Cardinals Prospect #5 - Adam Ottavino

Ottavino posted a 3.31 ERA and opponents hit .211 against him between State College and Quad Cities. Player Profile

2006 Ranking: NR

Position: RHP

DOB: 11/22/1985

Height: 6-5

Weight: 215

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Northeastern University

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the first round (30th overall) of the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft. Received a $950,000 signing bonus.











S.C. 6 2-2 28.2 23 13 26 3.14 1.70 .211 1.26
Q.C. 8 2-3 36.2 28 19 38 3.44 1.40 .211 1.28
Totals 14 4-5 65.1 51 32 64 3.31 1.53 .211 1.27

Staff Comments

Jason Scott (8): Ottavino was very impressive in his professional debut in 2006. Between State College and Quad Cities, he posted a 3.31 ERA, allowing 51 hits and striking out 64 while opponents hit just .211 against him in 65.1 innings. He did issue 32 walks, however, and obviously will need to improve his control. The 21-year-old throws a low-90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.

I think the most likely destination for him to begin the 2007 season is Palm Beach, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Cardinals start him at Springfield. Another season like 2006 would easlily put Ottavino in my top five next year.

Leonda Markee (6): Ottavino is my highest-ranked prospect out of the 2006 draft class.  I ranked him as the fourth-best pitching prospect in the Cardinals' system, ahead of Stuart Pomeranz and just behind Chris Narveson.  While I think Ottavino has more upside than does Narveson, Narveson pitched at much higher levels in 2006 and is far more likely to help the big club in 2007 than is Ottavino.  Those two factors made the difference between them.

There is a lot to like about Ottavino's professional debut season.  He held opposing batters to an identical .211 average at both Short-season A State College and, subsequently, at Class A Quad Cities.  His strikeout average improved after his July 20th promotion, from 8.2 per nine innings at State College to 9.3 at Quad Cities.  Ottavino compiled a very respectable 1.27 WHIP as well.  However, his control is an area that needs work.  Ottavino averaged over four walks a game.  He was vulnerable against left-handed batters and needs to work the inside of the plate more.  I look for Ottavino to begin 2007 at Quad Cities with an early opportunity for promotion to Palm Beach.  If he shows that he has ‘whipped' his control issues during Spring Training 2007, Ottavino might start at Palm Beach.

Ray Mileur (4): The Cardinals picked Ottavino in the first round (30th overall) of the 2005 draft from Northeastern University. In his first professional season, Ottavino got in 65 1/3 innings across two levels to include eight starts for Quad Cities in the Midwest League, going 2-3, 3.44 with a 38/19 K/BB in 37 innings.

Ottavino did well in his pro debut, finishing the '06 season with a combined 3.31 ERA in 14 starts, striking out nearly a batter an inning while holding opponents to a .211 batting average. He still needs to improve his control and consistency of his secondary pitches.

At 6'5" and 215 pounds, he already looks like a major league pitcher. He throws with a loose and easy arm action and is capable of hitting 93/94 MPH with his fastball (sits at 89-92), and mixes in a plus slider with a sharp break along with an emerging curve. Ottavino projects as a No. 3 starter.

Adam will likely begin the season with the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals, but I'm expecting him to be pitching in Double-A Springfield before the season is over.

Brian Walton (5): The Cardinals' 2006 first-rounder looks like the real deal after a strong debut. Ottavino sports a smooth delivery with a very good off-speed offering in his slider. He is said to be able to maintain 90-plus MPH velocity well into his outings.

Ottavino struck out a batter per inning, 64 in 65-1/3 innings, while posting an ERA of 3.31. He was unhittable by right-handed batters, who managed just .137 against him, but lefties had their way, hitting .320. So, this area clearly needs more work.

I suggest Adam does not sign a lease wherever he is initially assigned in 2007, as I expect him to be fast moving.

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

To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.

© 2007 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories