Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Chuck Knoblog Minor League Awards: Pitcher of the Year

And the Knobby goes to...
Zach McAllister, 20, RHP, High-A Tampa
Z-Mac was a 3rd round pick out of High School in the 2006 draft, and has really broken out this year. He started the year in Charleston, where he excelled in ten starts. He had a 2.45 ERA in 62.1 IP, with 7.65 K/9, 1.16 BB/9, .43 HR/9, 8.52 H/9 and a 1.07 WHIP. After his promotion to Tampa, he made 15 appearances, 14 starts. In 88.2 IP in Tampa, Zach had a 1.83 ERA, 6.29 K/9, 1.32 BB/9, .61 HR/9, 8.49 H/9 and a .98 WHIP. While Z-Mac is not the prospect that Dellin Betances is or Phil Hughes/Joba was, he has put up astonishing numbers this year. The strikeouts are the reason he is not a top prospect, but while he does not have elite strikeout numbers, McAllister's K rates are still solid, and the lack of walks and ability to prevent the long ball are major plusses. McAllister does not have dominating stuff, he is a sinker/slider guy. He does not have the highest ceiling in the system, but could easily become a solid number three starter one day.

Disclaimer: A lot of guys were up for consideration here, especially in the low minors. This was by far the hardest decision of any award I have given out so far, and I think Mark Melancon deserves and honorable mention.