Pitcher of the Year Mark Cohoon

Posted on September 27, 2010 by

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Mark Cohoon’s name wasn’t on many prospect lists at the beginning of the season, but despite an overpowering fastball, he just may make a few lists heading into 2011.

Cohoon earlier this week was named the Mets’ Organizational Pitcher of the Year. The just-turned 23-year-old started the season at low Class A Savannah, but after 13 starts the organization jumped him over high Class A St. Luice to Binghamton in the Class AA Eastern League.

The left-hander was 7-1 with a 1.30 ERA in 13 starts with Savannah, earning mid-season All-Star honors and helping the Sand Gnats to a first-half division championship. Along the way Cohoon yielded just 68 hits and 17 walks while striking out 75 batters in 90 1/3 innings.

Cohoon saved his best for last in the Sally, tossing three consecutive shutouts to tie a league record, including a pair of three hitters. He departed for the Eastern League with a 33 1/3 scoreless-innings streak and the league’s top ERA.

Cohoon struggled in his early starts at Binghamton but caught fire down the stretch.  Over his last five appearances, Cohoon went 4-1 with a 1.36 ERA with four walks and 27 strikeouts in 33 frames.  The third youngest starting pitcher on the club finished 5-4 with a 4.18 ERA and 74 hits and 15 walks in 71 innings but still managed an impressive 56 strikeouts.

For the season Cohoon was 12-5 with a 2.57 ERA.  In 161 1/3 innings, he yielded 142 hits and had a 4:1 SO/BB ratio.

With a fastball the tops out at 90 miles per hour as Mike Newman of Scouting the Sally.com noted Cohoon will have to prove himself at every level.  The minor leagues are riddled with velocity-challenged pitchers who have great control of offspeed stuff and are able to take advantage of raw hitters still not very familiar with change of speed.  However, as those pitchers continue to rise through the farm system, it becomes exceedingly more difficult to fool more experienced hitters.

A 12th-round pick in 2008 out of North Central Texas College, Cohoon went 3-3 with a 4.56 ERA split between rookie-level Kingsport and Savannah that summer. After not making a full-season roster out of spring training in ’09, the 6-2, 195-pounder put it together in ’09, going 9-2 with a 2.15 ERA in 14 starts in the short-season Class A Brooklyn.  He allowed just 69 hits and 20 walks in 92 innings.

Cohoon will have to prove himself again next season, probably at Binghamton to start, but at least he’ll be in the conversation when New York executives sit around the conference table and discuss the future.

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