2005 Minor League Pitcher of the Year

2005 Minor League Pitcher of the Year

When the 2005 season began many of the minor league followers had high expectations for the likes of Josh Banks, Shaun Marcum, David Purcey, Zach Jackson and the other top pitching arms in the Jays system. Although the aforementioned had solid seasons, no pitcher in the Jays organization had the season that one young right-hander had. This winner of this season Minor League Pitcher of the Year is Casey Janssen!

Janssen began the season as Lansing's ace and received the nod to begin opening day and gave everyone an indication of what was going to be shown in 2005. The UCLA product picked up the victory as he tossed seven hitless innings, issuing just one walk and striking out seven hitters. In his second start the right-hander once again shut out the opponent while he was in the game as he tossed six scoreless innings. Five more starts and Janssen was 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in seven games. He has walked just four in forty-six innings and opponents were hitting .174 off him.

"I had a little bit of bitter taste in my mouth when I found out I would be starting in Lansing, since I wanted to start out at a higher level out of the gate, but unfortunately that did not happen" said Janssen. "I had a blast in Lansing and the entire season was one heck of a ride."

Janssen made his first start with Dunedin of the Florida State League on May 14 and continued pitching well. He allowed one earned run or less in his first six starts of the season and had a 4-0 record with a 1.18 ERA in six starts with Dunedin threw June 9. Janssen had four more starts left with Dunedin and received a promotion to Double-A on July 5. He finished 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA with Dunedin.

"I was very lucky to have a bunch of very good coaches this season" the right-hander told ITD. "They have given me lots of tidbits regarding what approach to take when facing a team or a specific hitter. The organization wasn't looking to re-invent the wheel with me, but rather stick with what I got and fine tune that."

On July 10 Janssen made his first start with New Hampshire and to nobody's surprise he threw seven innings of scoreless ball against the Portland Seadogs, the leagues top hitting offensive team. The 24-year-old suffered a slight setback during his second start of the season as he was hit in the right hand by a line drive, but missed just ten days. Overall Janssen made nine starts with New Hampshire and went 3-3 with a 2.93 ERA. In forty-three innings he issued just four walks and recorded forty-seven strikeouts. The bottom line was that Janssen proved he can locate his pitches at that level and throw all his pitches for strikes.

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