final installment of a two-part series, it is
time for a review of the pitchers selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in
2008. Of the 51 players taken by
the Cardinals in the First-Year Player Draft this June, 27 were pitchers.
the organization has to be pleased with the play of its selections. One pitcher, a late round selection,
made it all the way to High Class-A to help Palm Beach with its playoff
run. One held his own in the
Midwest League while four more would finish their first professional season in
of the draft picks helped Batavia win its first-ever New York-Penn League
Championship while others helped Johnson City stay in the playoff hunt and put
together their best season in years.
Cardinals recognized a deficiency in left-handed arms in their farm system and
addressed it during this past June’s draft. Of the 22 pitchers that signed, six were
southpaws. (Of the five pitchers
that the organization were not able to come to terms with, three were
Below, to the right of each
player’s name is the round in which he was drafted. Picks are listed in
numerical order by the round selected.
former Ole Miss Rebel showed why the Cardinals made him the 39th
overall pick. In his first stop
with Batavia, Lynn posted an ERA under one while striking out 22 in 18.2
innings. It was then on to the
Midwest League where he made two starts for the Quad Cities. In eight innings of work, he allowed
only two earned runs while striking out seven.
was shut down at the end of August with forearm tightness.
undersized right-hander out of UC-Irvine was outstanding in his debut at
Batavia. The 5-foot-10 right-hander
struck out 60 batters in 54.1 innings during while the opposition managed only a
.186 average against him.
Gorgen allowed only a 2.32 ERA in 14 appearances including six
unheralded right-hander impressed in his first showing in the Cardinals’
organization. Fornataro posted a
sharp 1.74 ERA in 31 innings while with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals before
moving to the Appalachian League.
With Johnson City, he notched a 2.75-to-1 groundball to fly ball
ratio. In seven innings in
Tennessee, the opposition managed only a .172 average against him.
Florida native showed his dominance on the hill with 36 strikeouts in 30
innings. In 10 appearances,
demonstrated his knack for starting.
In 10 innings that he appeared as a starter, the southpaw posted a 1.80
ERA while holding the opposition to a .206 average.
Ryan Kulik (8)
southpaw made a quick stop in Batavia before moving on to the Quad
Cities. For the Muckdogs, Kulik did
not allow an earned run in six innings over two appearances. It was then on to the Midwest League
where he found the hitters to be much less hospitable. Over 12 starts for the River Bandits,
hitters batted .352 against him on his way to a 5.52 ERA.
Scott McGregor (15)
former Memphis Tiger struggled out of the gate, allowing five runs, three
earned, during four innings in the Gulf Coast League. McGregor was then promoted to Johnson
City where he proved his mettle against the hitters of the Appalachian
League. The right-hander allowed an
anemic 0.33 in 27 innings. He would
strikeout 20 compared to only three walks while posting a groundball to fly ball
ratio of nearly two-to-one.
as usual, the organization promoted McGregor to the Quad Cities where he more
than held his own. In three
appearances out of the River Bandits’ bullpen, he allowed a 2.84 ERA against the
Miguel Flores (16)
Flores turned in an impressive debut season in professional baseball. The six-foot right-hander made 12
appearances in the GCL while posting an ERA of 3.19. The 20-year-old was then promoted to
where he would play in two games.
In the Appalachian League, Flores did
not give up an earned run and collected two ground ball outs for every fly
Joshua Hester (17)
right-hander out of Freed Hardeman was much better out of the bullpen. As a starter, Hester posted an ERA over
five while the opposition hit .325 against him. When coming on in relief, he posted a
3.32 ERA while striking out 22 in 21.2 innings.
Jared Bradford (18)
being eliminated from the College World Series with his LSU Tigers, Bradford was
assigned to the Quad Cities for his professional debut. The former Bayou Bengal proved he could
handle the assignment by finishing with a 3.20 ERA and almost two-to-one
groundball to fly ball ratio.
Jonny Bravo (23)
southpaw made 10 appearances including three starts for the Johnson City Cardinals. It was coming out of the
bullpen where Bravo found left his mark.
