2008 Cardinals Prospect #32 – Deryk Hooker

At barely 18 years of age, the St. Louis Cardinals' 2007 seventh-round strikeout machine opened a lot of eyes in his professional debut.

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

2007 Ranking: not applicable

Position: RP

DOB: 6/21/1989

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 185

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Mira Mesa High School (California)

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the seventh round (232nd overall) of the June, 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats

Tm

W

L

ERA

G

GS

SV

IP

H

R

HR

BB

SO

GO/AO

AVG

GCL

1

1

2.32

10

3

0

31

28

13

1

11

47

0.78

0.237

Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (NR): At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Mr. Hooker falls right into the "I Like Him But Want To See More" category that many of the 2007 draftees have fallen into. He spent his professional debut season with the ‘low' Rookie level GCL Cardinals where he averaged almost 14 strikeouts every nine innings and allowed an average of three walks per game. That is impressive for an 18-year-old. Hooker pitched 31 innings for the GCL club. I look forward to seeing where he is placed for the 2008 season and how he does.

Dustin Mattison (22): The seventh-round pick had committed to San Diego State before signing with the Cardinals for $100,000. In his final start of the season, Hooker logged 11 strikeouts in just four innings of work. In 31 innings, the California native had 47 strikeouts and a 2.32 ERA. He has a projectable 6-foot-4 frame and a low to mid 90's fastball. Hooker has a big 12-to-6 curveball while his change-up is a work in progress but is showing the early signs of being a possible plus pitch. There is a really good chance that Hooker could end up being the best selection of the Cardinals' 2007 draft.

Ray Mileur (25): Taken in the seventh round of this year's draft out of Mira Mesa High School, Hooker was ranked as one of the Top 20 Prospects in the Gulf Coast League. In 10 games he faced 131 batters, giving up only 28 hits and only three of those went for extra bases. He finished the season with the GCL Cardinals with a 1-1 record with a 2.32 ERA.

Hooker looks like a solid prospect with his tall, lanky build. His fastball has been clocked at 90 MPH and some reports have indicated that his fastball has good movement and sink on it, but from what little I have seen on video, he tends to stay high in the zone, or completely out of it and has some control problems. Hooker is a diamond in the rough; look for him to work on a change-up and move up quickly through the system.

Brian Walton (NR): On one hand, we are talking about very fine results in the Gulf Coast League in his first partial season, at just barely 18 years of age. I like the gamble the Cardinals took on draft day to select the hard-throwing Californian, but in all honesty, it is difficult for me to get too excited one way or the other about a body of work that consists of only 31 professional innings of game action.

While Hooker may have been working on a particular pitch during Instructs following the regular season (probably not his low-90's fastball!), it was impossible not to notice that he was lit up there (13 earned runs in an even smaller sample size of 9 2/3 innings). I have heard some rumors of concerns over his mechanics, though I have yet to see Hooker pitch.

Though I hope Dustin's optimism is correctly placed, all in all, I am more aligned with Leonda on this one - it is just too early for me.

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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