New Orleans Zephyrs: Pitcher Of The Year

White was the obvious winner.

It was a team built around a heavy hitting offense, but the New Orleans pitching staff also was very solid. The numbers may not look spectacular, but the Pacific Coast League isn't exactly a pitching friendly league to begin with. So, who was New Orleans' most valuable hurler?

To have a team earned run average under five was actually an accomplishment in the Pacific Coast League in 2005. And, to their credit, they did just that. With a team ERA of 4.87, that might be considered sub par in many leagues, but not in the Pacific League. Not to mention, only two other teams allowed less hits than the Zephyrs. As far as control, they were among the leaguer leaders in least amount of walks with 499. The club turned in four shutouts as well.

Taking home the third place spot in the pitcher of the year award is Kip Bouknight. The 26 year old righty turned in a very strong stint with New Orleans in a season in which he also spent time in AA Harrisburg pitching for the Senators. In 52.2 innings of work primarily as a starter, the 6' 0" righty put up a strong 3.42 ERA to go along with a 3-2 record. Not to mention, he also struck out 34 while walking only 18. The crafty righthander also gave up just less than a hit per inning in his nine appearances.

Coming out of the bullpen, there weren't many pitchers that were more reliable than Joe Horgan. And, for that reason, the 28 year old southpaw grabs the second place spot in the Zephyrs' pitcher of the year award. Horgan, who also made 8 big league appearances in 2005, made 46 appearances with New Orleans, putting together a solid 4.12 ERA. In 63.1 innings of work, Horgan also struck out 48 and walked 30. The walk totals are perhaps the only knock on the lefthander. On the season, he also racked up a 4-3 record.

There was some decent competition, but when it comes right down to it, the obvious winner was New Orleans' lefty hurler, Matt White. The 28 year old was a work horse for the Zephyrs all season long, tossing 125.2 effective innings. To go along with his 3.72 ERA, White compiled an 8-6 record. He also showed a combination of power and control with his 102 strikeouts and 45 walks.

Something else Matt White proved to be quite accomplished in was keeping the ball in the ballpark. In his 125.2 innings of work, he allowed only 7 home runs and 122 hits overall. For all those reasons and more, White is our New Orleans' Zephyrs' pitcher of the year.

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