Photo: Edgar Manzo (El Quincenal)
The Cardinal Nation’s July 2021 Pitcher of the Month – Edgar Manzo
This article covers play during July across the entire minor league system.
As a reminder, this is NOT the “Pitcher of the Month Among Top Prospects”. Every player in the system has an equal chance, with only their performance during the month used to differentiate the best of the best. Age and level, which are key prospect considerations, are not factors here.
To qualify, a pitcher must have thrown at least 10 innings during June. That took our prospective candidate list from 78 down to 40. To make a list of nine finalists, an ERA below 3.00 was required. This cut line eliminated six pitchers who met the 10-inning qualifier but had an ERA between 3.00 and 3.50.
In the following tables, names are listed in descending ERA order.
|Diorys Guerrero||20||DSL Red||1||1||1.29||3||3||0||14.0||11||3||2||0||2||16|
All four full-season affiliates are represented among the finalists, with A-Advanced Peoria having the most representation with five pitchers on the list. Additionally, the Cardinals DSL Red affiliate has a finalist, but the DSL Blue and FCL teams are absent from the list.
Only two finalists – Edgar Manzo and Austin Warner – finished the month with an ERA below 1.00.
Four of the finalists are starting pitchers, with three in Peoria’s rotation. Of the seven relievers on the list, Ramon Santos and Jacob Bosiokovic have often been tasked with recording the final outs for Double-A Springfield, while Edgar Manzo and Leonardo Taveras have often had that duty for Palm Beach and Peoria, respectively.
Two of the 11 finalists finished the month with an ERA below 1.00, while three more finished with an ERA below 2.00. Only one finalist – Edgar Manzo – did not give up an earned run in the entire month. Diorys Guerrero posted the best ERA from a starter on the list, and Wilfredo Pereira finished as the finalist with the best ERA as a full season starter.
Four finalists – Manzo, Warner, Guerrero, and Taveras – did not allow a home run in July, and Warner and Guerrero finished tied for the fewest walks.
Pereira led the finalists in strikeouts, but he also threw the most innings. Santos had just one fewer strikeout than Pereira, but he threw 11 1/3 fewer innings.
Despite throwing the third fewest innings among the group of finalists, Taveras allowed the most walks (15). The next closest pitcher was starter Nick Trogrlic-Iverson with nine.
Jacob Bosiokovic had the fourth best ERA, but he also allowed the most unearned runs (3). This is due in part to the defense behind him, but it still demonstrates that his low ERA may not tell the full story.
Edgar Manzo earned the title of The Cardinal Nation July Pitcher of the Month by showing an ability to limit hits and walks, while striking out plenty of batters and not allowing a single run, either earned or unearned. The 20-year-old also showed an impressive ability to pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen, as he averaged nearly three innings per appearance.
In addition to ERA, Manzo also led the group in WHIP as he had the second lowest H/9 (behind Santos) and the fourth lowest BB/9. The right-hander also had the fourth most strikeouts per nine innings and the third best strikeout to walk ratio.
Santos led the finalists in strikeout rate with a whopping 16.20 per nine innings. He also led the group with the fewest hits allowed per nine innings. If not for a pair of two-run home runs in consecutive appearances, Santos may have been the Pitcher of the Month.
A pitcher who struggled with the long ball was Tyler Webb, who tallied the highest home runs per nine innings among the finalists with 1.59. He also had the second highest strikeout rate and the second highest walk rate.
Trogrlic-Iverson did a good job of preventing runs from scoring, but he had the lowest strikeout rate of the group by far and the fourth highest walk rate. As the month ended, the first-year professional went on the injured list.
Taveras’ wildness was underscored by the fact that he tied for the lead among finalists in wild pitches while also finishing tied for second in HBPs. Additionally, Enmanuel Solano’s strong walk rate (2.37 BB9) is unconvincing when his five hit batters are considered.
Impressively, six finalists finished with WHIPs below 1.00.
Among the three pitchers who tossed 20 innings or more, Wifredo Pereira had the best strikeout rate, the best WHIP, and the best overall performance. Connor Lunn was a close second with the lowest walk rate.
TCN’s Pitcher of the Month
As the winner of The Cardinals Nation’s July Pitcher of the Month recognition, Manzo had been among the best in every statistical category. He had the lowest ERA and the lowest WHIP, while finishing at least top four in every other rate stat.
The reliever demonstrated an ability to pitch multiple innings without losing effectiveness as he lasted multiple innings in four of his six outings in July. In these four outings, the 20-year-old threw at least 2 2/3 innings in each and even made a five-inning appearance.
The right-hander allowed just a .107 batting average in the month and beat out other worthy candidates, such as Ramon Santos and Wilfredo Pereira.
It is still early in Manzo’s career, and he is making his full season debut in 2021. On the season, the native of Mexico has tallied a 2.54 ERA and 1.00 WHIP while fanning 43 in 30 innings and allowing just a .167 batting average.
In 2019, Manzo spent the season with the Cardinals DSL Red affiliate where he a 3.68 ERA in 12 starts. His strikeouts have ticked up since moving to the bullpen this season, while his FIP has improved from 4.27 to 3.57.
Manzo signed with the Cardinals in April 2019 and has had a good amount of success in the early stages of his minor league career. He is still young, but if he can continue his strong production, then he could be nearing a promotion to Peoria.
How Last Month’s Winner Fared This Month
After a strong month of June, Roel Ramirez made a pair of appearances for Triple-A Memphis before being put on waivers and claimed by the New York Mets. The Mets outrighted him to Triple-A where he has struggled in his first two appearances, allowing three earned runs and two home runs in three innings.
What is Next
On Thursday, I will be back to disclose our Player of the Month for the Cardinals system during May. The Cardinals organization should announce its corresponding winners this week, as well.
On Thursday afternoon, the organization announced Pereira as their top pitcher during the month of July.
— Peoria Chiefs (@peoriachiefs) August 5, 2021
To track the status of the Cardinals’ 40-man roster as well as all players in the system by position and level, check out the Roster Matrix, always free and updated here at The Cardinal Nation. Also included is every player transaction across the full organization all year long.
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