Harrisburg Senators: Pitcher Of The Year

It wasn't the best of the seasons for the Harrisburg Senators in 2005, but thankfully, they had some solid pitching to keep them afloat. So, on a team that needed their hurlers to step up, who proved to be the most valuable?

Although they did not rank near the top of the league in ERA, Harrisburg was tied for second in the Eastern League with 6 complete games. A good way to describe the staff would be top heavy, with several extremely strong performances, but some pitchers that were extremely ineffective as well. Led by the staff's three strongest members, the Senators gave the Nationals something to look forward to. The only question is, of these three, who was the best?

One of the Nationals' more intriguing pitching prospects, Saul Rivera put together a solid 2005 campaign with Harrisburg. Working exclusively out of the bullpen, the 27 year old righthander was as good as money in the bank for most of the season. In an impressive 40 appearances and 76.2 innings of work, Rivera held opposing batters to a .243 batting average with 70 strikeouts. Not to mention, he showed good control with only 20 walks. But, the most sparkling statistic of all was Saul's 2.47 ERA to go along with his team leading 9 saves.

Former third round of the Boston Red Sox, Rich Rundles, has become quite a prospect in the Washington Nationals' organization. In the 6' 5" lefty' second AA season, he pitched extremely well for the Senators. At the age of 24, Rundles led the team in innings pitched with 159.1. Not to mention, he also tossed two complete games in 26 games started. The Tennessee native also allowed just more than a hit per inning while walking just over two batters per nine innings. Despite a 6-13 record on the season, the big lefty still proved to be the workhorse of the pitching staff.

Rivera and Rundles were strong, but no one was as lights out as David Maust in 2005. After a brilliant first month out of the bullpen for Harrisburg, the 26 year old lefty began finding much more work as a starter and capitalized on it. In 100.2 innings of work, Maust went 5-4 with a dazzling 2.32 ERA. He also added 78 strikeouts, while only walked 14. Not only that, but the lefthander also held his opponents to a .221 batting average. For all those reasons and more, Maust takes home the Harrisburg Senators' pitcher of the year award.


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