American Association Daily will provide insights and features on the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions going on with teams around the league. In today’s edition, Robert Pannier features the perfect season that St. Paul Saints left-hander Ken Frosch is having.
The Perfect Season of Ken Frosch
For those who are superstitious, there is no doubt that this article is going to send some knocking on wood, rubbing their lucky rabbit’s foot, or searching their backyard for a four-leaf clover, but to this point, Ken Frosch is having the perfect season as, in 35 appearances this season, the left-hander has not been scored upon.
The 35 appearances without being scored upon is a team record (and may even be a league record – I couldn’t find the answer), and he is second all time in consecutive scoreless innings tossed by a St. Paul Saint, going 27.1-innings in a row without allowing a run. That is second only to Caleb Thielbar’s 29.2 consecutive scoreless innings set in 2011.
What has made the record even more remarkable is that the left-hander has been called upon to appear in a variety of situations. This has not just been him coming in to get one batter out and then having the rest of the evening off. Frosch has gone as long as 2.2 innings against the Texas AirHogs on May 28.
A Look inside the Numbers
Ken Frosch has become more than just a left-handed specialist for the Saints. While he has been used in that way at times, facing the top left-handed hitters in the league, he has earned the confidence of Manager George Tsamis and that has led to him having a prominent role with the team, appearing in three consecutive games entering tonight’s contest, the second time this season he has done so, and 13 times this month.
A look at the numbers makes it easy to see why the Saints Manager has come to rely on Frosch. In his 27.1 innings, he has walked 14, but has allowed just eight hits. Opponents are hitting just .091 against him and he has struck out 29.
Where he has truly excelled is in the area where it matters most for a reliever – how many inherited runners scored on his watch. He has inherited 21 runners this season, and only four have scored. That is an 81 percent success rate. Not much more you can ask for out of a reliever.
What Does It Take to Advance?
What may be the most remarkable part of the season is that Ken Frosch is that it has not earned him a more serious look from affiliate clubs. The left-hander began his career three seasons ago with Evansville (Frontier), posting a 5-4 record with a 1.50 ERA in 48.0 innings pitched. Last season, he joined the St. Paul Saints where he was 4-1 with a 3.61 ERA in 42.1 innings pitched. Added to the season he is having this year, one has to wonder what it will take for him to earn a shot with the Major League organization. For some reason, a 0.00 ERA is just not enough.
Images of Ken Frosch Courtesy of Betsy Bissel/St. Paul Saints
By Robert Pannier