Ace Eddie Medina Re-Signs with Saints
A no-hitter, an All-Star Game start in his home ballpark, and the elusive championship. For St. Paul Saints pitcher Eddie Medina, 2019 was the fairytale season he had waited for during his seven-year career. One of the top pitchers in the league will toe the rubber once more for the Saints as Medina re-signed for a third year in St. Paul.
The 30-year-old Medina, who had reached the playoffs in his first six professional seasons, but had never won a championship, was 10-3 with a 3.45 ERA, and a complete game shutout, in 19 games (18 starts). In 114.2 innings pitched he walked 66 and struck out 101 while opponents hit just .224 against him. Medina finished fourth in the league in opponents’ batting average against among qualified starters and tied for fourth in the league in wins. His numbers earned him an All-Star Game appearance, starting the game in his home ballpark at CHS Field.
After a bumpy first inning on Opening Day, Medina was nearly untouchable for the rest of the game and the next month. From the second inning of his Opening Day start through the first inning on June 13 he did not give up a run in a franchise record 32.0 consecutive scoreless innings. He surpassed Caleb Thielbar’s record of 29.2 innings set in 2011. Within that timeframe was the no-hitter on May 31 at Cleburne in which Medina walked one, hit a batter and struck out 10, tied for the second most in his career. Overall, Medina had 10 quality starts and went at least 7.0 innings nine times and allowed zero or one run in five of those nine. He fanned at least seven batter eight times. Medina helped the Saints win their first title in 15 years when he pitched Game 2 of the American Association Finals. He was solid allowing just two runs while striking out nine in 6.0 innings as the Saints went on to win 3-2 and take a 2-0 series lead.
Medina went 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA and a complete game shutout in 20 games (19 starts) in 2018 with the Saints. His 19 victories over two seasons is tied for the fourth most in franchise history in back-to-back years. In 115.2 innings pitched he walked just 43 and struck out 104 while opponents hit just .224 against him. He led the league in batting average against, finished third in ERA and tied for third in shutouts. He hurled 6.0 or more innings in 13 of 19 starts and allowed three earned runs or less in 15 of 19 starts and didn’t allow any runs in five of 19 starts. Medina didn’t allow a run in 16.2 consecutive innings pitched from the fifth inning on June 15 through the first out of the second inning on July 6 and didn’t allow an earned run in three straight starts from June 15-30. His top regular season performance came in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Lincoln when he hurled a three-hit, 7.0 inning complete game shutout. Medina struck out the second highest total of his career, 10, in allowing one run in 7.0 innings to the Gary SouthShore RailCats on August 9.
Medina stepped up when it counted most during the playoffs, pitching in Game 2 of both the North Division Series and American Association Championship Series. Between the two starts he allowed just two runs on eight hits while walking five and fanning 15 in 15.0 innings pitched. In the American Association Championship Series with the Saints down a game, Medina went 8.0 shutout innings allowing three hits and striking out eight against the Kansas City T-Bones.
Medina was scheduled to sign a free agent contract with the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2013 out of St. John’s (NY) University, but a herniated disc in his lower back halted the process. Instead, he signed with the Las Vegas Train Robbers in the Independent United League and proved he was healthy going 4-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 18 games (10 starts). In 68.1 innings pitched he walked 39 and struck out 66 while opponents hit .287 against him. After pitching out of relief in eight of his first 10 appearances, Medina worked his way into the rotation and started his final eight appearances including an eye-popping 7.0 inning, one run, 15 strikeout complete game in his final appearance of the season on July 22. He struck out 23 over his final two starts and finished tied for fourth in the league in K’s and fifth in ERA. He helped guide the Train Robbers to the playoffs where they made the Championship Series before losing two-games-to-none to the Roswell Invaders.
In 2014 Medina pitched most of the season for the Brownsville Charros of the United League and again was among the league leaders in several pitching categories. He finished his time with the Charros going 4-3 with a 2.71 ERA and one complete game shutout in 12 starts. In 73.0 innings he walked 33 and struck out 62 while opponents hit .259 against him. Medina finished tied for first in the league in shutouts, third in strikeouts, fourth in ERA, tied for fourth in starts and win percentage (.675). He was traded to the Fort Worth Cats in August and won his lone decision with them. He struck out at least six in a game seven times, including nine twice. His complete game shutout was a 9.0 inning, five-hit, nine strikeout performance on July 8 at Rio Grande Valley, the team Fort Worth would lose to in the Championship Series three-games-to-none.
Medina began 2015 with the York Revolution in the Independent Atlantic League, but pitched one game before being released and beginning his career with the Wichita Wingnuts in the American Association. Medina was signed on August 1 and went 4-1 with a 3.50 ERA in eight starts. In 46.1 innings pitched he walked 18 and struck out 29 while opponents hit .268 against him. His team once again reached the playoffs, but lost three-games-to-two in the semifinals to the Laredo Lemurs.
In 2016 Medina pitched the entire season for the Wingnuts and went 6-6 with a 5.56 ERA in 20 games (14 starts). In 100.1 innings pitched he walked 40 and struck out 63 while opponents hit .293 against him. The Wingnuts made the playoffs and lost three-games-to-two to the Winnipeg Goldeyes in the American Association Championship Series.
Medina pitched for the runner-up Wingnuts in 2017 and had a stellar season going 9-3 with a 3.09 ERA in 17 games (14 starts). In 90.1 innings pitched he walked just 25 and struck out 68 while opponents hit only .234 against him. He finished fifth in the American Association in win percentage (.750), eighth in ERA and 10th in opponents batting average against. Seven of his 14 starts were considered quality starts and he went at least 6.0 innings in nine starts. In the playoffs Medina was 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts.
This is the 10th off-season signing for the Saints.
RHP Tanner Kiest
RHP Eddie Medina
RHP Daniel Minor
RHP Matt Quintana
RHP Ryan Zimmerman
INF Josh Allen
INF Telvin Nash
INF John Silviano
OF Michael Lang
OF Dan Motl
The reigning American Association Champion Saints begin the 2020 season with the banner raising ceremony on Tuesday, May 19 at CHS Field against the Lincoln Saltdogs at 7:05 p.m.
By Sean Aronson, St. Paul Saints