Here's the pitchers from Tuesday night's game:
Starter John Gast was pitching for Palm Beach in High-A as a 22 year old in 2011. Azruavatar considered him a "breakout candidate" in March of 2011 after his improved control in Batavia after being drafted, which he did not exhibit in Florida State. And Azruavatar was way right. Pat yourself on the back, sir! However to one up Azru, in January of 2011, I considered Gast as one of my "poised for a breakout" players.
On May 10th, Gast pitched 7 innings, getting the win while striking out 4 and walking 2.
Seth Maness wasn't yet even on the Cardinals at this time in 2011 because he was picked in the 11th round of the draft in June, but he started in Batavia and quickly was moved up to Quad Cities and then Palm Beach during that summer. Azru didn't have much on Maness when he was drafted as a senior out of East Carolina.
Two years ago, Carlos Martinez was in his age 19 season in Quad Cities and I was able to catch Martinez in action in May of 2011 pitching for the Quad Cities River Bandits at Busch Stadium. Here's the video of Martinez and two other pitchers. In February, Joe Strauss of the P-D wrote up about the Cardinals getting the first good look at Martinez in a Cardinals uniform at Spring Training.
Martinez is among a vanguard of young arms the club believes represents a transformational presence within a system rated thin on high-ceiling starting pitchers at Double-A and Triple-A. Martinez threw alongside supplemental round draft choice Seth Blair. Another supplemental pick, Tyrell Jenkins, is scheduled to throw Sunday.Martinez's fastball 'sits" in the mid-90s, with the ability to touch 98-99 miles per hour.
The next and last pitcher in the game was Joe Kelly. The scouting report on Kelly was: "Lively arm, 92-94 MPH with good sink, 87-88 MPH power slider." Out of UC Riverside he was projected as a closer-type, but the Cardinals continued to use him as a starter in the minor leagues including in 2011 when he was starting in Palm Beach early in the season before being promoted to Springfield.
The Cardinals are blessed with a farm system that is not only high on top-end impact talent, but also mid range depth. And we have not yet seen half of it yet, including the best hitting prospect and several more high end pitching talents almost ready for the major leagues. The Cardinals at this point may not have to sign a free agent in the next few offseasons. With 2 more 1st round picks, the Cardinals are showing no sign of slowing down.
Additionally, just to prove this just wasn't a one game blip, Wednesday's game featured 3 of 5 Future Redbirds in Shelby Miller, Maness and Trevor Rosenthal. We can see the top of the hill with the talent that the Cardinals have assembled in the minor leagues, but we are still a ways to go until all the young players are playing at their peak.