The left-handed pitching prospect remains in major league camp with just two weeks to go and discusses his still-brief professional journey to date.
Few heads turned when left-hander John Gast
was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2010 draft from Florida State
University. However, unlike other more well-known college names drafted earlier, hurlers like Seth Blair
and Jordan Swagerty
, Gast signed relatively quickly and was able to begin his professional career last summer.
In the final six weeks of the regular season, Gast went undefeated for the Batavia Muckdogs, getting wins in six of his eight regular-season starts. He logged an impressive 36-to-8 strikeout to walk ratio over 35 innings. Gast's WHIP was 1.00 and he posted a .227 batting average and a 1.54 ERA. His ground ball outs to fly ball outs was a solid 1.73-to-1 ratio. Though he struggled in the New York-Penn League playoffs, even that outing had positive aspects. We named Gast The Cardinal Nation Rookie Starter of the Year for 2010.
Because of that leg up and a decided lack of competition among left-handers, Gast is in the very unusual situation of still being in major league camp with two weeks to go in spring training. While he is more likely insurance against an injury to one of the two major league left-handers in Trever Miller and Brian Tallet, it is a feat that amazes even Gast.
After all, such a jump to the majors all the way from short-season ball, skipping over four levels of full-season play, would be almost unheard-of. Yet the small sample of spring numbers could support at least having the discussion.
Gast has yielded just one run in 5 1/3 innings, though his strikeout to walk ratio is 4/4. He has scored points with the staff for his cool demeanor and professionalism and has even shared tips on his patented pickoff move with major league starter Jaime Garcia.
In the interview that follows, we discuss the above and more.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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