The Minor League Sports Report named their American Association Rookie of the Year on Tuesday and the award goes to Laredo Lemurs pitcher Jeremy Strawn. The 23-year-old put together a dominant season worthy of the award, and proved himself to be one of the top starters in the league, even as a rookie.
Jeremy is the younger brother of Josh, who also pitches for the Lemurs, and who persuaded the organization that adding his young brother was a good decision on their part. He could not have been more right.
The right-hander joined the team on June 17, and made his first appearance for them out of the bullpen on June 18. His first four appearances for the team were out of the pen, where he had a rather poor showing. In 5 innings pitched he gave up 5 hits and 5 earned runs, leaving him with an ERA of 9.00 on July 1. Then the team made a brilliant decision. They moved Strawn into the starting rotation and he caught fire.
Younger brother Jeremy’s first start came on July 5 in a drubbing of Amarillo 22-5. He pitched six outstanding shutout innings, allowing 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 7. His next start was July 11 against Quebec, a no-decision, where he still made a quality outing, going 7 innings, allowing 8 hits and 2 runs, whit fanning 5. The Lemurs won the game 4-3.
Staring July 17 he made a string of eight straight starts where he had the winning decision. This included wins over Wichita, Grand Prairie four times, Kansas City, Amarillo and Sioux Falls. He made five quality starts in those eight decisions, including the last three. During the streak he pitched 57.1 innings, allowed 50 hits, just 10 walks and 15 earned runs (2.36 ERA) while striking out 36.
His best start during the streak was on August 20 at Grand Prairie where he pitched a complete game shutout. In the start he allowed just 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out a season high 9 batters.
For the season the righty finished with a 9-0 record and a 2.45 ERA. He pitched two complete game shutouts in 10 starts. His totals for the season were 73.1 innings pitched, 70 hits allowed, 17 walks and 51 strikeouts.
While not pitching enough innings to qualify for the league ERA title, Strawn did finished seventh in the American Association in wins and was tied for first with his two shutouts.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA