2009 Cardinals Prospect #34 – David Kopp

The Cardinals' second-round pick has spent more time on the disabled list than in uniform since draft day, 2007. Will that change in 2009? Today's article is FREE!

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2008 and career stats)

2008 ranking: #36

Position: SP

DOB: 10/22/1985

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 190

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

School: Clemson

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the second round (71st overall) of the June, 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

Selected 2008 stats

GCL 0 0 4.91 2 2 0 3.2 2 2 0 0 2 2 0.154
PB 1 3 3.76 10 6 1 38.1 38 21 1 15 30 2.68 0.262
Tot 1 3 3.86 12 8 1 42 40 23 1 15 32 2.6 0.253

Staff comments (individual rankings in parens)

Dustin Mattison (Not ranked): Though I didn't rank Kopp in my top 40, he just missed due to his shoulder injury. The Clemson product is having trouble staying healthy. After pitching only four innings in his professional debut in 2007, Kopp was only on the field for 39 innings in 2008. If he shows he is healthy, I believe that he could rocket through the system like fellow 2007 draft picks, Clayton Mortensen and Jess Todd.

Maybe I put to much stock in this injury, a frayed labrum, but history has shown us that young pitchers and shoulder injuries can be very unpredictable. Kopp has a smooth, repeatable delivery that he uses to deliver three average or better pitches. I am sold that if he is healthy that he could be very productive. Unfortunately, since joining the Cardinals he has not been able to stay on the field.

Ray Mileur (32): With the exception of Dustin Mattison, we all ranked this 2007 second-round draft pick in this neighborhood. Kopp underwent season ending arthroscopic shoulder surgery in July and is expected to be ready to pitch in 2009.

At Palm Beach, Kopp went a combined 1-3 with a 3.86 ERA, in 12 games, including eight starts. He made two rehab starts for the GCL Cardinals. He also missed significant playing time in 2007 with an ankle injury. If he can stay healthy, he should make everyone's list in 2009.

Message board community (Not ranked): Yet another player where the Community rankers disagreed with the overall player ranking. Kopp received no votes from the Community for the top 40 and was basically not even included in the discussion.

In two minor league seasons, Kopp has managed to stay healthy long enough to pitch only 42 innings. The only standout feature of those 42 innings has been a consistently high ground ball % (near 60%).

In general, the Community seemed reluctant to vote for players with injury problems and even more so for those who finished the year with an injury with an unknown recovery status. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (28): Out of sight, out of mind, they say. So seems the view of some regarding the professional career of David Kopp to date. Not here, as I once again find myself not as prone to act as quickly as others in sliding players down the list or off the page due to injury.

Coming out of Clemson in 2007, Kopp seemed very worthy of being selected #71 overall in the June draft that year. Those who point to him only logging four innings in 2007 overlook the fact he had already tossed 100 collegiate frames that year. The Cardinals shutting him down seemed prudent, especially since they had just deposited almost half a million in Mr. Kopp's bank account.

While it was clearly disappointing that he had to miss time in 2008, Kopp's shoulder problem (minor labrum fraying) was not considered serious. The Cards admirably played it safe again, giving him time to heal up and prepare for 2009. This malady would seem to be totally unrelated to his ankle problem the previous summer.

If you can believe those close to Kopp and the Cardinals themselves, his injury status is well known and the outlook is very positive. Farm director Jeff Luhnow comments.

"We were able to do surgery on him and address the issue. This is a guy that basically lost a year and we really need him to come back. Sometimes those guys, I kind of keep them under the radar because I know they are what we wanted them to be and they are going to blossom and they are just going to add to our depth in a year or two from now. Expectations are going to be low for him coming in, but I think he is a guy that is going to make a big step forward next year," Luhnow said.

Bottom line, it is far too early to write Kopp off as an injury-plagued pick. I don't think that is the case at all as we should see on the mound next year.

To see our entire list of 40 prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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