St. Louis Cardinals’ 2016 Top Prospects: #27 Dean Kiekhefer
Might the St. Louis Cardinals have a sleeper choice for the left-handed specialist spot this season?
Here we are, we have made it to #27 in our Top Prospects series. This is a journey that I most certainly and am enjoying and this next player is a player that I am excited about. Dean Kiekhefer without a doubt has a shot to make the St. Louis Cardinals‘ roster.
While the club does feature two in house options in the bullpen that are left-handed, there could be a need for a LOOGY option, as neither Kevin Siegrist or Tyler Lyons fit that particular mold.
#27 Dean Kiekhefer RP
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Scout Grade: Unfortunately there is no scout grade out there on Dean, currently.
Analysis: Kiekhefer is not a “top prospect” in the sense that he is going to burst onto the scene and blow everyone away. What he can be is a very reliable left handed reliever. He’s not a guy with the fastball of a Sam Tuivailala or a Kevin Siegrist. He’s a consistent guy with command of the pitches he does have.
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In talking with Joe Schwarz of Viva El Birdos, I learned that Kiekhefer has a two above average pitches in his two seamer and his slider, which acts as your typical wipeout slider to lefties.
Joe Schwarz isn’t the only one impressed with what Kiekhefer offers as Bernie Pleksoff of MLB.com was interviewed for Scout.com and had this to say about Kiekhefer “I’m tremendously impressed with Kiekhefer so far. I don’t think he’s walked a hitter and has lots of swing and miss in his pitches. He’s another fine pitching prospect.”
This is high praise coming from a guy who used to be a scout for MLB clubs. Pleksoff also had many other good things to say about the Cardinals prospects during the Arizona Fall League, and he will be quoted more as we go through the list.
I watched Kiekhefer pitch two really good innings in the Arizona Fall League championship game about a month and a half ago, and he looked really good and refined. He looks ready to go.
Next: St. Louis Cardinals' 2016 Top Prospects: #28 Ian Oxnevad
Roster Prediction: MLB St. Louis Cardinals. If the Cardinals plan to have a LOOGY option out of the bullpen, they should look no further than Kiekhefer. He has command, can strike guys out, and will be cheap.
I look forward to seeing Kiekhefer get lefties out this season.