2009 Cardinals Draft Review: Pitchers

The pitchers are up first in our annual review of the St. Louis Cardinals' draft class.

As the end of the year draws near, it is time once again to review the St. Louis Cardinals 2009 draft class. In the first part of a two-part series, the pitchers that were selected will be reviewed.

All pitchers except for three, made their debut in the short-season leagues with Batavia, Johnson City, or the Gulf Coast League Cardinals. Of the two of the three mentioned previously, one made two appearances at the Quad Cities while the other did not get into game action.

Of the 50 selections the Cardinals made during the 2009 draft, 29 were pitchers. Of those, 21 throw from the right side while the remaining eight are southpaws. Only two, left-hander Daniel Bibona and right-hander John Folino, failed to work out a contract with the organization.

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.

Shelby Miller (1)

Due to not signing until the deadline, Miller made only two appearances covering three innings at the Quad Cities. The sample size is too small but he should get plenty of work due to a scheduled early arrival to 2010 spring training.

Joe Kelly (3)

Though the numbers might not show it, he really had a solid professional debut. Kelly logged 30 strikeouts in 30 innings and posted a groundball-to-fly ball ratio of 2.47. More importantly, he began the transformation from a hard throwing reliever to a potential high upside starter.

The 21-year-old posted an FIP of a very respectable 2.76 while striking out almost 22% of the batters he faced.

Scott Bittle (4)

Due to injury, Bittle did not make an appearance after signing a professional contract.

Nick McCully (9)

Made his debut at the Quad Cities, probably an over-ambitious assignment for the right-hander. McCully struggled against the advanced hitters in the league, walking 14 in 20 innings while allowing a .304 batting average against.

The 21-year-old did finish strong, allowing only two earned runs in his last 8.2 innings. During that six game stretch, he racked up nine strikeouts while allowing only seven hits.

Hector Hernandez (10)

The southpaw was named The Cardinal Nation Gulf Coast Cardinals Starting Pitcher of the Year after an impressive debut in the GCL. In 13 games, he posted a record of 2-1 with a 2.21 ERA with 33 strikeouts compared to nine walks.

Only 18 years old, he managed a 51% ground ball rate and a .234 batting average against.

Pat Daugherty (12)

The big lefty produced a strong debut with a 2.89 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 28 innings in the GCL. Promoted to the Appalachian League, he struggled in four appearances covering seven innings. For Johnson City, he was tagged for nine earned runs after allowing 11 walks.

Scott Schneider (20)

Named The Cardinal Nation Rookie Starter of the Year after excelling on two levels in his professional debut. In just his first full season as a pitcher, he struck out almost 23% of the Midwest League hitters he faced after fanning over 30% of the New York-Penn League hitters he opposed.

Trevor Rosenthal (21)

Working out of the GCL Cardinals bullpen, he picked up four victories in 14 appearances. While being charged with an ERA approaching five, Rosenthal struck out 26 in 24 innings while posting a 2-to-1 groundball-to-fly ball ratio.

Though he finished with an ERA of 4.88, he did put up a very respectable FIP of 2.76.

Keith Butler (24)

The GCL Reliever of the Year recorded six saves while striking out 38 in 30.1 innings in two leagues in his professional debut. He finished with an ERA of 2.08 ERA while holding his opponents to a .171 batting average.

Josh Squatrito (25)

The Cardinal Nation Rookie Reliever of the Year tied for the team lead with four victories while posting a 1.37 ERA at Batavia. Squatrito racked up 35 strikeouts in 26.1 innings while allowing only six free passes.

The 22-year-old got better as the year progressed, allowing only a 0.71 ERA with 22 strikeouts and only two walks in his last 10 appearances.

Squatrito finished with 11.96 K/9 while posting a 5.83 K/BB ratio.

Justin Edwards (28)

Though overshadowed by teammates Rex Brothers and Kyle Heckathorn at Kennesaw State, he won't be much longer after posting a record of 3-2 to go along with a 3.25 ERA in 15 appearances at Batavia. The 21-year-old had 54 strikeouts and 16 walks in 52.2 innings.

Edwards was especially tough on left-handed hitters, allowing only a .145 batting average against. Overall, he logged 9.23 K/9 helping lead to his FIP of 2.48.

Daniel Calhoun (29)

A control artist during his time at Murray State, the southpaw continued that trend in his professional debut. Calhoun walked only six batters in 48.1 innings or at a rate of 1.12 per nine innings. The 23-year old finished his debut with a ridiculous strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7-to-1.

On the season, the southpaw posted a record of 2-0 with a 1.86 ERA while holding New York-Penn batters to a .217 average.

Chris Corrigan (30)

The former Ole Miss Rebel struggled with his command during his initial professional action. In 47.1 innings, he logged 22 walks with only 28 strikeouts. He was able to limit the damage of the free passes and posted a 3.80 ERA.

