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Starter of the Year

Congratulations to the fans' choice winners for 2011 Best Starter. Thanks for voting.

Tampa's Matt Moore chosen as Best Overall Starter »
Triple A Best Starter

Teheran takes MiLBY; Godfrey is fans' choice
Triple-A Starter Thumb Veteran Luis Mendoza had a remarkable season for champion Omaha, going 12-5 with a near no-hitter, a 2.18 ERA -- 1.22 runs better than any other qualifying pitcher in the PCL -- and earning league Pitcher of the Year honors. Lucas Harrell split the year between Charlotte and Oklahoma City, combining for a 12-5 mark of his own. Nashville's Michael Fiers only made 12 Triple-A appearances -- he wasn't called up for good until July 9 -- but was utterly dominant, going 8-0 with a 1.11 ERA and a .174 average against. Graham Godfrey won a PCL-high 14 games for Sacramento. In the IL, Gwinnett's Julio Teheran went 15-3 and tied for the league ERA lead at 2.55 while Syracuse's Tom Milone struck out 155 (second-most in the league) and walked just 16 en route to a 12-6 record.

Double A Best Starter

Senators' Peacock proud to win; fans select Richards
Double-A Starter Thumb Four nominees come from the Eastern League: Erik Arnesen and Brad Peacock of Harrisburg, Richmond's Eric Surkamp and Bowie's Timothy Bascom. Surkamp led the EL in ERA and was second in strikeouts before his promotion to the big leagues. Peacock was 10-2 with a 2.01 ERA before being bumped up to Triple-A. Arnesen and Bascom were second and fourth respectively in the EL ERA race. In the Texas League, Arkansas' Garrett Richards went 12-2 with a 3.15 ERA for North Division champion Arkansas. Southpaw phenom Matt Moore made only 18 Double-A starts for Montgomery, but no-hit league champion Mobile and still finished third in the league in strikeouts. (He was even better for Triple-A Durham and ranked second in the Minors in total strikeouts.)

Class A Advanced Best Starter

St. Lucie's Gorski sweeps to MiLBYs
Class A Advanced Starter Thumb In the hitter-happy California League, Chris Heston of San Jose and Modesto's Chad Bettis racked up 12 wins apiece. Heston led the circuit with a 3.16 ERA; Bettis was second at 3.34 and paced the league with 184 strikeouts (fifth-most in the Minors) to claim the loop's Pitcher of the Year award. Robert Ross won the Carolina League ERA title with a 2.26 mark and allowed one home run over 123 1/3 innings. Robert Bundy went 11-5 with a 2.75 ERA for league champion Frederick. St. Lucie's Darin Gorski was the Florida State League's top pitcher with an 11-3 record and a league-best 2.08 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. Clearwater's Trevor May tossed a pair of shutouts and fanned 208 batters -- most in the FSL and third-most in the Minor Leagues.

Class A Best Starter

Cougs' Billo takes MiLBY; Smith is fans' pick
Class A Starter Thumb Dayton's Josh Smith led all Class A pitchers with 14 wins and 166 strikeouts in 2011, and his 2.97 ERA ranked among the top 15 pitchers at the level, which includes the Midwest and South Atlantic Leagues. His teammate, Greg Billo, took the lead in that area with a 1.93 mark to go along with nine wins and 119 strikeouts in the Midwest League. Garrett Gould ranked second in Class A with a 2.40 ERA and finished with 11 wins and 104 strikeouts. In the Sally, both Savannah's Taylor Whitenton (5-5, 2.49 ERA, 119 strikeouts) and Hickory's Cody Buckel (8-3, 2.61, 120 K) finished with similar numbers, but Buckel's lack of innings kept him from qualifying among the top arms at the Class A level. Fort Wayne's Keyvius Sampson ranked among the leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts.

Short Season Best Starter

Billings' Cingrani is MiLBY winner; Tigers' Smith beloved by fans
Short Season Starter Thumb Pitching was plentiful at the short-season level -- 28 pitchers finished the season with an ERA under 3.00, at least those who qualified with enough innings. Connecticut's Brennan Smith finished with the best ERA (1.53) at the short-season level to go along with 66 strikeouts, which ranked him fifth in the New York-Penn League. Vancouver's Justin Nicolino was one pitcher who did not qualify as a league leader, but finished 5-1 with a 1.03 ERA and 64 strikeouts. Everett right-hander Jose Campos ranked second among short-season hurlers with 85 strikeouts. Who could beat Johnson City's Kyle Hald? Literally no one, in 2011 -- the Appalachian League southpaw went 7-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 63 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. Billings' Tony Cingrani was among the best in the Pioneer League, finishing with a 1.75 ERA and 80 strikeouts. Comments