TCN 2014 Cardinals Prospect #21: Mike Mayers

The 21-year-old was the first right-handed pitcher taken by the Cardinals in the 2013 draft. The third-rounder should show his stuff in full-season ball in 2014.

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2013 and career stats)

School: University of Mississippi

2013 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NA RHS 12/6/1991 6-3 195 R R 2013 3rd

Selected 2013 stats

GCL 1 0 1.50 3.62 5 3 0 12 6 4 1 6 13 1.20 0.146 0.185
Peo 0 3 3.70 3.86 5 5 0 24.1 29 10 2 5 14 1.12 0.302 0.338
Total 1 3 2.97   10 8 0 36.1 35 14 3 11 27 1.14 0.255  

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Message board community (33): Another first-time prospect to appear in The Cardinal Nation's top 40, Mike Mayers was voted as the message board community's number 33 prospect.

The Cardinals' third-round selection from the University of Mississippi pitched 36 1/3 innings of professional baseball before the season came to an end. Mayers struck out 27 and walked 11 in 10 games (eight starts) as he had a 2.97 ERA in that span.

Mayers is a tall and skinny right-hander and, based on appearance, will remind some of Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha. The Cardinals love tall, lanky starters. One of the themes of the Cardinals 2013 draft was drafting for guys with a great sense of pitchability and feel for the craft more than overpowering stuff.

That is exactly what Mayers is. He is said to throw in the low 90s with a slider and plus change-up. Mayers is also said to have good command of all three of these pitches.

He made five starts at Peoria in August and I could see him starting out 2014 there again before traveling back down to Palm Beach later in the season. - DTFlush234

Brian Walton (18): When I spoke with a talent evaluator about Mayers, his comments were eerily similar to those I heard from one of his peers about another top Cardinals draftee five years earlier. I remembered those remarks clearly for several reasons.

First of all, the previous subject was a first-rounder, a right-handed pitcher. Second, he was good-sized physically. Third, he calls the Midwest home. Fourth, he came from the University of Mississippi. Finally, and most importantly, he has since proven himself to be a successful major league starter. I am talking about Lance Lynn.

Other than being a third-round pick and hailing from Ohio rather than Indiana, the previous paragraph also describes Mayers. Well, there is also that final point about having achieved MLB success. In Mayers' case, it is far too early for that.

One of the things I first heard about Mayers is his high durability profile, another shared feature with Lynn. OK, perhaps that isn't as sexy as a 99 mile per hour heater, but at the 93rd overall pick, those guys were long gone. The Cardinals see Mayers as a mid- to back of the rotation starting pitcher in the major leagues – a valuable commodity.

After a long 2013 collegiate season, Mayers was eased into the professional ranks with six weeks in the Gulf Coast League. He pitched fine there, but that should be expected from a 21-year-old facing mostly teenagers. The Cardinals then challenged Mayers, placing him in full-season ball in the Midwest League for his final five starts.

As suggested above, a return to Peoria to open 2014 would seem most likely, but it also would not surprise me if Meyers pitches well enough in camp to earn a spot with Palm Beach. Either way, there is clear advancement opportunity ahead when Mayers demonstrates he is ready. I don't think it will take too long.

Our 2014 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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