Only one pitcher logged more than 100 innings for the Salt Lake squad, which meant a little diving had to be done to figure out who was the best pitcher this year for the Bees.
Of the pitchers who logged more than 55 innings, three had an ERA under 5.00 - Dusty Bergman, Scott Dunn and Corey Lee – all finalists for Pitcher of the Year.
Bergman, a sixth-round pick in 1999 by the Angels, was traded late in the year to the Giants for Jason Christiansen and removed from contention despite a 3.17 ERA over 44 appearances that spanned 71 innings.
Dunn began the year as a starter but after posting a 6.82 ERA in six starts he was banished to the pen – where he thrived. The right-hander, acquired in a 2003 trade with Chicago, went 4-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 41 relief appearances, compiling nine saves.
A San Antonio native, Dunn allowed a .236 average against in his relief role and struck out 75 while walking 24 in 61.2 innings out of the pen. In the seventh and eighth innings, Dunn was masterful, holding the opposition to 18 hits in 107 at bats – a .168 average.
He had an 11-appearance stretch in June and early July where he surrendered just one earned run and ended up allowing an earned run in ten of his 41 relief outings.
Interestingly enough, Lee was dismissed from the team – given his unconditional release in late June to pursue another option when a foreign team bought his rights from the Angels. After learning he made the Pacific Coast League all-star team, Lee signed with the Nippon Ham of the Japanese league.
With no one else qualifying, Dunn takes home Pitcher of the Year in a landslide.
It should be mentioned that Joel Peralta and Greg Jones also had solid campaigns. Peralta was dominant in his 20 innings of work, going 4-1 with ten saves and a .159 average against. Jones held a 3.20 ERA with ten saves in 25.1 innings of work, holding the opposition to a .2.15 average.