2010 Cardinals Prospect #23 – Nick Additon

Is the soft-tossing left-hander the "Rodney Dangerfield" of Cardinals minor league pitchers?

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2009 and career stats)

2009 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Throw Signed Round
21 LHS 12/16/1987 6-3 170 L L 2006 47th

School: Indian River Community College, Florida

Selected 2009 stats

PB 4 3 3.06 19 15 0 79.1 69 40 1 37 66 0.63 0.233
SPR 2 3 3.19 8 8 0 48 36 21 5 21 26 0.46 0.207
Tot 6 6 3.11 27 23 0 127 105 61 6 58 92 0.56 0.223

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (33): You might think that Nick Additon is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Cardinals' system, the soft-tossing southpaw seems to get little respect. After ranking 19 on my personal list last season, he drops to 33 on my list this season. Yes, I know that he posted a 3.19 ERA in eight starts at Double-A. Pretty impressive for a first tour in the Texas League but it seems to me, smoke and a few mirrors could have been involved.

Additon possesses a below-average fastball but has been able to get hitters out with a solid changeup and impeccable control. That seemed to leave him in 2009. At Palm Beach, he posted a 4.2 BB/9 rate and a K/BB ratio of 1.78. When he was promoted to Springfield, the walk rate improved ever so slightly, 3.94 BB/9, but his K/BB ratio was a paltry 1.24. Complicate this with his flyball tendencies, he produced a groundball rate of around 35%, and things could get dicey for the left-hander.

Message board community (19): Nick Additon was the community's 19th-ranked prospect, a slight uptick from last year's 21. He already had four votes at #15. He was a 46th round pick out of junior college in 2006, a draft and follow selection. For those who have not been following drafts, once upon a time junior college players could be drafted and then signed until shortly before the next year's draft. That allowed MLB teams to watch the player develop during a junior college season. So…his 46th round status is probably deceiving, as he improved from the point at which he was drafted to the point at which he was signed. He debuted at Johnson City in 2007 and has climbed the ladder steadily.

Additon is a lefty who reached Double-A at age 21, and that by itself is very encouraging. He stands 6-foot-3, and so has the frame to develop a bit. He's been able to get out righties, who hit .206 against him last year, .220 in high-A this year, and .204 in the Texas League. The questions are about the stuff. Reports are that his fastball is only 86 to 88 mph (though that's an improvement from 83-85 in high school) and one experienced reader reports that it's straight. He threw ten wild pitches in just 79.1 innings at Palm Beach this year. And he walked 21 in his 48 innings at Double-A, though that was inflated by nine walks in his 3 2/3 inning debut there. His last two starts (ack, microstats!) were his longest in Double-A, seven and eight innings, with only one walk a game. It'll be interesting to see if he stays a starter or if, after another year, perhaps, they try to convert him to a LOOGY. - Gagliano

Brian Walton (28): In a system short of left-handed standout pitching talent, Additon's arrival at Double-A during his age 21 season is worth mentioning again. He is now at his fifth level in the system while other peers have fallen back.

It seems that every winter we discuss whether or not his success is sustainable, but he keeps delivering. It was just one year ago that Additon was under serious consideration for the organization's Pitcher of the Year award.

Having said that, Additon's stuff doesn't appear to be conducive to starting long-haul, but heck, big-league relievers are badly needed, too.

Our 2010 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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