VSL Cardinals Reliever of the Year: 2009

Hector Corpas delivered the top performance by a relief pitcher on the 2009 Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals.

The majority of the Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals' bullpen really struggled this season. But three pitchers shined in Hector Corpas, Francisco Guzman, and John De Aguas.

Overall G IP H R ER BB K SV BS  HD ERA WHIP
Corpas 16 35 23 7 6 7 30 9 2 0 1.56 0.87
Guzman 22 35 25 12 7 13 25 8 4 1 1.82 1.10
DeAguas 13 23 12 5 0 10 10 2 1 1 0.00 0.96

DeAguas falls quite a few relief innings short since he was moved into a starting role at the end of the season. As Corpas and Guzman go head-to-head, you can see that Corpas saved 82% of his opportunities while Guzman could only turn 67%. Corpas also led all relievers in WHIP, strikeouts, saves, and limited his opponents' walks. Corpas picked up the closing role after Guzman hit a small speed bump in June.

Jackson Solarte showed some promise during June and Gregorio Ramos came on during the final month of the 2009 campaign. Moises Colorado received a shot to pitch in the starter role but had his troubles and was returned. Fermin Montanez joined the team late in the season and could be a positive addition in the 2010 season.

2009 VSL Cardinals Bullpen (listed in order of in innings worked by month)

May 2009 G IP H R ER BB K SV BS HD ERA
Moises Colorado 5 10.7 10 8 7 4 14 0 0 1 5.89
Fernando Cedeno 5 7 14 5 5 2 7 0 1 1 6.43
Ramon Ulacio 4 6.7 7 4 4 3 5 0 0 1 5.37
Jackson Solarte 5 6.3 10 5 4 4 4 0 0 1 5.71
Francisco Guzman 6 6 3 1 0 2 7 4 0 0 0.00
John DeAguas 5 5.3 3 1 0 1 4 0 0 0 0.00
Ruben Alvarado 3 4 7 4 4 4 6 0 1 1 9.00
Fabian Marquez 3 3.7 4 3 3 2 3 0 0 1 7.30
June 2009 G IP H R ER BB K SV BS HD ERA
Hector Corpas 8 21.7 16 6 5 5 16 5 1 0 2.07
Fernando Cedeno 8 12.3 20 16 15 5 11 1 0 2 10.98
Ramon Ulacio 6 12 10 7 5 3 9 0 0 0 3.75
Jackson Solarte 6 11.7 9 2 1 4 7 0 0 2 0.77
Francisco Guzman 8 11.3 10 6 3 5 8 3 2 0 2.39
John DeAguas 4 11 7 2 0 9 11 1 0 0 0.00
Gregorio Ramos 5 9 10 5 5 5 6 0 0 0 5.00
Ruben Alvarado 5 8.3 15 6 5 3 3 0 0 0 5.42
July/August 2009 G IP H R ER BB K SV BS HD ERA
Francisco Guzman 8 17.3 12 5 4 6 10 1 2 1 2.08
Hector Corpas 8 13 7 1 1 2 13 4 1 0 0.69
Gregorio Ramos 7 12.3 13 4 4 4 3 0 1 0 2.93
Fernando Cedeno 8 11 16 12 8 2 9 0 0 2 6.55
Fermin Montanez 4 10.3 11 4 4 3 3 1 1 2 3.50
Ramon Ulacio 3 9.3 8 6 5 3 3 0 0 1 4.84
Moises Colorado 6 8.3 10 3 3 5 10 0 0 1 3.25
Jackson Solarte 5 8.3 10 10 8 9 4 0 0 0 8.67

Corpas' season

Corpas made 16 relief appearances posting a 3-2 record, 1.56 ERA, nine saves, and one blown save. He allowed 23 hits, seven runs (six earned), hit two batters, walked seven, threw two wild pitches, and struck out 30 over 34.2 innings. Corpas had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 40-to-27, let three of seven inherited runners score, and had a 0.87 WHIP.

The Cardinals' May, 31, 2007 signing was used as a middle reliever and later moved into the closer role when Guzman struggled. Corpas didn't allow a run in 13 games and no runs in seven outings. He racked up five consecutive saves from June 22 through July 5 and added on one more game (July 10) to make it six straight games without giving up a run. Corpas also pitched three or more innings in eight contests.

His best game came on June 24 when he tossed four scoreless innings allowing two hits, and striking out a season-high five. His worst outing came on June 20 when he coughed up four hits, four earned runs, one walk, and struck out one in two-thirds of an inning.

Corpas was very impressive after picking up where Guzman left off in helping the Cardinals take a few more games. He's bounced around from being a middle reliever in 2007 to a middle reliever/spot starter in 2008 to a now top notch closer in 2009. He may get a look in extended spring training but also could see another season in VSL to make sure he's the real deal and not a one-year wonder.

Congratulations to Hector Corpas, our 2009 Scout.com VSL Cardinals Reliever of the Year.



Notes: Like the details on Corpas above, you can read individual capsules on each of the club's ten relievers in our recent four-part series recapping the 2009 VSL Cardinals season.

Link to our entire series of Scout.com Cardinals Players of the Year representing the top relievers, starters and position players across the entire system.



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