Cards Arizona Fall League Series: Gary Daley

An exclusive interview with emerging Cardinals prospect, right-handed pitcher Gary Daley, Jr.

In September, St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Gary Daley, Jr. was named by the organization to replace injured pitcher David Kopp on the club's Arizona Fall League contingent for 2009.

Cardinals Director of Minor League Operations John Vuch was involved in the decision to send Daley to Arizona and was also among the organization's contingent watching AFL games earlier this month. He offered the following remarks about Daley.

"Daley's overall numbers are misleading as they're skewed by one poor outing," Vuch recalled. "He threw very well in the outing we saw – his fastball had good life, showed a sharp breaking pitch, and was around the strike zone with all pitches. It's encouraging to see him pitching to his capabilities. He has really responded well to the challenges we threw his way late in the year – first with his promotion to Springfield and now in the Fall League."

In all, Daley made ten relief appearances posting a 0-0 record, 8.03 ERA, two holds, one save, and 1.86 WHIP. He allowed 17 hits, 11 earned runs, one home run, six walks, and struck out nine over 12 1/3 AFL innings.

The 23-year-old Californian had been promoted to Double-A Springfield in mid-August after spending the season to-date with the Class A Quad Cities River Bandits. In what appeared at first blush to be a big step, Daley was transferred two levels, jumping over the A-Advanced Florida State League.

Technically, Daley did not skip over Palm Beach. In April 2008, he pitched in four games for Palm Beach along with 17 more later on in the Gulf Coast League. Across the two stops, Daley walked 36 batters in just 13 innings. That was coming off an ineffective and injury-shortened 2007.

While his control was better in his first 2009 assignment, 51 walks and 72 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings, Daley carried a 6.93 ERA accrued over 32 games including ten tandem starts for the Bandits before being moved exclusively to relief. With Springfield, Daley posted an 0-2 record with a 4.76 ERA. He struck out seven but also walked seven in 11-1/3 Double-A innings, all out of the bullpen.

The Cardinals' third-round pick in 2006 from Cal-Poly is one of a number of Cardinals farmhands eligible to be taken in the Rule 5 Draft this December.

Exclusive for Scout.com/The Cardinal Nation subscribers: In an audio interview, Daley discusses his increased maturity and improved control, his 2009 season, the Rule 5 exposure and more.

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As every year, The Cardinal Nation, stlcardinals.scout.com, is your leader in independent first-hand reporting on and from the Arizona Fall League. Keep checking back for daily for new reports on the Cardinals prospects that were playing for the Surprise Rafters this fall.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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