1. Zack Weiss – RHP Cincinnati Reds
Lastly, the St. Louis Cardinals could steal Zack Weiss from the Cincinnati Reds. Weiss was originally drafted by the Reds in the 6th round of the 2013 Draft.
While Weiss didn’t pitch in 2016 due to an elbow injury he obtained during spring training, he has shown flashes of brilliance in the years prior. In 2015, Weiss pitched 63.2 innings between High-A and AA as his teams primary closer, finishing the year with thirty saves in thirty-two chances.
Weiss was untouchable in 2015 with 12.7 strike outs per nine, giving him a total of ninety on the season. But unlike most strikeout pitchers, Weiss limited his walks as well. Weiss only walked fifteen that year, giving him 2.1 per nine innings. Which is really good.
Weiss got to play in the Arizona Fall League in 2015, but wasn’t quite as sharp. Weiss gave up six runs on eleven hits, in nine innings. But he also struck out eleven, and only walked one.
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Weiss has the potential to be a very dominant reliever for any major league team. If Weiss is capable of staying healthy, he could compete with Seth Maness and Johnathon Broxton in the for a spot in the bullpen this Spring. The Cardinals also need to be weary of Trevor Rosenthal. While he can be very dominant, he can also be very wild. He lost his spot as the teams closer, and now needs to prove himself this Spring Training. If not, he could find himself in AAA, or with another team’s jersey.
At only 23 years old, Weiss could have a very productive career ahead of him. All he needs is a chance to prove what he can do. I think it was a huge mistake for the Reds to leave him off their 40-man roster.
The St. Louis Cardinals have some decision-making to do in the next couple of weeks. If these players are available when the Cardinals draft comes up, I hope they take them into consideration.