Devine Becomes Saints First Ever American Association Pitcher of the Year, Reynolds and Chinea Named Post-Season All-StarsSep 10, 2020
ST. PAUL, MN (September 10, 2020) – The St. Paul Saints have garnered numerous awards since the American Association first formed in 2006. From Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Relief Pitcher of the Year to Defensive Player of the Year, but there was one award that alluded them: Pitcher of the Year. That award won’t be missing from the mantle any longer as Mike Devine was honored by the American Association as the 2020 Pitcher of the Year. He was joined by two teammates in Post-Season honors as Mikey Reynolds was selected as a Post-Season All-Star as an outfielder and Chris Chinea was the Post-Season All-Star catcher.
The 30-year-old Devine became the first pitcher in four years to win American Association Pitcher of the Week three times. He finished the season 4-3 with a 2.58 ERA in 12 starts. In 80.1 innings pitched he walked just 13 and struck out 89 while opponents hit just .233 against him. He led the league strikeouts, was second in ERA, tied for second in innings pitched and tied for third in games started. Devine went seven consecutive outings without walking more than one hitter and has walked more than two just once. He went 6.0 innings in nine of 12 starts and at least 7.0 innings in seven of 12 starts. He allowed two or fewer runs eight times and five or fewer hits six times. His 1.03 WHIP, 2.14% strike to ball percentage, and 1.46 walks per nine is best among all qualified starters.
His 2.58 ERA is the third lowest in franchise history among starters who have thrown at least 60.0 innings. He is the first pitcher in franchise history to strike out double-digit hitters four times.
Devine was one of the best relievers in the league over the last four years, dating back to his first season with the Wichita Wingnuts in 2016. His ERA as a reliever was never higher than 2.57. Last season with the Saints he went 4-3 with a 2.00 ERA and three saves in 37 relief appearances. In 54.0 innings pitched he walked 20 and struck out 50 while opponents hit just .210 against him. He did not give up an earned run in 28 of 37 appearances and went 13.2 consecutive scoreless innings from May 27-July 14. He pitched two games in the playoffs, both in the North Division Championship Series and went 5.0 scoreless innings allowing just two hits. He was unbelievable in Game 5 going 3.2 scoreless innings, a game the Saints came from behind to win, 9-7.
The 30-year-old Reynolds is having a career season hitting .332 with a career high seven home runs and 28 RBI in 54 games. In 238 at bats he scored 36 runs, roped 18 doubles, four triples, eight out of 10 in stolen bases, with a .386 on base percentage, and a career high .529 slugging percentage. Reynolds is tied for first in the league in triples, tied for second in hits, third in extra base hits (29), tied for third in doubles, fourth in average and total bases (126), tied for fourth in stolen base percentage (.800) and sixth in on base percentage.
On July 21, Reynolds tied a career high with four hits and set a career high while tying a franchise record with three doubles. He also tied a career high with a 12-game hitting streak from July 9-22, the longest of the season by any Saints player and tied for the sixth longest in the league. For the first time in his career he homered in back-to-back games on September 3 and 4.
Reynolds was selected in the 30th round by the Baltimore Orioles in the 2011 out of Paradise Valley (AZ) Community College, but did not sign. The following season the New York Yankees selected him in the 20th round out of Texas A&M, but once again he elected not to sign. The moves paid off when he was selected in the fifth round by the Atlanta Braves in 2013 out of Texas A&M.
This is not the first time Reynolds was selected as a Post-Season All-Star. In 2018, with the Southern Illinois Miners in the Frontier League, he received the honor, but as a second baseman when he hit .335 with one home run and 52 RBI while swiping 45 bases.
The 26-year-old Chinea joins a list of Saints catchers to earn the Post-Season All-Star honor. He’s the fourth winner since 2006 and third in six years for the Saints joining Marcel Longmire (2007), Vinny DiFazio (2015), and Justin O’Conner (2018). Chinea hit .291 with four home runs and 37 RBI in 56 games. In 234 at bats he scored 30 runs, drilled 24 doubles, with a .329 on base percentage, and a .444 slugging percentage. He finished tops in the league in doubles and tied for fourth in extra base hits (28). He is the only catcher in the league that has caught at least half his team’s games and didn’t commit an error.
Chinea’s impressive season began on the second day of the season, July 4, when he finished a triple shy of the cycle and collected four RBI. On two separate occasions he tied the franchise record with three doubles, July 14 and August 27. He became the only player in the league to collect five hits, falling a triple shy of the cycle once again, and collecting four RBI on July 21.
Chinea was a 17th round pick by the St. Louis Cardinals out of LSU in 2015 and was named an MiLB.com Organizational All-Star, spending most of the season with Johnson City in the Rookie Appalachian League. Last season he played 83 games at Double-A Springfield and six games at Triple-A Memphis, hitting .279 with 10 home runs and 32 RBI between the two stops.
This is the first time the Saints received three Post-Season All-Star honors since 2015, when four players earned accolades: Angelo Songco at first base, Vinny DiFazio as catcher and Player of the Year and pitcher Mike Zouzalik as Rookie of the Year.
There were a total of 36 votes: 12 American Association managers, a media representative from each team, and all 12 Executives.