Dean Kiekhefer, LHP
Credit: Roger Cotton/Memphis Redbirds
By the numbers, Kiekhefer has the look of the next home-grown reliever to break into the Cardinals pen and neutralize offenses in the middle to late innings. The Cardinals drafted the Louisville native in the 36th round back in 2010, and Kiekhefer has routinely posted sub-3.00 ERAs in his steady march through the system. He does it with a high-80s fastball and plus curveball, but that’s just the half of it. He throws from a low three-quarters slot — virtually sidearm — hiding the ball exceptionally well before slinging it plateward. Remember Pat Neshek? How about Randy Choate? That’s right, this guy has big league LOOGY (Lefty One-Out GuY) written all over him.