Oraa clearly had a great season and made an impressive move from the bullpen to the rotation, but he did not come close to the excellent seasons that Avendano and Bier had. Avendano and Bier come head to head with what I think Bier just barely pulling away.
Bier had a much better WHIP, struck out more batters, put the ball in play to get the outs, and had a consistent season. Avendano had a really rough end to his season before his promotion while Bier seemed to improve as the season went on. The VSL Cardinals ended the season pretty sluggishly and Bier was right there pitching like they were in a playoff race.
Congratulations to the 2009 Scout.com Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals Starting Pitcher of the Year Deimer Bier who just slightly edged out Javier Avendano for the award.
2009 VSL Cardinals Starting Pitchers (listed in alphabetical order by month)
Bier made 13 starts posting a 5-3 record and 2.29 ERA. He allowed 50 hits, 20 runs (16 earned), three home runs, hit one batter, walked 19, had one balk, struck out 72, and picked one runner off over 63 innings. Bier had a ground out-to-fly out ratio of 52-to-86 and a 1.10 WHIP.
The Cardinals' July 2, 2007 signing was another anchor in the starting rotation along with Avendano. He fell below five innings three times during the 2009 season, one being a one-inning rain delay. Bier struck out five or more batters in eight starts including ten on July 8. In six starts he didn't allow a run with two in a row coming on July 14th and 17th (total of eight innings).
The 18-year old right-hander had his best start on July 14th when he pitched seven scoreless innings and allowing two hits, one walk, and striking out nine. His worst start came on June 3 when he was tagged with six hits, five earned runs, one walk, hit one batter, and only struck out two for a losing decision.
Bier will probably get a call to participate in extended spring training next season. He has managed to find his big strikeout pitches that seemed to be missing in his first professional season after winter ball in 2007. The much-improved starter could bring havoc onto the VSL in 2010 if assigned there for another season.
Notes: Like the details on Bier above, you can read individual capsules on each of the club's starting pitchers 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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