St. Louis Cardinals: AFL Spotlight on Austin Gomber
After a disappointing 2016 season, there are a lot of bright spots to focus on for the St. Louis Cardinals. One of them, is left-handed starting pitcher Austin Gomber.
The St. Louis Cardinals are overloaded with pitching talent. Specifically, they have a number of starters in the minor leagues that are making headlines. Austin Gomber, who is ranked 19th on MLB.com’s prospect list for the Cards, has made a few headlines while pitching in a handful of starts in the Arizona Fall League.
Gomber, a lefty, was most recently named the Arizona Fall League Pitcher of the Week for the last week of October. He made two starts during that week for a total of ten innings allowing only one earned run and six hits. In total, the 22-year old starter has a 4-0 record after making five starts (22 1/3 innings). He’s also posted a 1.99 ERA and is allowing an opponent’s batting average of .190.
Gomber’s path wasn’t the easiest this fall. In his first AFL start he only lasted three innings and in his second, Gomber was tagged for three runs in four innings. From that moment forward however, he’s been incredible.
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Austin Gomber was a fourth-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2014 draft. During the 2016 regular season, he split time between High-A and Double-A leagues. While in Palm Springs (High-A), Gomber started 17 games winning six and losing eight. However, he produced a 2.93 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 107.1 innings pitched. His transition to AA ball was smooth as well considering he made four starts and posted a 1.40 ERA.
In an organization, like the Cardinals, where there are a number of quality starting pitchers and pitching prospects, Gomber has begun to separate himself. He’s shown that making the progression from High-A to Double-A doesn’t phase him. He’s also proven that he’s capable of shaking off a couple of rough outings. Now, he’s the talk of the AFL and certainly getting the attention of the organization.
With ten games remaining on the Desert Dogs’ schedule, Gomber is in line to make two more starts this exhibition season. If he can continue being a dominant force in the minors, then surely Cardinal Nation will get used to hearing his name.