2006 Ranking: N/A
School: Alabama Southern Community College
Cardinal: Selected in the 35th round of the June, 2005 First-Year Player
Draft. 2006 G W-L IP H BB K ERA WHIP Quad Cities 17 8-5 99.2 87 29 51 3.16 1.16 Palm Beach 8 5-3 47 45 13 30 3.45 1.23 Totals 25 13-8 146.2 132 42 81 3.25 1.19
Jason Scott (38): A low round draft pick in 2005, Meacham pitched his way into our top 40 prospect list with a very good 2006 season for Quad Cities and Palm Beach. He's not really a strikeout pitcher, so he uses his sinker in hopes of inducing groundballs while also mixing in a changeup and slider. All 25 of his appearances this season came as a starter, but if he is going to make it to the major leagues it will most likely be in a relief role. If all goes well, I could see Meacham with the big club in a couple years filling a role similar to that of Brad Thompson in 2005. The key will be keeping his sinker down in the strike zone.
Leonda Markee (34): Meacham enters the Top 40 for the first time and I am pleased to see it. Both his strikeout and walk numbers improved after his promotion from class A Quad Cities to A-Advanced Palm Beach on July 18th. Meacham also had the best Batting Average Against and WHIP of any of the 2005 draftees that pitched at this level which includes far more highly touted prospects Jaime Garcia, Mitchell Boggs and Nick Webber. However, those numbers do come in only forty-seven innings and that, plus his lack of strikeouts, somewhat tempers my enthusiasm. Still, I ranked Meacham above Webber and think a couple of my Birdhouse colleagues ‘missed the boat' on ranking Webber above Meacham. Meacham's Palm Beach statistics, across the board, are much better than Webber's. Cory Meacham got it done on the field and Nick Webber did not. More on Webber vs. Meacham when Mr. Webber's ranking is revealed.
Ray Mileur (40): Selected in the 37th round of the 2005 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals out of Alabama Southern Community College, the 6-1, 185-pounder from Deatsville, Alabama is a self described finesse pitcher.
His approach to the game is to use his sinker a lot, trying to keep it down in the zone, with location being the key to his success. According to Cory, "I have to keep my sinker down to get ground balls, since I'm not really a strikeout pitcher." In addition to his sinker, he uses a change up and a slider to keep batters off balanced.
Cory started last season with Swing of Quad Cities at Low-A ball. He had made 18 appearances for the Swing, out of the bullpen in 2005, allowing an earned run in only one of his first 10 games (1-0, 1.67). Meacham finished his Swing debut with a 2-2 record and a 5.47 ERA in 24.2 innings.
Meacham split playing time in '06 between the Swing of Quad Cities and the Palm Beach Cardinals, finishing with a combined 13-8 record and a very respectable 3.25 ERA. Opposing batters at the High-A level hit .259 against the right-hander and Cory had a better than 2-1 (30/13) strikeout to walk ratio and he is sure to improve.
Meacham spent some time on the DL early in the season (April 24 - May 8) with inflammation in his right shoulder, but came back and put together a very impressive second professional season.
Just making the Top 40 Prospect list this year at #40, I expect Cory to move up in the rankings this season.
Brian Walton (36): The former 35th-round selection in 2005 has a good arm. The right-hander sports a 90-plus MPH fastball and a sharp slider. Even after going on the disabled list at Quad Cities early in 2006, Meacham pitched well there and continued to do so upon his promotion to Palm Beach later in the season.
The starter struck out only 81 in 146-2/3 innings, but after posting a 3.25 ERA in 25 starts, he may get a chance to move up to Springfield next season and demonstrate if he is ready for Double-A. At this point, one would have to think Meacham at least has a shot at becoming a reliever in the big leagues.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated
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