Top Draft Pick Promoted to Swing

Adam Ottavino, the St. Louis Cardinals' top pick in the 2006 draft, has arrived in the Quad Cities as we expected and will be activated over the next few days, the Swing of the Quad Cities announced Saturday.

The 20-year-old righthanded pitcher became the second-highest player ever to be drafted out of Northeastern University when he was selected by St. Louis with the 30th pick of the first round and received a $950,000 signing bonus.

Ottavino, who last started for State College on Wednesday, will likely be activated in time to make his Swing debut against Southwest Michigan early next week.

The Brooklyn native began his pro career with six starts for the State College Spikes (Short Season-A, New York-Penn League), where he went 2-2 with a 3.14 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 28.2 innings. After not allowing any earned runs through his first four outings (19.2 IP), Ottavino gave up 10 earned runs, including his first professional home run, in nine innings over his final two starts for the Spikes.

The New York Penn League named Ottavino the Pitcher of the Week for the week of July 2-9. Ottavino surrendered only three hits through 12.1 innings of work in two starts versus Jamestown (July 4) and Brooklyn (July 9). The Cardinal's first round pick in 2006 went 2-0 during that time and struck out 11 batters, while only walking three.

In his final start for the Spikes on Wednesday, Ottavino (2-2) suffered his second loss of the season after allowing six runs on 10 hits through his four innings of work, as the Lowell Spinners defeated the Spikes by a score of 12-4.

The 6-5, 215-pounder capped a stellar career with the Huskies by breaking his own single-season record with 120 strikeouts in 2006, going 4-5 with a 2.98 ERA. His final campaign included five games in which he fanned 12 or more batters, including a 14-strikeout performance on April 7 in which he tossed a no-hitter against James Madison, the nation's highest scoring team. Ottavino had previously catapulted onto the prospect radar when he struck out 12 against No. 1 ranked Georgia Tech in his first start of the season on March 7.

In his career at Northeastern, Ottavino went 13-13 with a 3.09 ERA and shattered the previous record for career strikeouts that had been set at 241. The hard-throwing righty fanned 290 batters in 253.1 innings while holding opponents to a .218 batting average. Ottavino earned America East Pitcher of the Year honors in 2005 while being named first-team All-Conference as a sophomore, following that up by being named first team All-CAA (Colonial Athletic Association) after Northeastern switched conferences for his junior season.

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