Eugene Emeralds: A clean sweep?

Pitcher of the Year for the San Diego Padres' Eugene Emeralds affiliate - This wasn't the runaway that most people probably expect it should be. They say relievers get no love – well we are here to prove you wrong – perhaps.

After compiling an ERA of 0.00 at Long Beach State, Neil Jamison racked up some pretty impressive numbers for Eugene prior to his ascension to the Wizards.

Starter extraordinaire Brent Carter, out of Alabama, chalked up 13 consistently incredible starts before his promotion to Fort Wayne late in the year.

Do you go with the reliever or the starter? We need to dig a bit deeper before answering such a bold question.

Coming off an impressive college campaign, Jamison continued his excellence in the Northwest League. After surrendering an earned run in his third outing, he would go 13 straight outings without yielding another.

As a reward, he was handed the closer's job and was a perfect 8-for-8 in save situations.

"It is either you or them," Jamison explained of the closer's role. "I am real confident in myself that I have good enough stuff to get those three outs or four or five every now and then to end the game. It is fun."

Among his impressive statistics was a .077 mark with runners in scoring position (RISP), allowing two hits in 26 at bats. He did not give up a single hit with RISP and two outs, stoning the opposition on 14 occasions.

He ended his stint with Eugene posting a 1.32 ERA, allowing runs in five of his 25 appearances. He was shipped up to Fort Wayne to end the season.

Carter made 13 starts for Eugene and allowed one earned run or less in ten of those. Only once did he yield more than two earned in a start.

Over his first six starts, comprising 31.1 innings, he walked just one batter and ended the year with an average walks per nine innings of .87. He also boasted a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) of .90 in 72 frames.

"A lot of the hitters in the league are really aggressive," Carter explained. "A lot is locating the ball."

Carter allowed just one run in the first inning of his 13 starts and held the opposition to eight hits in 47 at bats with RISP.

His success came from his ability to hit his spots with regularity, placing his fastball wherever the mitt was placed.

"When you don't throw as hard, you have to be a lot more fine," added Carter who sported a fastball in the mid-eighties. "There is not much room for error."

As impressive a year as Jamison had, Carter gets the nod for his Herculean effort in the Northwest and earns the first sweep among the three voters – with David Jay and John Conniff already granting Carter top honors.

After mentioning it to Carter this week that he swept the award, he clearly wasn't as impressed as we are with our awards ceremony. See if he gets any awards next year... (seriously, he was humble and honored - next year we should send him a plaque for his effort. Now the pressure is really on to win again).

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