Cardinals 2011 Draft Review: Pitchers

Dustin Mattison reviews the professional debuts of the pitchers selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Looking over the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft, it was obvious that an emphasis was placed on bringing in more talent at the plate. That being said, the pitching side of the system was not neglected by Jeff Luhnow and his staff.

Of the team's 50 picks, 26 of them were pitchers. Of that group, four were nabbed out of the junior college ranks, only three from the prep ranks, while the remaining 19 were from four-year universities. Of those three high school pitchers drafted, none were signed.

Below is a review of the debut of the 17 pitchers who signed and appeared in 2011.

Sam Gaviglio (5)
The right-hander appeared in only two games after signing out of Oregon State. In four innings with Batavia, he struck out four and allowed two hits.

Danny Miranda (8)
The University of Miami closer slid easily into the same role for Batavia while leading the league in saves. The southpaw racked up 15 saves while holding opponents to a 2.64 ERA. Equally adept at retiring batters from both sides of the plate, Miranda struck out 27 while walking seven in 30.2 innings.

After the season, Miranda was named both The Cardinal Nation Batavia and Rookie Reliever of the Year.

Tyler Mills (9)
Drafted with a big arm out of Michigan, the right-hander walked 19 while striking out only 18 in 26.1 innings at Johnson City. Mills managed two saves while appearing in 20 games out of the bullpen.

Seth Maness (11)
The right-hander out of East Carolina was dominant in his pro debut. Over three stops, he posted a 2-1 record with a 1.53 ERA with 42 strikeouts and only five walks. In his initial work at Batavia, the 22-year-old struck out 31 and walked only three in 39.2 innings.

For his efforts, he was named The Cardinal Nation Batavia Starter of the Year and the Rookie Starter of the Year.

Travis Miller (16)
His 28 appearances were tied for the top mark in the New York-Penn League. The right-hander finished the season with a record of 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA. He will need to work on his control this offseason as he walked 18 while striking out 21 in 30.1 innings.

Kyle Hald (18)
The lefty enjoyed a successful first campaign at Johnson City. Hald went 7-0 while racking up 63 strikeouts in 53.2 innings. The Old Dominion product held opponents to a .178 average, leading to an ERA of 1.84. He was second in the Appy League in wins and his ERA would have been the second-best mark in the league had he qualified. His strikeout total was third-most in the league.

After his impressive performance, Hald was named an Appy League All-Star and The Cardinal Nation Johnson City Starter of the Year.

Nick Gillung (19)
Drafted out of Mercyhurst College, Gillung posted a 1.73 ERA in 26 innings for Johnson City. Along the way, the southpaw struck out 25 while holding left-handed hitters to a .200 average.

Jonathan Cornelius (24)
The Florida Tech product struck out 50 batters in 47 innings at Batavia. The southpaw finished with a 4.02 ERA working as a starter and out of the bullpen.

Todd McInnis (25)
The late round find put together a fantastic professional debut, earning an all-star nomination and being named to Baseball America's short-season all-star team. The right-hander was 3-2 with a 1.90 ERA. In 61.2 innings, he struck out 36 while allowing only eight free passes.

McInnis finished second in the New York-Penn League in ERA while leading the circuit in WHIP.

Ryan Sherriff (28)
The lanky left-hander was busy during his pro debut. He threw 50.1 innings during stops at Johnson City and Batavia. Over the two levels, he went 3-3 with an ERA under four. While at Batavia, he held opponents to an impressive .136 average.

Kevin Jacob (31)
The big right-hander really struggled with his control at Batavia. In 17.2 innings, the Georgia Tech product walked 20 while striking out 18. The fireballer held opponents to a .161 average while giving up only 10 hits.

Heath Wyatt (33)
Working out of the Johnson City bullpen, Wyatt appeared in 23 games, the second highest mark in the Appalachian League. The right-hander struck out 30 while giving only seven free passes in 25 innings. He held opponents to a .237 average while picking up eight saves along the way. His save total was the third best mark in the league.

Brad Watson (37)
The right-hander was fourth in the Gulf Coast League with a 2.22 ERA while finishing the season with a 5-1 record. The 22-year-old struck out 37 while walking five in 48.2 innings. Along the way, he held opponents to a .264 average while getting almost two groundballs to every fly ball.

For his performance, Watson was named The Cardinal Nation Gulf Coast League Cardinals' Starter of the Year.

Tyler Melling (38)
Drafted out of Miami (OH), the lefty went 5-0 with an ERA of 3.86 while pitching in the GCL. Melling struck out 28 in 30.1 innings while holding left-handed hitters to a .143 average. Unfortunately, he could not retire right-handed hitters at the same rate. In his debut, righties hit .417 against him.

Chris Costantino (43)
The 20-year-old made only three appearances out of the Johnson City bullpen. In six innings of work, the right-hander struck out seven while walking one and did not allow a run.

Brandon Creath (44)
The right-hander made 21 appearances in the Gulf Coast League before making one relief outing for Johnson City. During his stay in the GCL, Creath posted a 2.22 ERA while striking out 32 in 24.1 innings. In his lone Appy League appearance, the 22-year-old threw two innings of shutout ball.

Corey Baker (49)
Though drafted really late, the right-hander proved himself more than an afterthought while pitching for Batavia. In 53 innings, he posted a record of 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA. Of his 19 appearances, four were starts. When taking the ball in the first, his ERA was a microscopic 1.29 while he had ground ball-to-fly ball rate of over two.

His five wins tied with multiple players for the fifth-best mark in the league.

Link to earlier related article: "Cardinals 2011 Draft Review: Position Players".

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