Tommy Collier Named American Association Pitcher of the Year

Tommy Collier Named American Association Pitcher of the YearIn American Association Daily, the Minor League Sports Report and This Week in the Association name Kansas City T-Bones starter Tommy Collier American Association Pitcher of the Year, edging out the Wichita Wingnuts Travis Banwart and the St. Paul Saints Eddie Medina for the award.

Tommy Collier Named League’s Top Pitcher

The Minor League Sports Report and This Week in the Association named their American Association Pitcher of the Year on Monday, selecting the Kansas City T-Bones Tommy Collier. The right-hander was a unanimous winner, with the Wichita Wingnuts Travis Banwart finishing second, and the St. Paul Saints Eddie Medina finishing third.

Tommy Collier, Kansas City T-Bones

Tommy Collier was twice named by the Minor League Sports Report as Pitcher of the Month, earning honors in both July and August. The Kansas City T-Bones starter began the season in a bit of a funk, losing three of his first four starts while posting a 5.16 ERA through his first five starts of the season.

However, Collier caught fire after that, winning his final 11 decisions of the season. That included 15 starts, where he posted a quality start in all but four of those outings. Five of those starts he did allow an earned run and had a span of 26.2 innings when he did not allow an earned run (July 10-August 1).

Collier was tied for the American Association lead in victories (12), and led the league in strikeouts with 140. He was fourth in ERA at 3.11. The right-hander was second in the league in innings pitched (133).

Collier is the second member of the Kansas City T-Bones to be honored with a post-season award joining Joe Calfapietra, who was named as Manager of the Year on Sunday.

Travis Banwart, Wichita Wingnuts

Travis Banwart led the American Association in ERA this season at 2.24. The Wingnuts starter made 20 starts, tossing 124.1 innings, fifth most in the league. Banwart finished 8-4, but was the victim of a bullpen that did not hold leads for him. Five times he left this season with the lead, only to see the bullpen relinquish it.

Of the 20 starts for Banwart this season, 12 were quality starts, and he allowed two runs or less in 16 of his outings. The right-hander struck out 109 while walking only 34. He was also named the Pitcher of the Week in Week 13.

Eddie Medina, St. Paul Saints

St. Paul Saints starter Eddie Medina finished third in the balloting. Medina set a single season high for innings pitched with 115.2, tying his career high in wins with 9. He finished third in the league in ERA at 2.80, also a single season record for the right-hander.

Medina had his most impressive season of his young career. The right-hander struck out 104, the first time he had reached the century mark in strikeouts and made a single season high in starts with 19. When the Saints were fighting for a playoff spot, Medina was at his best, going 4-1 after August 1, allowing six earned runs in 26.1 innings in the four victories. The righty was the Pitcher of the Week in Week 2.

By Robert Pannier

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