The Cardinals have a handful of pitchers in the top of their farm system - or have just emerged at the big-league level. The 2014 crop produced several of those hurlers, including a trio who will definitely garner the club’s attention over future seasons.
If you’ve missed out on previous recaps, follow the links below:
Drafted first by the Cardinals in the 2014 MLB Draft was right-hander Luke Weaver out of Florida State. Weaver dazzled with a 1.62 ERA in 19 starts for High-A Palm Beach in 2015, and he made it the Gateway City by 2016.
Weaver appeared in nine games (eight starts) in 2016, debuting in mid-August. Weaver missed about three weeks early in the spring due to back issues. With his dominant 3.04 FIP in 15 starts at Memphis in 2017, Weaver earned a starter’s role for the Cardinals for the majority of the second half.
Weaver went 7-2 for the Cardinals in 2017, logging 60 1⁄3 innings in 13 games - 10 of them starts. The 24-year-old Weaver whiffed 72 batters and enjoyed a 74.4 left on-base percentage.
A compensation pick for losing Carlos Beltran to free agency, right-hander Jack Flaherty was the Cardinals’ second pick in 2014. Selected out of Harvard-Westlake High School in California, the 22-year-old Flaherty made it to Double-A, Triple-A, and the Majors by September 1, 2017.
Flaherty had a 1.42 ERA in 10 starts at Double-A Springfield and a 1.14 WHIP in 15 starts at Triple-A Memphis before his big-league promotion. Over the final month of the season, Flaherty pitched in six games for St. Louis, starting five of them. The 6.33 ERA in 21 1/3 innings can be a bit misleading, as nine of 15 earned runs came in his first and final outings of the year.
Lefty Austin Gomber from Florida Atlantic University was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 draft and is the final player we’ll look back at today. Gomber made it to Double-A for a brief time in 2016 before spending his entire 2017 season as a member of the Springfield staff.
Gomber, who turned 24 years old this offseason, had a very solid year with Springfield. Going 10-7 in 26 games and starts, Gomber pitched 143 innings with a 3.34 ERA. The left-hander struck out 140 batters and held his opponents to a combined .218 batting average.
The video of Weaver is credited to the official Major League Baseball YouTube channel; Flaherty & Gomber to Minor League Baseball.