2008 Cardinals Prospect #5 – Adam Ottavino

A successful 2007 in the Florida State League points to Double-A this coming season. Will the 2006 first-rounder continue to shine as the competition toughens?

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

2007 Ranking: 5

Position: SP

DOB: 11/22/1985

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 215

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: Northeastern

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the first round (30th overall) of the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats

Tm

W

L

ERA

G

GS

SV

IP

H

R

HR

BB

SO

GO/AO

AVG

PB

12

8

3.08

27

27

0

143

130

63

10

63

128

1.37

0.239

Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (5): Ottavino remains our 5th-ranked prospect as he was last year. He spent the 2007 season at high-A Palm Beach where he held opposing batters to a .239 average. Ottavino's two best pitches are a low-90s fastball and tight slider. The fastball runs in on right-handers while the slider tails away. He threw a mid-90s four-seamer in college and has worked on a lower-90s two-seam variety since being drafted by the Cardinals. Ottavino's two lesser pitches are his curveball and changeup.

He needs to work on his command as he is currently getting batters at the High-A level out by spotting the ball to the middle of the plate and relying on movement to do the rest. That is not likely to work at higher levels. Although he walked an average of almost four batters every nine innings, and therefore still has things to work on at the high-A level, I think the Cardinals will challenge Ottavino, who turned 22 in November, by starting him at Double-A Springfield in 2008.

Dustin Mattison (5): The 2006 first-round pick finished second in the system as well as the Florida State League with 12 victories in 2007. His 3.08 ERA ranked third in the Florida State League. Most scouts see him as a solid middle of the rotation starter while others project him as a middle reliever.

Ottavino has a mid-90s four-seam fastball that he commands to both sides of the plate. The organization has encouraged him to use a two-seamer more often, and that could be the reason he really struggled with command, allowing 63 walks in 143 innings. His slider projects to be above average and already is a put away pitch. The curveball is a work in progress.

Ray Mileur (4): The Cardinals 2006 first-round draft pick in his first full season finished among the league leaders in the Florida State League with a 3.08 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 143.1 innings pitched.

He still has trouble with his control at times but he continues to demonstrate that he is potentially the best pitching prospect in the organization. A two-time Florida State League Pitcher of the Week last season and mid and post season All-Star, Ottavino should begin the season in the rotation at Double-A Springfield.

Brian Walton (5): Ottavino remains a top prospect, but that doesn't mean his job is done. For example, I would like to see his 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio improved. In fact, I was concerned a bit that his walks went way up in August, perhaps indicating fatigue. His curve and change-up reportedly still need work. Yet, Ottavino has the strong build physically and drop-down motion that implies consistency and durability may be anticipated.

I am hoping to see Ottavino emerge as Springfield's ace in his expected first taste of Double-A in 2008 along with perhaps earning opportunities to showcase his skills in the Futures Game and Arizona Fall League. With the righty having just turned 22, I would consider that properly remaining on the fast path.

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.

© 2008 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


The Cardinal Nation Top Stories