O'Connor was the obvious winner.
One thing that the Potomac Nationals had no shortage of in 2005 was pitching. Perhaps there was some inconsistency, but there were several standout performers to speak of. With the organization's minor league pitcher of the year around and a good supporting cast, the staff was strong in 2005.
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The overall numbers may not indicate that the Potomac Nationals were among the league's best pitching clubs. On the other hand, that is most likely a result of some highly ineffective performances from some of their pitchers on the other end of the spectrum. Thanks to a couple workhorses, the Nationals did lead the Carolina League in complete games (7). They were also among the league leaders in strikeouts and shutouts. So, who takes the credit for this success?
Working exclusively out of the bullpen, Brett Reid was as dominating as any pitcher on the Potomac roster in 2005. The 25 year old righty was lights out, going 4-6 out of the pen and compiling a 2.76 ERA. Not only that, but Reid also struck nearly 10 batters per nine innings pitched, while allowing less than a hit per inning. Although he may have been old for the Carolina League, you can't argue with success. His walk totals were slightly disturbing, 23 in 42.1 innings of work, but he was able to work through it with his strikeout ability.
When mentioning the workhorses on the Potomac pitching staff, Brett price fits that description quite nicely. With 144 innings under his belt from the 2005 season, the crafty lefty was exactly what the club needed to stabilize the staff. Price also averaged nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings during his Carolina League campaign, but struggled with control (81 walks). However, he tossed two complete game shutouts on his way to 10-13 record and a season ERA of 4.44. Again, the numbers may not have been dazzling for the 25 year old, but serviceable nonetheless.
As the Washington Nationals' minor league pitcher of the year, Mike O'Connor was the only logical recipient of this award. The 25 year old lefty carried the staff throughout the season, logging 167.2 innings in the process. The former George Washington University standout compiled a 10-11 record to go along with a strong 3.54 ERA. He also displayed a combination of power and precision, walking under three batters per nine innings, compared to nearly nine strikeouts per nine innings.
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