ST. PAUL, MN (September 4, 2012) – In his first full season as a professional pitcher, St. Paul Saints starter Robert Coe nearly rewrote the record books. He had one of the best single-seasons of any Saints pitcher in their 20 season history. The incredible year earned him praise from his teammates, trust from his manager and accolades during the season. He received one more honor at the conclusion of the season as he was named American Association Rookie of the Year.
The 24-year-old Coe went 12-5 with a 2.91 ERA in 22 games (21 starts) with two complete games and a shutout. In 139.1 innings he walked 59 while striking out 87 and opponents hit just .240 against him. He finished tied for second in the league in wins and games started and third in ERA. He set the franchise record for innings pitched, surpassing Charlie Ruud’s (2007) record of 138.2, and games started, which was held by five different pitchers who had 20 starts. He tied the franchise record of 12 wins, which he holds with four other players, Jim Manfred (1996), Jake Whitney (2002), Kevin Foster (2003) and Ruud (2008). His 2.91 ERA was ninth best in franchise history.
Coe’s season was filled with honors for his impressive work earning Pitcher of the Month for July going 6-0 with a 2.64 ERA and one complete game in eight starts. In 58.0 innings of work Coe walked 20 while striking out 40 and opponents hit just .235 against him. He had a string of 17.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
During the week of July 2-8, Coe earned the Pitcher of the Week for his outing on July 6 against the Lincoln Saltdogs. He tossed his first professional 9.0 inning complete game. Coe threw 113 pitches, 69 for strikes and after the first inning he didn’t allow a runner into scoring position.
In the top of the first Joe Spiers led off the game with a double to left and with two outs John Alonso tomahawked a high fastball into left field for an RBI single that gave the Saltdogs a 1-0 lead. Coe would allow just two hits in an inning one more time. In the seventh he gave up a leadoff single to Stephen Holdren, but he got Jimmy Rohan to ground into a double play to end the inning. After a single to Tommy Collaro, Coe struck out Salomon Manriquez looking to end the inning. Coe retired the side in order in the ninth and ended the game emphatically with a strikeout of Rohan. Coe allowed one run on six hits while walking two and striking out a career high eight.
Prior to this season Coe pitched just 12.1 innings at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and that came in 2011 during his senior year. He went 1-1 with a 0.73 ERA and two saves. He was signed by the Saints on June 21, 2011 and went 3-1 with a 4.93 ERA in 18 games (one start). His finest appearance of the season came in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs when he allowed one run in 6.0 innings against the Winnipeg Goldeyes.
The Rookie of the Year, along with all the post-season honors, were voted on by the 13 American Association managers and one media representative from each team.