Cardinals Prospect #26 - Mark Michael

Michael's biggest problem since being drafted has been staying healthy. Player Profile

Position: RHP

DOB: 8/25/1982

Height: 6-4

Weight: 215

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Delaware University

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the fourth round of the June, 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Received a $220,550 signing bonus.

2005 G W-L IP Hits BB K ERA
Palm Beach (High-A) 18 4-5 82.1 68 35 57 4.04

Staff Comments

JS (22): "Michael spent nearly two months on the disabled list with shoulder tendonitis, but was said to be throwing 95 mph after returning in July. He has had a problem staying healthy, but he is only 23 and could quite possibly begin the 2006 season at Double-A Springfield."

LM (33): "A testament to how much I like Mark Michael is that he spent seven weeks on the disabled list this season and still got ranked as high as he did by me.  Michael led his fellow "prospects" in the Palm Beach rotation (Dennis Dove, Eric Haberer and Mike Parisi) in batting average against (.224) and WHIP (1.25)  but had the worst control of the four (3.8 BB/9 IP).  He also pitched the fewest innings for the season by far.  At 23 Michael needs to be moving up in levels to remain a prospect.  I except him to start 2006 in Palm Beach because of his limited experience there this season.  However, his BAA and WHIP peripherals may get him moved up to Double-A Springfield.  Michael has the talent to succeed if he can prove the 2005 was an aberration, health-wise."

RM (31): "Mark made 17 starts for Palm Beach and finished the season with a 4-5 record and a 4.04 ERA. Like most Cardinal pitching prospects, Michael suffered a frayed rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder and was sidelined in August 2004. He spent seven weeks on the DL this season as well. It should be noted, his 82 innings pitched was significantly lower than the 171.4 innings he pitched in 04. I still insist the Cardinals need to create a PRE-HAB program for new pitchers in our minor league system, to try to cut down on the injuries that continue to plague our pitching prospects. We are ruining more arms than we are developing. Michael will most likely begin the season at Palm Beach and could see time in Springfield before the end of the year."

BW (19): "Compared to 2004, Michael's walk rate was up almost a full runner per nine innings and his strikeouts declined by a similar amount, though he did allow hits less frequently, too. Granted, he stepped up from Peoria to Palm Beach, but honestly, I had hoped to see more than Michael's 4-5, 4.04 ERA 2005 season. Still, with only two-plus professional seasons, it is way too early to give up on the hard-thrower."

STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking); JS = Jason Scott; LM = Leonda Markee; BW = Brian Walton; RM = Ray Mileur; NR = Not Rated

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