Andres Santiago and Jharel Cotton are not generally ranked among the top 10 prospects in the Dodgers’ organization. Fact is, unless you’re a prospect wonk, or you’ve been to baseball games in Chattanooga or Rancho Cucamonga this season, you probably haven’t heard of them.
After reading this, you might not hear from either pitcher again.
But in 2014 Santiago and Cotton did something few minor-league pitchers do — or even get the chance to do.
The two ranked first and second on Baseball America’s list of the best minor-league starts of 2014. Both authored complete-game shutouts this season: Santiago tossed a no-hitter for Double-A Chatanooga seven days ago and Cotton threw a two-hit shutout for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga on July 29.
Santiago, 24, was a 16th-round draft pick out of Puerto Rico in 2007. Take away the no-hitter, and he had a 4.80 ERA (which is about a full run above the Southern League average ERA of 3.85).
Cotton, 22, was a 20th-round draft pick out of Eastern Carolina University in 2012. Take away the shutout, and he had a 4.36 ERA for the season (which is still below the California League average ERA of 4.62).
Here’s more from Matt Eddy’s piece: