Found October 10, 2013 on
On Wednesday, we brought you our Minor League Player of the Year for 2013, Kolten Wong. Today, we will give you our Pitcher of the Year. Baby Bird pitchers made, and our still making, a huge impact for the big club. Michael Wacha has forgotten how to allow hits as he has only allowed 2 over the last 16 innings, including a playoff start. Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez, and Kevin Siegrist all are making huge contributions out of the bullpen. Tyler Lyons and John Gast also made an impact on the big club at some point this year. Again, we polled several people who have good knowledge of the Baby Birds. Our panel consisted of Joe Schwarz of StlCupofJoe.com, Jim Grundy or CardsConclave.com, Cade Thompson – minor league enthusiast, and Lukas Adams – contributor to CardinalsFarm.
With all of those big names making big time contributions, I bet 12 months ago you never heard of our 2013 Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
CardinalsFarm Minor League Pitcher of the Year: Zach Petrick
There were several young pitchers who had a very impressive year for the Cardinals’ affiliates, and this is seen in the voting for pitcher of the year. Zach Petrick received 17 votes (3 first place votes), Lee Stoppelman finished in second with 15 votes (1 first place vote), and Michael Wacha finished in third place with 14 votes (no first place votes). Carlos Martinez finished fifth and received the last, first place vote.
After signing with the Cardinals last spring as an undrafted free-agent, Petrick began 2013 in the Peoria Chiefs bullpen. In 32 2/3 innings with Peoria, Petrick went 1-0 with a 0.83 ERA and he struck out 46 batters. Petrick was promoted to High-A Palm Beach around the beginning of June. With Palm Beach, he just kept getting better. Again, Petrick began in the bullpen and had 14 scoreless innings before making his first start on June 21st. In total, Petrick pitched in 33 1/3 innings at Palm Beach and had a 3-0 record with a remarkable 0.27 ERA and 32 strikeouts.
Petrick’s season was not done yet, even after two levels in the minor league system. On July 12th, Petrick was promoted again, this time to Double-A Springfield. Used as a starter, Petrick made 9 starts for the Cardinals and finally faced some adversity at what is typically believed to be the hardest level of minor league ball to master. In those 9 starts he had a 3-3 record with a 3.99 ERA and 4 strikeouts over 47 1/3 innings.
Zach Petrick has put his name on the map of big time Cardinals prospects. Scouts are now paying attention to his ability to command more than one pitch and his ability to work ahead in counts. For 2013, Petrick had a combined record of 7-3 with an ERA of 1.99 and 122 strikeouts in just 113 1/3 innings. I think you can see why he is receiving this award.
Petrick is a prime example of the impressive job the Cardinals scouting and development teams have done.
2013 saw the likes of Wacha, Martinez, Siegrist, Rosenthal, Lyons, and Gast make impacts on the major league level, could Petrick join that list for 2014? I would like to see him dominate Double-A for a month or two next year before moving up to Memphis. I think a late season call up is not out of the question, depending on injuries.
Hopefully now you know the name, Zach Petrick.
Here is a breakdown of the voting:
PitcherVotes1st Place Votes
CardinalsFarm Minor League Player of the Year (cardinalsfarm.com)
Springfield Cardinals: Season in Review (cardinalsfarm.com)
CardinalsFarm Pitcher of the Month for August (cardinalsfarm.com)
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