There have been a few key announcements recently with our prospects. Late last week after another dominating performance our prized pitching prospect, Shelby Miller, was promoted to AA Springfield. His debut will be Friday night again Corpus Christi. The other big news which Jon touched on in his last post is Lance Lynn getting the call to make his MLB debut tonight for the Cards.
UPDATE: Maikel Cleto was also promoted from AA straight to the majors with Holliday hitting the DL. To me this is a big head scratcher. A guy that has had a total of 5 appearances above High A is getting promoted? We have a slew of other guys that are MLB ready or what I would consider ahead of Cleto in the pecking order. Guys like Boggs (the logical choice), Jess Todd, Adam Ottavino (who I have stated a number of times is destine for the bullpen) and Brian Broderick (who was just returned to us from the Nats as a Rule 5 selection this offseason) to name a few. Cleto was already on the 40 man roster which I am sure was a factor. Is this showcasing Cleto for trade bait? Have no faith in the others mentioned? Just put some names in a hat to see who gets the call? All good questions that I can’t answer. What do we get with Cleto? He is a fireballer that is still working on his control (which by all counts has improved this year). His secondary offerings (CB and CH) show potential as an avg or slightly better pitch but are quite inconsistent.
At just 20 years old Miller has yet to be really tested in the minors. As many people will tell you the biggest jump for a player is going to AA. I expect Miller’s K rate will got down just a touch as more advanced hitters will be able to recognize and lay off pitches out of the zone that many A ball hitters would chase. But he has a 13.75 K/9IP rate going in 2011 which is unreal. So even if he scales back to 9-11K/9IP that would be dominating. I also anticipate he will need to use his CB and CH more often and not just rely on his FB to overpower hitters. Miller will also welcome the offensive support he should get with the potent offense lead by Matthew Adams, Zack Cox, Alex Castellanos and Audry Perez. This will be a great test for him as an overall pitcher and I can’t wait to report back after he has a few starts. Just as a sidenote KLaw just updated his Top 25 Prospects and Miller is #4 overall and the top overall pitcher. Carlos Martinez all slid into the Top 25 at #25 as teh biggest jumper on the list.
Lance Lynn, who has spent the last year and a half in Memphis, is a guy I have described as a bulldog on the mound. He will give you innings and usually keep you in the game. His stuff is not overpowering and he will not be a K pitcher in the bigs. But his upside is a #3 type SP which these days is quite valuable. He has improved greatly on his HR’s allowed from 2010 only allowing 1 HR so far this year. Lynn is a guy the Cards will need over the next few years to give them a cost controlled SP in their rotation. This will be the first test to see if he is ready to be a asset to the big league squad.
Good luck to Miller, Lynn and Cleto this week!