We continue the preseason BluGrass Baseball awards with the preseason pitcher of the year.
Pitcher of the year: Matt Koch — University of Louisville
UofL sophomore right-handed pitcher Matt Koch arrived on campus last year with lots of hype after being selected in the 37th round of the 2009 draft by the Boston Red Sox. Despite his reputation, Koch was missing in action for most of the first half of the 2010 season. Koch didn’t make his collegiate debut until April 1, but by the end of the season was a valuable pitcher in the UofL weekend rotation. Koch allowed just one run on three hits in six innings to earn a win versus Vanderbilt in the NCAA regional.
He finished the season at 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA in 11 games, including six starts. Koch tallied 31 strikeouts in 41 innings of work. While the right-handed pitcher did not qualify for the ERA title last season, his 3.24 ERA is far below any other returning Kentucky starting pitcher this season. Koch will open the season as UofL’s Friday night starter and will be looked at to replace the hole left in the Cards’ rotation by the departure of 2010 Big East pitcher of the year Thomas Royse.