Bumgarner Named Leagues Top Pitcher

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Wednesday August 27, 2008
Augusta, GA – The South Atlantic League named its end of the year All Stars and GreenJackets left-hander Madison Bumgarner was named Most Outstanding Pitcher in the SAL. Pitching Coach Ross Grimsley was named the Coach of the Year for a second consecutive year.

Bumgarner has made his mark in the SAL in just his first professional season since being taken by the Giants in the 2007 draft with their first pick, 10th overall. Bumgarner has been named Pitcher of the Week five times including back-to-back weeks June 9th and June 16.

The Lenoir, NC native has dominated SAL batters this year compiling a league best 155 strikeouts while walking just 20. Bumgarner has not allowed a run over his past 28.1 innings pitched and just three over his past 42.1 innings pitched. Bumgarner has recorded double-digit strikeouts six times this season including a career high 12 on August 15.

“For a 19 year old, he works really hard and has a lot of good things going for him,” Grimsley said. “He is determined to reach his goals and the amazing thing is while the season has gone on he has actually gotten stronger.”

The 6’4 southpaw is close to the Triple Crown in Pitching in the SAL leading the league in ERA (1.45), strikeouts (155) and tied for first in wins (14) with one more start in the regular season.

Bumgarner’s 1.45 ERA is currently tied for second best in South Atlantic History with Travis Baptist of Myrtle Beach who had a 1.45 ERA in 1992. The lowest ERA in League History is 1.35 set by William Bethea of Lexington in 1960. Bumgarner was also selected to pitch in the 49th-Annual SAL All-Star Game which was played on Tuesday, June 17 in Greensboro, NC.

Grimsley was named the Coach of the Year for a second consecutive year in the SAL. Grimsley again has guided the GreenJackets pitching staff to the lowest ERA in all of Minor League Baseball.

With six games remaining in the regular season, Augusta pitchers have compiled a 2.97 ERA over 132 games, a span of 1,175 innings pitched this season. The GreenJackets starters this year have gone 53-33 with a 2.92 ERA while the bullpen is 30-16 with 44 saves and a 3.07 ERA. Augusta pitchers have also walked a MiLB low 293 batters while striking out 1,064 for the best walk to strikeout ratio. “We stress the idea that pitchers need to throw strikes and not walk batters and we always try to have the fewest walks in the league when we start out” Grimsley said. “Obviously we can’t control everything though, in the end it comes down to the guys and we have some really good guys this year.”

The 2007 staff Grimsley coached finished with a MiLB best 2.98 ERA over 1,230.1 innings pitched and tied for most shutouts with 18 shutouts.

“I think when you have had success before people are more likely to listen to you and buy into what you have to say,” Grimsley said. “I have been fortunate to have worked with some Hall of Fame Pitchers and pitched against Hall of Fame pitchers so I take what I learned and what has worked then pass it along.