Montgomery Biscuits right-handed starting pitcher Christopher Mason, who is widely considered as one of the most talented pitching prospects in the Southern League, is only one win away from tying the Tampa Bay Devil Rays’ minor-league record for most wins in a single season.
Mason – a dominant force for Montgomery this season with a 14-4 record and 2.56 ERA in 26 starts – came within one game of the record with an impressive outing in the Biscuits’ 8-3 victory over the Birmingham Barons on Wednesday night. The 23-year-old, who is establishing himself as one of the top overall prospects in the Tampa Bay farm system, allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings to earn his team-leading 14th victory.
For the season, Mason, the Devil Rays’ second-round draft choice in 2005 out of the University of North-Carolina-Asheville, has only given up 139 hits and 49 runs, 43 of which were earned, while holding opponents to a .243 batting average. He is currently leading Montgomery – tied for first place in the Southern League South Division with a 36-23 since the All-Star break – starting pitchers in innings pitched (151.1), strikeouts (130) and WHIP (1.16).
If Mason, who is 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA in his last 10 outings, wins his next start, he will tie teammate Heath Rollins and current Tampa Bay starter Andy Sonnanstine – who each had 15 wins during stints with Single-A Columbus of the South Atlantic League – for the record.