Lee Stoppelman: Cards most anonymous prospect

A 24th-round draft pick last June has risen quickly to Double-A relief success. Left-hander Lee Stoppelman discusses his progress in an exclusive interview.

Taken in the 24th round of the First-Year Player Draft last June, left-handed reliever Lee Stoppelman is not well-known outside of Central Missouri State and his hometown of Pleasant Hill, Mo.

If the 23-year-old continues on his current trajectory, St. Louis Cardinals fans may become familiar with him soon, however.

Tall and lanky, Stoppelman does not have the blazing fastball of fellow lefty Kevin Siegrist, but there is still time to add velocity. His other offerings are progressing well and as such, he could follow Siegrist's path to St. Louis.

In 2012, Stoppelman joined short-season State College out of the draft and excelled. He was named a New York-Penn League All-Star and The Cardinal Nation's top reliever at State College and across the entire system last summer.

After participating in early minor league spring training camp, Stoppelman broke camp with Palm Beach, skipping Peoria. By Memorial Day, he earned a promotion to Double-A Springfield.

Believe it or not, Stoppelman's Texas League numbers are even better than his Florida State League results – lower ERA (1.29 vs. 1.50), batting average against (.155 vs. .184) and walk rate (3.34 vs. 3.75 per nine innings), plus a higher strikeout rate (from 9.75 to 11.3 per nine).

In the following exclusive interview, Stoppelman talks about his success to date and even shares the background behind his unique nickname.


Coming soon

Other Springfield interviews ahead will be with outfielders Stephen Piscotty and James Ramsey and catcher Casey Rasmus. St. Louis subjects will follow, as well.

Recently posted Springfield interviews

Pitcher Zach Petrick
Manager Mike Shildt

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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