2011 Cardinals Prospect #32 – Adam Ottavino

Can the ex-1st-rounder rebound from injury and a difficult 2010 to reclaim his 40-man roster spot? Today's article is FREE!

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2010 and career stats)

2010 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
11 RHS 11/22/1985 6-5 230 R R 2006 1st

School: Northeastern University

Selected 2010 stats

Mem 5 3 3.97 9 9 0 47.2 43 23 5 12 43 1.54 0.239
StL 0 2 8.46 5 3 0 22.1 37 21 5 9 12 1.00 0.370

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (35): The former first round pick missed a considerable portion of 2010 due to a shoulder injury. The organization chose not to protect him from the Rule 5 draft which makes one wonder where his future lies with the organization.

The team could be just rolling the dice thinking that Ottavino might be passed over due to him coming off injury. Or it could be the team has given up on him.

With a mid-nineties fastball and average breaking stuff, it appears Ottavino is much more suited for the bullpen than the starting rotation. With a plethora of right-handed relievers, Ottavino will need to return to action quickly or risk getting lost in the shuffle.

Message board community (27): A late season injury and a shaky debut in the majors have led to the falling of the Adam Ottavino star. Ranked number 11 after last season and by most accounts and statistics having a better 2010 season than 2009 season, Ottavino was undone in the rankings by questions about the health of his shoulder and his ability to make the transition to the majors.

Though his shoulder was deemed healthy enough for him to be activated the last week of the season (though he didn't pitch), shoulder injuries have ended many a career even of players who have said they felt fine as they often fail to get their full velocity back. Whether or not it was the health of his shoulder or other reasons, Ottavino was removed from the team's 40 man roster during the off season and not picked up either on waivers or in the Rule 5 draft by another organization.

2011 will be key for Ottavino as he fights to show that he is healthy and that he is a major league caliber pitcher. It may be the year that many have thought was coming for a long time in which Ottavino moves to the bullpen. Many believe he can be more effective there than as a starter. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (32): I was the most pessimistic of our voters on Ottavino last year, though he was still at the upper reaches of my top 20. My concerns were much more with his focus than his stuff.

Now added to the unsettled mix is the lingering shoulder question. Depending on whom you ask, the condition of Ottavino's right shoulder varies dramatically. Some say it is just fine and he was ready to go when reactivated late last season. Others hint the problems that led the Cardinals to initially announce his surgery before a second opinion last summer and for 29 clubs to pass on him in both the waivers process and Rule 5 Draft may in fact be more severe. Perhaps we will find out which view is more accurate come spring.

Ottavino is headed into his third season at the Triple-A level or above but has yet to unlock his considerable potential. I would be one of the many who would be disappointed if all the Cardinals get from a first-round pick is an under-achieving starter who is moved to relief. Yet each year that seems a more likely scenario.

Our 2011 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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