It was a short season, and Shane Lindsay dominated all of it.
The Australian right-hander, pitching for the Tri-City Dust Devils of the Northwest League, was recently selected as MiLB.com's Class A Short-Season Starting Pitcher of the Year.
Lindsay struggled in his first professional season with Casper of the Pioneer League in 2004 after signing with the Colorado Rockies as an undrafted free agent. But he got his 2005 campaign off to a blazing start and never slowed down.
In his first appearance with Tri-City, Lindsay turned in a one-hit 11-strikeout performance. He followed that with
21 more strikeouts over his next two outings.
While Lindsay's control was at times erratic -- he uncorked 12 wild pitches and walked 34 batters in 66 2/3 innings -- it was a vast improvement from 2004, when he walked 19 in 21 1/3 innings and finished with a 6.75 ERA for Casper.
"He had so much that he had to overcome from last year," Dust Devils manager Ron Gideon. "He had so many control problems, and we were just gonna make
baby steps with him."
Those baby steps turned into giant leaps as Lindsay held the opposition to a .163 batting average, while surrendering just one home run and compiling a league-leading 107 strikeouts. At times, Lindsay's fastball topped out at 90
miles per hour in the first inning and gained five ticks on the radar gun by the middle of the game.
As well as Lindsay pitched during the first half of the season, he got even stronger toward the end. In early August, he enjoyed consecutive one-hit outings en route to winning four of his last five starts. In his final game, the
20-year-old allowed one earned run on four hits and a walk while striking out 10 in eight innings. This was in a league that saw only one complete game all season.
Lindsay finished 6-1 with a 1.89 ERA, good for third-lowest on the circuit.
"We're expecting big things from him as an organization," said Gideon. "We're gonna take care of him because it's a valuable arm that's gonna help us down the road."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.