2009 Cardinals Prospect #18 – Lance Lynn

Taken 39th overall in the 2008 draft, the big right-hander from Ole Miss will make his anticipated full-season debut in 2009.

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

2008 ranking: Not applicable

Position: SP

DOB: 5/12/1987

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 250

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

School: 'Ole Miss

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the first compensation round (39th overall) of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Selected 2008 stats

BAT 1 0 0.96 6 4 0 18.2 12 5 0 4 22 1.00 0.179
QC 0 1 2.25 2 2 0 8 8 2 2 2 7 0.78 0.258
Tot 1 1 1.35 8 6 0 26.2 20 7 2 6 29 0.92 0.204

Staff comments (individual rankings in parens)

Dustin Mattison (26): A load on the mound, the former Ole Miss Rebel follows in line of recent draft picks: polished college pitchers who throw heavy fastballs.

In his first stop with Batavia, Lynn posted an ERA under one while striking out 22 in 18.2 innings. It was then on to the Midwest League where he made two starts for the Quad Cities. In eight innings of work, he allowed only two earned runs while striking out seven. Lynn was shut down at the end of August with forearm tightness but should be ready to roll come 2009.

Like Clayton Mortensen and Jess Todd, look for him to move quickly through the system and see action in Double-A next season. Lynn projects to be a valuable innings-eater who should slot in the third to fourth spot in the Cardinals big league rotation in the future.

Ray Mileur (18): Drafted by the Cardinals in the supplemental first round of the 2008 draft, from the University of Mississippi, Lynn posted a 1.35 ERA and a 29:6 K:BB ratio in 26.2 pro innings split between Batavia in the New York-Penn League (18.2 innings) and Low-A Quad Cities (eight innings). His season was cut short due to forearm tightness in August, but he's expected to be healthy and ready to pitch in spring training.

Projected as a #2 or #3 starter, Lynn should climb quickly through the St. Louis Cardinals system. I'll go so far as to say, a healthy and solid spring training performance could lead to Lynn starting the 2009 season in the Cardinals' Double-A rotation.

Message board community (21): Lynn's stats speak for themselves - he was outstanding in his first professional season. As a point of reference, he was better than last year's #9 Birdhouse prospect Clayton Mortensen in nearly every category at comparable levels (though Lynn's QC season was cut short by injury). Lynn seems destined for success with the big question now being whether he will be a back of the rotation starter or a front of the rotation starter.

For 2009, I expect Lynn to move slightly slower than Mortensen due to Mortensen's struggles when he was moved aggressively. I think Lynn will most likely start at Class A Palm Beach and be moved to AA Springfield later in the year. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (14): Farm director Jeff Luhnow told me that he expects Lynn to compete with Quad Cities teammate Deryk Hooker for spots in the Palm Beach rotation to start the 2009 season. Luhnow also plans on holdovers Nick Additon and Mark Diapoules returning there initially.

Instructional League Camp Coordinator Mike Shildt is among those impressed by Lynn. "You've got to like Lynn's size. He is a big, physical guy. We talk about "do they pass the eye test?"… Of course, guys that don't pass, they can play in the big leagues too, You walk around clubhouses and see a lot of big, physical people and Lance is one of those guys. He passes the eye test," Shildt explained.

"We were real careful with him and (Scott) Gorgen because they were really extended in their collegiate seasons. We were real careful with them during the rookie ball seasons. But still, they obviously pitched and went out and did some things. We used the instructional league with both those guys as more of a fine tuning for what we expect to get ready for next year as much as what they did on the field. They went about it the right way and we like both of them," said Shildt.

I'll second that assessment! It is a shame the Cardinals don't have a Type B compensation pick in 2009 like they received last year for Troy Percival and used to take the very impressive Lynn.

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

Want access to the all details behind our Cardinals prospect news, the most comprehensive anywhere, from stlcardinals.scout.com?

Subscribe to our annual Total Access Pass(tm) and also receive the 2009 Scout Prospect Guide, the perfect hardcopy, glossy companion our online coverage, including the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations, fantasy baseball previews and more!

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

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories