In a St. Louis Cardinals system rich with pitching, I am hard-pressed to identify any hurler whose stock has accelerated as quickly in 2013 as Zach Petrick’s.
Signed by the organization as a non-drafted free agent last June from the University of Northwestern Ohio, the 24-yar-old began his professional career in the bullpen of the rookie level Johnson City Cardinals. After demonstrating promise in the pen, the right-hander was moved into the rotation.
In seven starts, Petrick showed enough to be named The Cardinal Nation Johnson City Starter of the Year and our pick as the Rookie Starter of the Year for 2012 across the entire organization.
As 2013 opened, Petrick made the Class-A Peoria club out of spring training, but was installed back in the pen. Again, when presented with the opportunity, he excelled to the point he logged a 0.83 ERA and was named a Midwest League All-Star.
A quick promotion to Palm Beach followed and the Morris, Ill. native soon earned his way into the rotation. After four stellar starts and a Florida State League ERA of 0.27, Petrick received his second in-season promotion of 2013.
By mid-July, Petrick became a starter in the Double-A Texas League. At a level where his talents seem well-matched to the competition, Petrick is preparing to make his sixth start for Springfield on Friday night. To date, he has fanned 27 and walked nine in his first 26 innings at the level. Opposing batters are hitting .250 against him and his ERA is 4.15.
In the following exclusive interview for subscribers to The Cardinal Nation, Petrick speaks about his impressive progress since being drafted and what may be next.
Listen to Audio (5:01)
Other Springfield interviews ahead will be with outfielders Stephen Piscotty and James Ramsey, catcher Casey Rasmus, and pitcher Lee Stoppelman. St. Louis subjects will follow, as well.
Recently posted Springfield interview
Manager Mike Shildt
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Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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