According the Springfield News Leader and confirmed by manager Pop Warner, the Springfield Cardinals will have feature some of the top pitching prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals system.
Left-hander Jaime Garcia will make his second trip to the Texas League after a tender elbow ended his season prematurely in 2007. Before he was shut down, Garcia posted a record of 5-9 with a 3.75 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 103 innings. Garcia was rated as the Cardinals’ number 3 prospect according to the Birdhouse.
The Cardinals’ first-round selection from the 2006 draft, Adam Ottavino, will be making his Texas League debut. Ottavino was among the Florida State League leaders in multiple categories in 2007. The 22-year-old went 12-8 with a 3.08 ERA with 128 strikeouts in 143 innings. He was rated as the number 5 Cardinals prospect according to The Birdhouse.
Clayton Mortensen has climbed the ladder quickly after being chosen by the Cardinals in the supplemental round of the 2007 draft. Between stops at the Quad Cities and Batavia, the Gonzaga product posted an ERA of 2.67 and an impressive 3.31 to groundball to flyball ratio. The Birdhouse ranked Mortensen as the number 9 prospect in the Cardinals’ system.
P.J. Walters is coming off a remarkable season in which he made appearances over three levels. For his effort, Walters was named the St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Year as well as winning the same honor from The Birdhouse. Walters went a combined 12-6 with a 2.55 ERA. He showed super command, notching 147 strikeouts to only 33 walks. The 23-year-old was rated as the number 10 Cardinals’ prospect by The Birdhouse.
Rounding out the Springfield rotation will be another lefty, Adam Daniels. Daniels had an up and down 2007, starting the year at Palm Beach and posting an ERA of 3.52. Daniels was then promoted to Springfield where he saw his ERA balloon close to six. Control seemed to doom Daniels after his step up to Springfield as he posted 43 strikeouts compared to 34 walks.
Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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