Saints Mike Devine Named American Association Pitcher of the Year
American Association Daily provides insights, features, and recaps of the action from around the American Association of Professional Baseball League, as well as player and coaching profiles and transactions. In today’s edition of American Association Daily Recap, the Minor League Sports Report and This Week in the Association Name St. Paul Saints right-hander Mike Devine as American Association Pitcher of the Year.
Mike Devine Pitcher of the Year
St. Paul Saints right-hander Mike Devine was named by the Minor League Sports Report and This Week in the Association as the American Association Pitcher of the Year for the 2020 season. Devine was a unanimous pick after going 4-3 with a 2.58 ERA in 12 starts. He led the league in strikeouts with 89.
After four seasons pitching exclusively out of the bullpen, Devine joined the starting rotation in 2020 and was absolutely brilliant, tossing 80.1 innings, second most, while making 12 starts, tied for third most in the league.
Devine continually got better as the season went along. The Saints began the year with Sioux Falls as their “home” stadium, a park known as one hostile to pitchers. Devine struggled in his first two starts a result, allowing nine runs in his first 10 innings. However, he quickly rebounded, allowing four earned runs in his final 18.2 in July, including tossing 6.2 shutout innings against the Canaries in the Birdcage on July 23. The right-hander left July with a 4.08 ERA in five starts.
In August, Devine dominated. He made five starts, allowing just eight runs in 36.0 innings pitched. He allowed 31 hits and just two walks while striking out 35. Devine allowed two runs or less in four of his five outings, and had five quality starts. He struck out 10 on August 26 against Chicago. This was just the beginning.
As good as Devine had been in August, he was nothing short of dominating in September. The right-hander made two starts, allowing two earned runs in 15.2 innings, striking out 26. He tossed back-to-back 13 strikeout performances, allowing nine hits and two walks.
Devine allowed four total walks over his final eight outings and walked 13 batters in 2020. He gave up 70 hits, posting a WHIP of 1.03, tops among all starters. His 2.14 strikeout percentage was first, and his .232 opponent batting average was sixth in the American Association.
Devine was named as the Pitcher of the Week three times during the season.
Tomshaw, Holmberg Close Out Voting
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks left-hander Matt Tomshaw finished second in the Pitcher of the Year voting. Tomshaw finished third in the American Association in ERA at 2.69. The left-hander went 5-3 in 12 appearances, 11 starts. After giving up 12 earned runs in his first 9.1 innings, the lefty allowed just 12 earned runs over the final 71.0 innings. That included tossing seven shutout innings in back-to-back starts (July 26, August 1). Tomshaw tossed three complete games to lead the league. In his last two starts of the season, Tomshaw went the distance in each.
Milwaukee Milkmen left-hander David Holmberg finished third in the Pitcher of the Year voting. Holmberg led the American Association in ERA at 2.34. He made 12 starts, allowing 60 hits and 31 walks in 73.0 innings pitched. Holmberg finished fourth in strikeouts with 76. The lefty lost his second start of the season, then won his next five decisions and went undefeated in his final 10 starts.
By Robert Pannier