/JC 3.50 23.1 22 9 1.33
Strikeouts-to-Walks Ratio
Rk Player  Team IP  BB  SO  K/BB
1 Jared Bradford QC 39.1 7 28 4.0
2 Samuel Freeman PB/JC 26.1 13 38 2.9
3 Adam Reifer Bat 30.1 32 41 2.7
The Flamethrowers
Rk Player  Team IP  SO  K/9 IP
1 Samuel Freeman PB/JC 26.1 38 13.0
2 Adam Reifer Bat 30.1 41 12.2
3 Santo Maertz JC 20 25 11.3
The Control Artists
Rk Player  Team IP  BB  BB/9 IP
1 Jared Bradford QC 39.1 7 1.6
2 Jose Calero GCL 33.2 12 3.2
3 Jorge Rondon QC/JC 30.2 11 3.2
Batting Average Against
Rk Player  Team IP  TBF BAA
1 Adam Reifer Bat 30.1 18 130 0.162
2 Samuel Freeman PB/JC 26.1 23 115 0.235
3 Daniel Richardson Bat 18.1 17 92 0.250
Rk Player  Team SV  IP 
1 Adam Reifer Bat 32 22 30.1
2 Jorge Rondon QC/JC 29 6 30.2
3 David Carpenter JC/GCL 15 3 14.2


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.)



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


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