Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced they have agreed to terms with
right-handed pitcher Scott Bittle, also known as Joseph Bittle. The 22-year-old
was the organization's fourth round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player
Draft from ‘Ole Miss.
Bittle, a senior, was taken twice
by the New York Yankees in the draft - in the 48th round in 2007 and in the
second round in June, 2008.
He transferred to Ole Miss prior to the 2007 season
In 2009, the right-hander became a
starter during the season, posting a 5-2 record with a 2.17 ERA in 14 games,
including six starts. He took no-decision in a start at number two-ranked LSU in
which he worked seven scoreless innings and threw a complete-game shutout of
According to scouting reports, the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder's 88-91 mph fastball is just average with his mid-‘80s cutter his primary pitch. Bittle works effectively down in the zone and effectively mixes in a changeup. However, his profile is not that of an MLB closer, so his future role remains a question.
The Cardinals have now agreed to terms with 14 of their top 15 selections, with only their number one pick still without an agreement (right-handed high school pitcher Shelby Miller). In total, 42 of their 50 picks have inked deals.
Update: I spoke with Scott late Friday evening as he was packing up to head to Cardinals camp in Jupiter, Florida. In the following exclusive audio interview, Bittle explains how he came to terms, his relationship with former teammate Lance Lynn, the current state of his strained joint capsule and when he expects to be ready to compete.
© 2009 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.