2008 Cardinals Prospect #9: Clayton Mortensen

2008 Cardinals Prospect #9: Clayton Mortensen

Will the 36th pick overall in the 2007 draft build upon his stellar debut or suffer a sophomore slump in 2008?

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to 2007 and career stats)

2007 Ranking: not applicable

Position: SP

DOB: 4/10/1985

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 180

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Gonzaga

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the supplemental first round (36th overall) of the June, 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats

Tm

W

L

ERA

G

GS

SV

IP

H

R

HR

BB

SO

GO/AO

AVG

BAT

1

1

1.77

6

4

0

20.1

13

4

0

11

23

3.63

0.188

QC

0

2

3.12

10

10

0

40.1

44

17

2

8

45

3.17

0.275

Tot

1

3

2.67

16

14

0

60.2

57

21

2

19

68

3.31

0.249

Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (21): My ranking of Mortensen is not in line with where my colleagues ranked him. However, Mortensen is my highest-ranked 2007 draftee, which means I like him a great deal. He features a plus slider and a sinking fastball that induces groundball outs. Mortensen had an over three-to-one ground-to-fly ratio which fits well into the Cardinals' pitching philosophy. He averaged over 10 strikeouts every nine innings. Mortensen turns 23 in April and will probably be moved aggressively through the system in 2008.

Dustin Mattison (9): With higher-profile players still on the board, many Cardinals draftniks were disappointed with the organization selecting Mortensen with the 36th overall pick. The Gonzaga product quickly quieted the naysayers with a sensational professional debut. He posted a 2.57 ERA while striking out 68 over 60.1 innings between Batavia and the Quad Cities. Even more impressive from the Cardinals standpoint was his 3.3 to one groundout-to-flyout ratio. Mortensen struggled with his command at Batavia but seemed to right the ship when promoted to the Midwest League.

The 22-year-old has a low nineties sinker that he relies upon heavily. His slider has good bite and his changeup is a work in progress. He should start the year at Palm Beach and will most likely see Double-A before the end of the season.

Ray Mileur (10): Mortensen has that tall, lean body frame that scouts look for in a prospect, because it allows him room to grow and develop. He's got three usable pitches, a fastball in the low 90's that sinks well, a slider and a changeup. He's appeared to have gotten a handle on the control problems he had at times in college. Mortensen's body frame appears that it will able to handle added strength, which could make his fastball even better. He describes himself as a confident, dependable pitcher that can get the job done.

There is significant debate around the ballpark about how high a ceiling Mortensen has; I would suggest he has the potential to be a solid middle-of-the-rotation kind of pitcher.

Brian Walton (6): A very effective power sinker, smooth delivery and good size makes Mortensen as complete of a pitching package as any first-year Cardinals draftee in recent memory. In addition to his ground ball to fly ball mark noted above, Mortensen whiffed over a batter per inning and his strikeout to walk ratio was an impressive 3.58-to-1.

Admittedly more aggressive on Mortensen than our other voters, I had no problem ranking the big righty at number six on my personal list. With another season at higher levels anywhere as successful as Mortensen's 2007, Adam Ottavino and even Jaime Garcia had better look out or they could soon be passed in the Cardinals starting pitching prospect pecking order.

Key: NR = not ranked, NA = not applicable

To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.

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