Travis Lawler (32)

Lawler made 17 appearances out of the Johnson City bullpen, finishing with an ERA of 4.05. The 21-year-old struck out 29 hitters in 20 innings for a rate of 13.05 K/9.

Lawler would have been primed for a superb debut if his control had been better. The right-hander walked 4.50 batters per nine and factoring that with a .434 BABIP, Lawler had to put some undue stress on his manager Mike Shildt.

David Kington (34)

Led the Appalachian League with eight saves even though he walked 10% of the batters he faced. Limited to only 16.1 innings, Kington struck out 15 batters and held opposing batters to a .169 average.

Andrew Moss (35)

The Missouri native had a fantastic professional debut, leading the Appalachian League with a 1.32 ERA. The 22-year-old led Johnson City in innings pitched on his way to a 1-2 record and 48 strikeouts in 54.2 innings. Moss held opposing Appy League batters to a .196 average and managed a save along the way.

Moss made one start for Batavia at the end of the season in which he was roughed up in 4.2 innings of work.

Justin Smith (36)

Strikeouts were the name of the game for the 21-year-old right-hander. In 44.1 innings split between Johnson City and Batavia, he struck out 64 batters. While at JC, Smith posted a rate of 13.69 K/9 and that number dropped ever so slightly, 12.15, after his promotion to Batavia.

His ERA increased from 3.70 to 4.50 with his promotion, but his FIP actually dropped by over a run a game.

John Durham (38)

The southpaw really struggled in his professional debut, finishing with an ERA just south of 10. In 27.1 innings, Appy League hitters torched him for a .373 average.

Jesse Simpson (40)

Appears to be a steal after picking up our Johnson City Starter of the Year award. While pitching at JC, he posted a record of 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA while recording a 2.35-to-1 groundball-to-fly ball ratio.

After being promoted to Batavia, Simpson remained extremely productive, striking out 30 in 22.2 innings while posting an ERA of 2.78. With the Muckdogs, he finished with an 11.91 K/9 mark and an FIP of 1.88.

Cale Johnson (41)

The 22-year-old made a solid debut in the GCL before appearing to be exposed at Johnson City. During his first stop in Florida, he posted an ERA of 2.25 while striking out 14 in 12 innings of work. Along the way, he allowed only two walks and the opposition hit only .182 against him.

After his promotion to JC, Appy League hitters touched him for a .333 average. The right-hander finished with a 4.01 ERA in 24.2 innings for the baby birds. He still showed good control, walking only three, and kept the ball on the ground, posting a 3.36-to-1 groundball-to-fly ball ratio.

Aaron Terry (42)

Working out of the Johnson City bullpen, Terry logged six victories and six saves on his way to our Johnson City Reliever of the Year award. The product of Southern Arkansas University logged 36 strikeouts in 26 innings while posting a 3.56-to-1 groundball-to-fly ball ratio.

Terry received a late promotion to Batavia where he would labor in his two appearances for the Muckdogs.

Manuel De La Cruz (43)

The young southpaw had a mixed debut in the Gulf Coast League. He posted a respectable 3.95 ERA while walking as many batters as he struck out, 10. Though the sample size was small, the 19-year-old did not allow a hit to a left-handed batter.

Kyle Heim (44)

The University of Iowa product labored in his professional debut at Johnson City. In 18.2 innings of work, he managed 21 strikeouts but opponents hit .303 against him leading to a 7.71 ERA.

Surprisingly, the southpaw struggled more against left-handed hitters, .375 BAA, compared to right-handers, .283 BAA.

Michael Thompson (47)

The right-hander garnered quite a few strikeouts, 11 K/9, but the opposition touched him for a .360 average and a 7.25 ERA. He did show good control, averaging only 2.5 walks per nine innings.

Jason Novak (48)

The former UCLA Bruin disappointed against the less polished competition of the Appalachian League. In 21 innings, he allowed a .279 average against leading to his ERA of 6.00. He did manage 24 strikeouts and his FIP was 3.44 so maybe his debut is not as bad as it seems.

Tyler Lavigne (50)

Stephen Strasburg's wingman at San Diego State had a roller coaster debut at Batavia. During June and July, Lavigne was strong with ERAs of 2.35 and 3.60, respectively. It appeared the number of innings he had thrown during 2009 caught up with him in August, as he allowed eight earned runs on 10 hits and five walks in nine innings of work.

With an average of 10.67 K/9 and 2.51 BB/9, the 21-year-old finished with a FIP of 2.33. Batters hit only .236 against him and he induced a groundball 58% of the time, leading me to believe that he has more to offer than a typical 50th round selection.



Dustin can be contacted at dustin@whiteyball.com.
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