2011 Cardinals Prospect #3 – Lance Lynn

Is the 2009 Pitcher of the Year ready to take on Major League hitters? Is St. Louis ready for him?

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

2010 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
3 RHS 5/12/1987 6-5 250 R R 2008 1s

School: University of Mississippi

Selected 2010 stats

MEM 13 10 4.77 29 29 0 164 164 96 21 62 141 0.99 0.259

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (4): The former Ole Miss Rebel is a grinder and future innings eater. With a big solid frame, Lynn projects as the type of pitcher to give the Cardinals 200 innings every season. After jetting through the system in 2009, he kind of put together a quite but solid 2010. In his first season in Triple-A in only his second full professional season, Lynn won 13 games and spun a career high 164 innings. He didn't seem to wear down as witnessed by 16-strikout performance in the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

Lynn won't overpower anyone. He throws a fastball that sits in the high 80's, low 90's with good sink. He will want to cut down on his walk totals but it was improved over last year's performance. His secondary stuff is solid and the right-hander shows good feel for it.

Lynn has the look of a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter. He will go to camp fighting for the organization's sixth starter spot. Interestingly, the ZIPS projections have him just a quarter of a run worse than current fifth starter Kyle Lohse. If any injuries occur, he will likely make his big league debut next summer.

Message board community (4): Lance Lynn has rocketed through the Cardinal farm system, spending his entire second full season in Triple-A. However, his rise has not been without growing pains. Most alarming was his increase in home runs allowed in 2010. After allowing five in 148 2/3 innings in 2009, he gave up an alarming 21 in 164 innings in 2010. Even in what was considered a much improved second half (with considerably better K:BB ratio) the home runs continued.

The above is not to say that Lynn isn't a strong prospect. He appears to be a workhorse whose velocity has actually improved since being drafted. Most likely returning to Memphis this year, Lynn will have a chance to work on improving his command and ground ball rates. Lynn probably isn't a #1 starter but he has strong chance of being successful as a middle of the rotation starter who can log significant innings. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (3): Lynn repeats as my third-ranked prospect this year. Not yet required to be placed onto the 40-man roster, he will need to pitch well in his return to Memphis and hope for injury in St. Louis before having a chance to edge his way onto the I-55 shuttle between the two cities.

Following up from Carioca's strikeout-to-walk ratio comment above, Lynn led the Redbirds staff in both of the individual categories and his ratio of 2.35 was lowest among the 2010 rotation of P.J. Walters, Adam Ottavino, Evan MacLane and Brandon Dickson. In other words, more finishing is required.

Despite not having that "put ‘em away" fastball, Lynn may just may work his way into the big league picture before the season is out, especially if he can pitch his way into the unofficial sixth starter designation. As his former Springfield manager Ron "Pop" Warner called him, Lynn is a true "workhorse". It may not be too sexy, but he usually gets the job done.

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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