The John Lackey trade is continuing to pay dividends for the St. Louis Cardinals, as the prospect moves up.
Hello folks, and welcome back to our St. Louis Cardinals‘ Top Prospects series. My apologies for being absent yesterday, things have been a little crazy for me lately, as I have been doing other things for FanSided. Fortunately, this means that you guys are going to get a double does today with #26 and #25 today.
Today we are going to take a look at Corey Littrell, the left-handed pitcher who the Cardinals acquired along with John Lackey at the 2014 trade deadline. As not only did they get about one and a half good years out of Lackey for Allen Craig and Joe Kelly, but they also got Littrell and whomever they draft with the compensation pick this spring.
Scout Grade: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Cutter: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45
Corey Littrell had a really solid season with Palm Beach this year, and was one of the best pitchers in a league stocked full of strong pitchers. Littrell is not the most flashy of pitching prospects, but he has a a good mix of four pitches.
Much like Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney before him, he profiles as a crafty lefty, who can be used as a long man or back of the rotation starter. According to SB Nation’s Minor League Ball, Littrell had the potential of a first round pick at one point in time, as he boasted a 95 MPH FB and an ERA under 3.00 in his Sophomore season at the University of Kentucky.
A dip in speed on his FB and disappointing junior year in 2013, caused him to be drafted in the 5th round of the 2013 draft. Minor League Ball states that Littrell’s FB sits in the 88-92 range and he is consistent in his location.
If Littrell can keep doing what he’s been doing and stay away from rough months like his 6.35 ERA April, he can be a valuable arm in this organization.
Ultimately, Littrell is fairly low on the organizational depth chart and is not likely to make an impact in the starting rotation for the St. Louis Cardinals. He can still be a valuable bullpen piece in a few years or a potential trade asset.
If he can improve on his velocity some, he could move his way up the depth chart, but he’s still behind quite a few guys.
Roster Prediction: AA Springfield.
Littrell has certainly earned himself a promotion, and it will be interesting to see what he can do in a hitters park and league, facing a rung up of competition.
If there is a need in Memphis for a starter at some point in the year, he could be a consideration, but I think the Cardinals would probably prefer to keep him in AA for a year.
Scout Grade Via MLB.com