2008 Cardinals Prospect #15 – Kenny Maiques

The right-hander broke the single season save record at Quad Cities with 31, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when looking at a very solid 2007 season. Will he continue to close or will he start next year?

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

2007 Ranking: not ranked

Position: RP

DOB: 6/25/1985

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 170

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Rio Hondo Junior College

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the 37th round (1,130th overall) of the June 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats

Tm

W

L

ERA

G

GS

SV

IP

H

R

HR

BB

SO

GO/AO

AVG

QC

1

5

1.53

52

0

31

53

34

16

3

20

57

2.00

0.186

Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (23): Maiques makes his Top 40 debut at number 15 and that ranking would have been a bit higher except for my ranking of him. I really like Maiques. He features an excellent fastball-slider combination and did quite well as class A Quad Cities' closer in 2007. He held the opposition to a .186 batting average while striking out over a batter an inning.

However, Maiques' dERA (3.01) and FIP (2.97) were almost double his 1.53 ERA and he had a .252 BABIP. He also walked an average of almost three and one-half batters per nine innings. That concerns me just a bit. His prospect status will increase greatly if the Cardinals decide to move him back into the rotation in 2008.

Dustin Mattison (13): The Tommy John survivor broke the Quad Cities' save record with 31. To go along with impressive save total, Maiques posted an ERA of 1.53 and allowed Midwest League hitters only a .186 average. In 53 innings, he logged 57 strikeouts; that averages out to 27% of the batters he faced.

The five foot eleven inch right-hander throws in the mid-90s with good movement. His slider is a put away pitch while his changeup is a work in progress. Maiques has an easy, repeatable delivery with good balance and deception. A starter during his amateur career, I would really like to see the Cardinals give him a shot at returning to the rotation.

Ray Mileur (13): A midseason All-Star and closer for the Swing of Quad Cities in 2007, Maiques' 31 saves set a single-season saves record for the Swing. Talk about your sleeper, Maiques taken in the 37th round of the 2005 draft, posted a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 0.63 and 17 saves for Quad Cities after the All-Star break.

He has two above average pitches; his fastball that tops out at 96 to go with a very good slider. He likes being a closer but there is a chance he may be given a chance to start in 2008. One of the most exciting players to watch take the mound in the lower minors, his stock is rising.

Brian Walton (14): About the only question readers ask about Maiques is whether he is going to continue to close or whether his considerable talent will be re-applied to a starting role. The Cardinals will not declare their hand on this matter until spring training, but his slight build and higher-effort delivery may be factors in keeping him in the pen. Either way, they have a very good pitcher on their hands.

What may have impressed me most about the youngster is the balance in his standout 2007 performance. Maiques held left-handed hitters to a .176 average and right-handers to an aggregate .196 mark. He struck out more than one batter per inning from both sides of the plate and allowed less than one home run per nine innings whether facing lefties or righties last season.

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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