School: University of California - Riverside
Selected 2010 stats
Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)
Dustin Mattison (14): The power reliever put together a fantastic season at Springfield in 2010. In 54 innings, Reifer posted an ERA of 3.00 with 52 strikeouts and only 15 walks. He gave up only two home runs and was rewarded with a late season promotion to Memphis.
Reifer's fastball sits in the mid-nineties and tops out at 98. Along with that above average fastball, his slider is a true out pitch. When he first came into the system, health and control were issues for the 24-year-old. But he has proven he has been able to stay healthy and cleaner mechanics have helped his command.
Armed with these two top notch pitches, the right-hander appears to be destined for a late inning role in the Cardinals' bullpen if he can stay healthy. If he does, it's not a question of if but a question of when Reifer will arrive at Busch Stadium.
Message board community (14): In retrospect, 2010 may end up being the year that is noted for turning the tide on Adam Reifer's career. Long seen as a pitcher with closer potential, Reifer showed he was all too hittable and with questionable control in his first year of full season ball (2009).
In 2010, he significantly improved his control while improving his batting average against. Reifer's bread and butter though since he started his Cardinal career has been his ability to avoid the home run ball. He has given up just six home runs in just under 133 innings in his professional career - an outstanding rate for a pitcher who strikes out more than a batter an inning.
Reifer should commence this year at Memphis and with a strong performance could easily see a call up during the 2011 season. - CariocaCardinal
Brian Walton (13): Reifer's lukewarm 2009 cooled many on his future, though not us here, as we had him placed at the end of our top 20 one year ago.
Despite being less experienced than many of his peers, Reifer was sent to the Arizona Fall League following the 2009 season. His numbers were not particularly encouraging, but provided a base upon which the 24-year-old built his standout Double-A debut 2010 campaign.
With a wealth of relievers bred to be relievers at the top reaches of the system like Reifer, Fernando Salas and Eduardo Sanchez and a set corps of relatively young right-handers already in St. Louis, it continues to beg the question why the Cardinals haven't traded more of their surplus to meet other needs.
Reifer would clearly benefit from some Triple-A seasoning in 2011, but seems on track to be ready before St. Louis will have a place for him. He was added to the 40-man roster in November.
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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