In 24 innings of relief, Bravo struck out 34 while holding the opposition
to a .191 average.
Zach Pitts (24)
former Louisville Cardinal proved better as a starter than a reliever for
Batavia. Pitts did not earn a
victory but was charged with four hard-luck defeats. Even so, the right-hander posted a 2.70
ERA while holding the opposition to a .207 average.
Jason Buursma (25)
submariner teamed with Batavia closer Adam Reifer to give the Muckdogs
a sensational one-two punch out of the bullpen. Buursma finished with a 2.35 ERA while
posting a 2.5-to-1 ground ball to fly ball ratio. The Bucknell product finished with three
saves, the second-best total on the team.
George Brown (27)
New York native did not have to leave his home state with a debut assignment at
Batavia. For the Muckdogs, Brown
struck out 47 in 47.1 innings while posting a 3.42 ERA. In 11 appearances out of the bullpen,
the southpaw posted a 2.66 ERA while being credited with three saves.
Matt Frevert (28)
former Missouri State Bear started his season off at Johnson City where he was a
valuable piece of the Cardinals’ bullpen.
In 19.1 innings, Frevert struck out 23 while posting a 3.26 ERA. The right-hander did a good job of
keeping the ball on the ground with a 1.62-to-1 groundball to fly ball
organization then skipped him a level with a promotion to the Quad Cities. In three appearances for the River
Bandits, Frevert did not allow a run in four innings of relief.
Samuel Freeman (32)
being drafted by the Cardinals for a second straight season, Freeman quickly
made a name for himself. Working at
Freeman struck out 34 in 24.1 innings while being credited with two saves out of
the Cardinals’ bullpen. The
left-hander than skipped two levels with a promotion to Palm Beach to help with
their playoff run.
debut, he struck out four batters in two innings at Roger Dean Stadium. During the Florida State League
Playoffs, Freeman was charged with two earned runs in 2.1 innings of
Kevin Thomas (33)
groundball machine, Thomas posted a 2.41-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio. The product of Stephen F. Austin allowed
a 2.65 ERA in 10 games including four starts for Johnson City. Thomas yielded a .243 batting average
against in 34 innings of work.
Chris Notti (36)
years of age, Notti was his team’s most consistent starter and was awarded The
Birdhouse’s GCL Starter of the Year award for his effort. He tied for second on the team in
innings pitched while posting a 3.20 ERA in 13 games.
native of Bear, Delaware, had to find the New York-Penn League bearish in his
professional debut. In 19 games out
of the bullpen, he was tagged with a 7.85 ERA. His struggles centered on control with
18 walks compared to nine strikeouts in 18.1 innings of relief.
positive note, Richardson forced a 1.88-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio.
Kevin Siegrist (41)
flashes of potential while playing in the Gulf Coast League. The southpaw allowed only a .070 average
against while posting a 1.38 ERA.
Siegrist struck out 11 in 13 innings and retired all 12 left-handed
batters he faced.
four games out of the Johnson City bullpen. Maertz struck out 25 hitters in 20
innings while posting a 3.15 ERA.
In six games in August, the right-hander posted an ERA under one while
holding the opposition to a .219 average.
out a couple rough outings in July and Prange had a superb rookie season in the
GCL. Unfortunately, Prange finished
with an ERA close to seven and walked more batters, 13, than he struck out,
nine. The 6-foot-6 right-hander did
tie for the team lead with three saves while finishing strong with a 1.93 ERA in
Adam Veres (49)
right-hander saved his best for last.
In the rubber match to gain a spot in the New York-Penn League
Championship, Veres pitched seven innings of one run baseball while striking out
seven to clinch the victory. Over
two levels, the 20-year-old finished with three wins and a 3.32 ERA. In 43.1 innings, he struck out 58
follow our countdown of the top Players
and Pitchers of the Year at every level of the Cardinals minor league system.
Next up will be Starting Pitcher and Player of the Year, before moving on to Top
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