2008 Cardinals Prospect #18 – Jess Todd

The Cardinals' second-round pick in the 2007 draft makes a strong showing in his initial placement in our Top 40. Will he be starting in Quad Cities in 2008?

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

2007 Ranking: not applicable

Position: SP

DOB: 4/20/1986

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 210

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Arkansas

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the second round (82nd overall) of the June, 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats































Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (29): Todd is one of only a handful of 2007 draftees that I ranked in my Top 40. That means he impressed me a great deal. Todd throws a plus fastball that can reach 94 MPH with very good movement and sink. He also has an excellent slider. Since he stands around six feet tall, there are questions as to his ability to withstand a starter's workload. But those determinations are in the future. For now the second-rounder held the opposition in the New York-Penn League to a .223 batting average while striking out an average of over 10.5 batters and walking just two batters every nine innings. Todd also compiled a 2.05 FIP. Excellent beginning.

Dustin Mattison (21): A second round pick in 2007 out of the University of Arkansas, Todd possesses a low-90s fastball that cuts and sinks. The former Razorback has an excellent slider and is working on a changeup. Todd shows good control and command while posting a strikeout to walk ratio of nearly five to one in his professional debut. Assigned to Batavia, Todd led the Muckdogs in wins with four, starter ERA at 1.76 in the games he started and 2.78 overall, and strikeouts with 69, good enough for tenth in the final NY-Penn League standings. The right-hander was named the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week for July 23 and a Midseason All-Star.

With a full effort delivery and being undersized at six feet, durability could become a long-term concern. Eventually, Todd could be put into a set up role where his fiery streak and competitive nature may enable him to flourish.

Ray Mileur (15): The Cardinals second round pick in the 2007 draft, Todd delivered as expected, posting a 4-1 record at short-season Batavia while striking out 69 batters in 58 innings, while walking only 14. He capped off a solid start impressing the Cardinals brass at the Instructional League after the season, allowing only one hit and one run while striking out 15 batters in 10.0 innings of work spanning four outings.

Ranked as one of the Top 20 prospects in the New York Penn League, Todd was a midseason All-Star and the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the Month in August. He has one of the best fastballs and sliders in the system. There is still some debate to decide if Todd should be developed into a reliever or a starter; either way he should move up through the system quickly.

Brian Walton (19): Hopefully, just like a young Roy Oswalt probably had to prove ten years ago, Todd can continue to pitch well enough that people won't relegate him to future bullpen duty solely based on his physique. Surely there is nothing yet on Todd's stat sheet to suggest that might be necessary. I saw him pitch with Batavia this season and was suitably impressed. At 22 years of age this coming season, I look forward to seeing Todd in Quad Cities' rotation to start the year and perhaps he can earn even a second jump with continued solid work.

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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