2008 Cardinals Prospect #33 – Mark Worrell

Can the right-handed reliever translate a funky delivery into a spot at the back end of the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen?

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

2007 Ranking: 24

Position: RP

DOB: 3/8/1983

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 215

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Florida International

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the 12th round (360th overall) of the June, 2004 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats































Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (35): A good argument could be made that I ranked Worrell a bit low. After all, he sported a 1.24 WHIP and .236 BAA in 2007 while pitching out of the bullpen at the highest minor league level. Overall, his professional career is one of steady success at each level. But Worrell primarily relies on one of the funkier deliveries (and the corresponding ‘fooled factor') in baseball instead of his ‘stuff'. And when you look at his 2007 monthly splits, they increase from a 0.97 WHIP and .114 BAA (.069 BABIP) in 12.1 innings during April to a 1.34 WHIP and .302 BAA (.405 BABIP) in 12.2 innings in August. Also, he had a 3.09 ERA, 3.66 dERA and 3.83 FIP. There are some red flags there. Yet, Worrell is a good candidate for a call-up as the need arises during the 2008 season. He should get his chance.

Dustin Mattison (NR): One of the few bright spots of the 2004 draft, Worrell had more success in Triple A in 2007 than in Double A during 2006. For Memphis, the 24 year-old posted 3.09 ERA compared to a mark of 4.52 at Springfield. Not blessed with overpowering stuff, he uses deception with his submarine style and is especially tough on righties, allowing them just a .208 batting average. The Florida International product could be very serviceable as a Chad Bradford-style middle reliever; I would just like to see him improve on his 1-to-1 groundball to fly ball ratio as well as his command. In 67 innings, the right-hander gave 24 bases on balls compared to 66 strikeouts.

Ray Mileur (24): Mark did everything you could expect from him during his first year at Triple-A. He appeared in 50 games for Memphis posting a 3-2 record with four saves and a very respectable 3.09 ERA in 67 innings pitched. Often overlooked by scouts because of his unorthodox delivery, the bottom line is he gets the job done for you.

The 2005 Rolaids Relief Man Award winner as the best closer in all of minor-league baseball and the Cardinals' "Pitcher of the Year" in ‘05, Worrell was recently added to the Cardinals 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft in December. Worrell may not be the Cardinals' closer of the future as he was once projected, but he could still be a very valuable member of the bullpen and should see some playing time in St. Louis in ‘08.

Brian Walton (33): It seems like a number of relievers blew by Worrell in the pecking order this past season, which is a bit odd since he quietly put together a very nice season from the Memphis pen. The Cardinals did recognize the reliever by bestowing one of their precious 40-man roster spots on him. That speaks volumes to me, but shouldn't really be a surprise since as noted above, the Cardinals named him their organizational Pitcher of the Year just 24 months ago.

As a result, if he remains healthy, I expect to see Worrell make his St. Louis debut in 2008 and wouldn't be surprised one bit to see him catch on to a back of the bullpen spot at some point and not let go. It could happen even sooner if the Cardinals decide to package one or more experienced Major League relievers in a trade to address a pressing need such as starting pitching. Unless you count fifth outfielders, right-handed relief is one of the few areas of surplus for the team, so instead of being somewhat blocked, a few deals could enable Worrell to become a beneficiary.

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.

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

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories