Cardinals Prospect #24 - Mark Worrell

Worrell saved 27 games for Double-A Springfield in 2006. Player Profile

2006 Ranking: 17

Position: RHP

DOB: 3/8/1983

Height: 6-1

Weight: 190

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Florida International University

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the 12th round of the June, 2004 First-Year Player Draft.











Springfield 57 27 61.2 52 20 75 4.52 1.40 .226 1.17

Staff Comments

Jason Scott (33): Worrell fell 14 spots in my rankings this year after blowing eight of 35 save opportunities for Springfield in 2006. If you look past his 4.52 ERA, his K/BB ratio (75/20), opponents batting average (.226), and WHIP (1.17) are all actually pretty good. However, if you look even further than that, you will notice that he was not very good with runners on base. With the bases empty, he posted a 0.46 ERA and opponents hit .185 against him in 39 innings, but with runners on, opponents hit .298 against him and he posted a 11.51 ERA in 22.2 innings. It was even worse with runners in scoring position. In that scenario, he posted 16.57 ERA with the opposition hitting .339 in 14.2 innings. Not good for a closer.

Leonda Markee (25): Worrell actually slid a couple of spots from our 2005 Top 40 and for me this is more a case of others moving ahead than it is of Worrell ‘failing'.  Seven names ahead of Worrell made their professional debut in 2006.  He is my 14th-ranked pitcher and had a solid season in his AA debut season as Springfield's closer.  Worrell struck out almost eleven batters a game while walking under three for a 3.75 K/BB ratio.  He compiled a 1.17 WHIP.  What holds him back from being ranked higher is his reliever status.  As I mentioned in my comments on Mike Sillman, major league closers most often start at some point in their professional careers and Worrell has not.  At this point his upside appears to be as a member of the bullpen in a non-closing role.  He is likely to begin the season in AAA Memphis.

Ray Mileur (23): I ranked Mark a little higher than the others. He started the 2006 season as the organization's reigning Minor League Pitcher of the Year for 2005. Mark led all the minors in '05 with 35 saves and a 2.25 ERA.

This season, Worrell was 3-7 with a bloated 4.52 ERA but he still managed to picked up 27 saves, appearing in 57 games (61.2 innings). He held opposing batters to a .226 batting average, but 20 walks and 10 home runs contributed to a higher ERA than you might have expected out of Mark this season.

Worrell relies on a curveball, changeup and slider to set up batters for his fastball, which he throws from 92-94 mph. "I'm not a power pitcher, but I'm not a finesse pitcher either, I think I'm in the middle," he said. "I throw a lot of strikes with all my pitches and I've had success."

Mark may have hit a wall this season and he may have peaked on our rankings at #17 last year. Worrell is not related to former Cardinal Todd Worrell or Major League veteran Tim Worrell.

Brian Walton (31): If you like the bottom line, 35 saves in 2005 (led the system and the entire minors) and 27 more in Springfield in 2006, Worrell is your man. But, despite a low-90's fastball, slider and change-up and more than one strikeout per inning, his unorthodox sidearm delivery concerns many.

Worrell allowed ten home runs in 61-1/3 innings and his batting average with runners on base (.298) was of concern. Last year, Worrell had an ERA of 2.25 at Palm Beach. This year, at Double-A, his ERA doubled (4.52).

I think his best hope to reach the bigs would be as a set-up man, which wouldn't be a bad thing, though I am clearly not as high on Worrell as several of my peers.

STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated

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