Happy Saturday, Viva El Birdos!
This week on the VEB Podcast we introduce you to Cardinals’ prospect, Mike Antico! Antico is a speedy centerfielder and leadoff hitter for the Springfield Cardinals. He joins with the writing team to talk stolen bases, how his hitting profile has changed, and play a little “who would win in a race?”
Antico stole 67 bases last year in 131 games. He holds a stolen base efficiency rate of nearly 90% for his relatively short minor league career. He was drafted in 2021 and is just now in his second full season. He also has a walk rate of over 10% in his last three stops. And he’s showing more power this season.
With his combination of speed, developing power, and walk potential, Antico is the kind of player who has a good chance of making his way onto the Major League roster. He should earn a promotion to AAA soon, and once there, he’s just an injury away from St. Louis.
Antico was also part of the Cardinals’ contingent who went to the Arizona Fall League. While his stats there did not stand out the way that Winn and Walker’s did, he used the opportunity to tweak his swing and try out some new things. Those changes are paying dividends this season.
In this interview, we focus most on steals, digging into his approach to swiping bags, what he looks for in pitchers and catchers, and the challenges he’s facing now that he has a reputation as an elite baserunner. We also have a little fun at the end of the podcast, playing a little game of “who would win in a race?” You’ll have to listen to hear his answers, which are fairly entertaining. Suffice to say, as a lefty, he feels he could take just about any right-handed runner between the box and first base.
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Enjoy your weekend!