St. Louis Cardinals: Rule 5 Draft Gains and Losses

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Credit: Larry Kave and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Triple-A Phase, 2nd Round

  • 4th Round: Milwaukee Brewers select Kender Villegas, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 13th Round: Arizona Diamondbacks select Robles Reyes, SS, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 28th Round: Chicago Cubs select Michael O’Neill, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 30th Round: St. Louis Cardinals select Michael Heesch, LHP, Chicago Cubs

An 8th-round pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2012, the 6-5, 265-lb. Heesch moved to the bullpen full-time in 2014 and has had pretty good success ever since. His career ERA in four seasons is 2.93.

Other than a spot appearance in triple-A in 2014, however, Heesch hasn’t pitched above the A level yet. On the other hand, he’ll be 26 in May. It’s time for the big push forward.

There isn’t a whole lot of information out there on Heesch, but his numbers suggest success will hinge on his ability to minimize mistakes. The lefthander walked 24 and gave up 57 hits in 64.1 innings pitched last year, so he had to get out of a few jams of his own making. An organizational change and indoctrination into the Cardinal Way may be just what he needs to turn the corner.

Next: 4 Winter Meetings Takeaways for the St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals lost two more pitchers in later rounds. The Tampa Bay Rays snagged righthander Fernando Baez, who pitched at low-A Peoria last year, in the third round of the triple-A phase. The Miami Marlins picked righthander Juan Caballero, who pitched at rookie-level Johnson City in 2015.