Cards 2010 Arizona Fall League Pitchers Recap

Despite an inconsistent AFL stint, St. Louis Cardinals farmhand Blake King secured a 40-man roster spot. We review the performance of all four Cardinals pitchers in relation to their competition.

Now that the 2010 Arizona Fall League is permanently in the books, let's recap the performances of the four St. Louis Cardinals pitchers that participated. The AFL typically consists of top Triple-A and Double-A players from across the game and has the reputation of being a hitters' league and hard on hurlers.

Relievers King, Swagerty and Delgado
After beginning with the Cardinals position players last time, we will finish up with the pitchers. With just one starter allowed per organization, Brian Broderick played that role with Surprise Rafters. In relief, Jordan Swagerty made his professional debut along with Ramon Delgado and Blake King. Broderick, Delgado and King had finished the 2010 regular season with Springfield.

To rank among the league leaders, a pitcher had to appear in a rate of at least .4 innings per AFL game. As such, Broderick was the only Cardinal to make the cut among the 54 league qualifiers. Delgado was just one-third inning short, pitching 12 1/3 frames. King followed with ten and Swagerty's injury-shortened debut was just five innings long.

Though the number of innings is very small, I included the ranking of the relievers as if they had placed among the 54 in four categories. The ranking is included in two of the three tables that follow.

Brian Broderick 3 1 4.39 29 6 6 0 26.7 30
Blake King 1 0 6.30 43* 10 0 0 10 11
Jordan Swagerty 0 1 3.60 17* 4 0 0 5 7
Ramon Delgado 0 0 3.65 19* 10 0 0 12.3 12
Brian Broderick 14 13 5 0 7 11 1.39 0 0
Blake King 7 7 1 1 8 10 1.90 4 1
Jordan Swagerty 4 2 0 0 0 3 1.40 3 0
Ramon Delgado 5 5 1 0 3 6 1.22 3 1

Rank Rank Rank
BB/9 K/9 K/BB BB/9 K/9 K/BB
Brian Broderick 2.4 3.7 1.6 15 49 34
Blake King 7.2 9.0 1.3 56* 13* 47*
Jordan Swagerty 0.0 5.4 inf 1* 44* 1*
Ramon Delgado 2.2 4.4 2.0 13* 51* 32*
* rank if qualified

Brian Broderick – With six starts, the 6-foot-6 right-hander was just one off the league lead and he typically went deep into games with his 26 2/3 innings tying for the most in the AFL. Broderick had three wins, a loss and a pair of no-decisions. His best starts were his first and his last, with the latter a two-hit shutout over five innings.

Overall, his 4.29 ERA was almost smack dab in the center of the league qualifiers. Much of that damage occurred via the long ball as Broderick yielded five home runs, almost one per start, third-most in the league. He continues to strike out few while minimizing walks, with the result a strikeout to walk ratio that again placed him in the middle of the AFL pack.

Blake King – The AFL provided the backdrop for a continuation of a consistent theme with the hard-throwing right-hander. King blazed the competition for one strikeout per inning, but also had a walk rate that was contending for the very worst in the league as he struggles to find a consistent release that works for his entire arsenal. He still tied for the league lead in holds with four despite so many baserunners, a WHIP pushing two. The Cardinals realize the upside if they can figure out how to harness King's potential and as such, added him to their 40-man roster last week.

Ramon Delgado – The rap on Delgado is that he lacks a dominating pitch, which his meager strikeout total underlined, yet all he does is get hitters out. He placed in the top 20 in ERA and was even stingier with walks than Broderick, ranking 13th in the AFL. The right-hander had three holds and was the only one of the four Cardinals hurlers to be named to the league's Future Stars Showcase game.

Jordan Swagerty – With an abbreviated showing of just five innings that ended before I arrived in Arizona, there isn't too much to say. For a brief professional debut, Swagerty did just fine. He was allowed to pitch in meaningful spots, picking up three holds in his four outings while fanning three and walking none. It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals' second-rounder is a starter next spring and where the Cardinals place him.

Click here if you missed the earlier series of nine interviews from the Arizona Fall League, including all eight players and hitting coach Derrick May.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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