There are many spectacular pitchers currently working their way through the Minor Leagues, but only one can claim to be the "Most Spectacular."
That hallowed hurler is none other than Kevin Pucetas of the Augusta GreenJackets, who on Thursday was announced as the winner of the second-annual Most Spectacular Pitcher Award.
This award, presented by Minor League Baseball and sponsored by VYTORIN, goes to the qualifying pitcher with the lowest regular season ERA in a domestic full-season league. Pucetas, a 22-year-old right-hander, received the honor after compiling a 1.86 ERA over 27 appearances spanning 145 1/3 innings.
"I'm honored to receive the second-annual Most Spectacular Pitcher Award," said Pucetas. "It feels great to be recognized for doing what I love, and I am appreciative of all the fans that come out and support Minor League Baseball."
Pucetas, who went 15-4 and held opponents to a .228 batting average, will receive the Most Spectacular Pitcher Award trophy and a check for $7,500 during a ceremony at the Bricktown Showdown Triple-A Championship game in Oklahoma City on Sept. 18. The award will be formally presented by legendary Major League reliever Goose Gossage, who enjoyed a quite spectacular 21-year career.
To be eligible for the award, a pitcher must have tossed a minimum of 112 innings during the recently concluded 2007 season. Short-Season hurlers, meanwhile, must have pitched at least 45 frames.
In addition to Pucetas, the pitcher with the best ERA in each Minor League classification was awarded a $500 cash prize. These spectacular individuals were Kevin Slowey of the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings (1.89 ERA), Christopher Mason of the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits (2.57 ERA) and Jose Ortegano of the Short-Season Danville Braves (1.48 ERA).
2007 marks the second season in which the Most Spectacular Pitcher Award was presented. Scott Lewis of the Kinston Indians won in 2006 after he compiled a 1.48 ERA over 115 2/3 innings pitched.
For more information on the Most Spectacular Pitcher Award, fans are advised to visit www.MSPAward.com.
Benjamin Hill is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.