2006 Ranking: NR
School: Northeastern University
Cardinal: Selected in the first round (30th overall) of the June, 2006
First-Year Player Draft. Received a $950,000 signing bonus. 2006 G W-L IP H BB K ERA WHIP
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.