Michael Kirkman is PCL pitcher of the year

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Pacific Coast League announced today that Rangers lefty Michael Kirkman, who spent most of the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City, was voted the league's pitcher of the year.

We'll have more from Kirkman on the blog tomorrow, but here's part of the release:

Kirkman, 23, went 13-3 with a 3.09 ERA this season for the RedHawks, adding 130 strikeouts in 131 innings pitched. He began the year with four straight victories, finished it with six straight wins and added two PCL Pitcher of the Week awards to his trophy case. His .813 winning percentage remains the best in the league with five games remaining in the regular season.

The 6-foot-4 left-hander made his Major League debut as a relief pitcher on August 24 in Baltimore, striking out the side in his first big league inning. In six appearances with Texas, Kirkman has a 0.00 ERA in eight innings pitched, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out eight. Opposing batters are hitting just .143 against him in his young MLB career.

Drafted in the fifth round of the 2005 first-year player draft out of a Lake City, Fla., high school, Kirkman has advanced from Single-A to the Majors over the past two seasons. In the first half of 2009, Kirkman dominated the hitter-friendly California League, going 4-1 with a 2.06 ERA in seven starts over eight appearances. He was quickly promoted to the Texas League, where he held his own as a 22-year-old with a 4.19 ERA in 96 2/3 innings pitched.

The PCL postseason awards are given based on the voting of the league’s field managers, general managers, broadcasters and media. The field manager and general manager from each of the 16 PCL clubs submit one ballot, while the broadcasters and media from each of the 16 markets submit a second ballot, for a total of 32 ballots.