2008 Cardinals Prospect #36 – David Kopp

Can the St. Louis Cardinals' 2007 second-round draft selection put injury behind him and replicate his mound success at Clemson?

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to 2007 and career stats)

2007 Ranking: not applicable

Position: SP

DOB: 10/22/1985

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 190

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Clemson

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the second round (71st overall) of the June, 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats































Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (NR): David Kopp is a poster boy for my new-found reservations about ranking members of the newest draft class too soon. He is a second-round 2007 draft choice which portends some upside. However, Kopp pitched a sum total of four professional innings in 2007 due to a various injuries. That is simply not enough to give any idea about his ability to translate potential into performance. A healthy productive 2008 season is very likely to find me ranking him in next year's 2008 Top 40.

Dustin Mattison (NR): Kopp just missed being on my top 40 list. The second round pick has good velocity; sitting in the low 90's and can touch 96. His fastball has good sink and scouts like his still developing slider. The 6-foot-3 right-hander has a change up that is already a plus pitch. His professional sample size was very small due to injury and he could definitely move up the list with a healthy 2008. The Clemson product possesses a smooth repeatable delivery and hides the ball well behind his big league kick to go along with a three-quarters arm slot. No one questions his ability; the questions lie with the development of his command. During the spring, Kopp allowed 24 walks compared to 63 strikeouts in 78 innings in his final season with the Tigers.

Ray Mileur (23): The Cardinals' second-round draft pick this year, third choice overall, was not even ranked by two of our writers, contributing to his ranking here at #36. Prior to the 2007 Draft, Scout.com's Frankie Piliere had ranked Kopp at #60 among the top players in the draft crop. Add to that, the Cardinals sold me on Kopp, after taking him in the second round and I will admit that their confidence in Kopp along with Piliere's ranking contributed significantly to my slotting Kopp higher than my peers.

He has a low 90s fastball, with an average-to-good changeup, with a projected above average slider. He works very quickly on the mound and he can dominate if he's on his game. When he knew the baseball world was watching the ACC Tournament, Kopp pitched a complete game to lead Clemson to a 5-1 win over #3 Florida State. He allowed just six hits, one unearned run with seven strikeouts and no walks, to earn All-ACC Tournament honors.

Kopp was limited to two starts for Batavia in his first year as a professional because of an ankle injury. The Cardinals eventually sent him to their spring training facility in Jupiter, Florida, where he did get some time on the mound in the instructional league. We should get our first good look at Kopp in ‘08. My take is, he'll move up in the rankings in ‘08, once he's healthy and gets some professional innings under his belt.

Brian Walton (32): Unlike so many other of their top 2007 picks, there was no howl from The Cardinal Nation when Kopp was selected in the second round. Why? Because as evidenced by his showing at Clemson, Kopp is a fine talent. His sinker may be what separates him from the pack, if he can get his control under control. Yes, Kopp's first partial season as a professional was pretty much a lost cause due to injury, but unless that misfortune continues in 2008, a ranking of 36 or even my 32 will simply be too low.

Key: NR = not ranked, NA = not applicable

To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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