Oct 17, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Trevor Rosenthal (64) throws against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of game three of the 2012 NLCS at Busch Stadium. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Rosenthal: A Hard-Throwing Pitcher

In just a short time this season, Trevor Rosenthal has displayed that he can be a hard thrower at the major league level.

For some, he’s as hard of a thrower for the Cardinals as Bob Gibson was.

Rosenthal started taking lessons at the Building Champions Baseball Academy in 2004. He would play for their teams from 2006 until 2009. The Cardinals drafted him in 2009.

“After evaluating and developing Trevor since he was a young player, he has ultimately reached his goals and my expectations,” said Jeremy Jones, the founder of Building Champions. “Watching him this year in AA, the big leagues, and now in the post season confirmed my evaluation of him a long time ago that he could be someone special. Beyond his obvious success, I’m thrilled the way he has represented and helped his team, his family, the city of St. Louis, his hometown, and Building Champions. I expect him to be a household name over years to come and the sky is the limit for him.”

Dave Burroughs coached the Lee’s Summit, Mo. native at Cowley Community College.

“When we first saw Trevor play, he had a live arm and was very athletic!” Burroughs told me. “He played Short Stop and pitched while here and we visited with Trevor and explained to him that his future in professional baseball was as a pitcher. He agreed and that is when he started to progress at a rapid pace. His fastball velocity started to increase and his composure was really good. We used him as a closer and the best velocity he showed here was in the Junior College World Series at 97mph. It was easy to tell he had a high ceiling. We are proud that he is a product of our program and hope he has continued success as a Cardinal!”

It’s not just his coaches and the fans that Rosenthal has impressed with his hard-throwing abilities. Matt Eddy covers the minor leagues for Baseball America.

“I would wager that even the Cardinals are surprised at how quickly Rosenthal has developed into a major league-caliber arm,” Matt Eddy told me. “That’s not to say that the organization did not expect him to develop eventually.

“Johnson City manager Mike Shildt brought up Rosenthal during our conversations for Appy League top prospects back in 2010. Shildt, who won back-to-back Appy titles and a third with Springfield in the Texas League this year, noted that Rosenthal sat 92-94 mph with Johnson City and that he was just then learning to locate the ball down and command it to both his arm side and his glove side. He had only a fledgling slider at the time. Kudos to the Cardinals scouts who saw the raw materials for success, because Rosenthal took off once he received pro instruction.

“Fast-forward two years and Rosenthal is topping out at 97 mph as a starter in Double-A, then touching triple digits as a reliever during the MLB playoffs. It’s tough to say at this juncture how successful Rosenthal could be as a starter, but his floor remains high as late-game reliever.”

In an email, Baseball America‘s Jim Callis said that Rosenthal “has a terrific arm” so what he did this season was “not a big surprise” for the “talented” rookie.

Callis covers the prospects and the draft.

When asked if he has seen anyone throw as hard as Trevor Rosenthal in a Cardinals uniform, Rick Hummel, who has been covering the Cardinals for the better part of 4 decades with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, responded: “Not consistently, for sure.”

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