Former Southern Illinois hurler Eric Haberer will be making his Double-A debut Saturday night when he takes the mound for the Springfield Cardinals to take on the Tulsa Drillers.
Haberer Selected in the third round of the June, 2004 First-Year Player Draft, received a $422,500 signing bonus to sign with St. Louis.
The 6'2" 205 pound left-hander was recently promoted to Springfield from Palm Beach where he posted a record of 4-7 with a respectable 3.83 ERA.
Last season Haberer made nine starts for low Class A Quad Cities, going 4-2 with a 2.11 ERA, allowing 52 hits, striking out 33 and walking 17 in 55-1/3 innings. He was selected to participate in the Midwest League All-Star game, but was unable to attend due to his promotion to high Class A Palm Beach on May 27. In 17 starts for Palm Beach, Haberer went 8-6 with a 3.71 ERA, allowing 96 hits, striking out 58 and walking 35 in 94-2/3 innings.
In his first pro season, Haberer made nine starts for Rookie-level Johnson City in 2004, going 2-2 with a 4.69 ERA, allowing 47 hits, striking out 37 and walking 13 in 40-1/3 innings. He was promoted to short-season Class A New Jersey in August and made three starts, posting a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings.
Haberer was ranked by the Birdhouse staff at www.stlcardinals.scout.com, as the Cardinals #14 Prospect in the Pre-season Staff Poll and Baseball America ranked him at #22.
A converted reliever at Southern Illinois, Haberer is working to refine his secondary pitches, the change-up and curve ball in an effort to remain a starter in the Cardinals' organization.
His 12 wins in 05 were tied for second-most among Cards minor league pitchers and his 3.12 combined ERA was the 4th lowest among starters.
Haberer allowed just one home run per 315 batters and that stat is going to catch everyone eyes. It was good enough to be the 2nd best ratio among all minor league pitchers in 2005.
The former SIU Saluki is considered a starter by the Cardinals organization. The worst case scenario for the lefty is, he could potentially be a specialist out of the bullpen, but for now he is making significant progress as a starter and moving up the ranks.