St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals 2020 MLB Draft Guide
Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
Last year, my draft crush was Jackson Rutledge; a flame-throwing JuCo pitcher who got drafted shortly before St. Louis by the Washington Nationals. This year, Mlodzinski is another version of Rutledge.
Mlodzinski has a high octane fastball that touches 99 with plenty of movement. He only has two other pitches though, which are his changeup as well as a pretty effective slider.
His first two seasons with South Carolina were rough, throughout both seasons he struggled with inconsistencies with his control and resulted in a lot of walks and an inflated ERA because of it. Early into his sophomore year, he broke his foot and had to miss the remainder of the season; which was a huge loss for the Gamecocks.
Mlodzinski bounced back though, he decided to play in the Cape Cod League; which is one of the most prominent amateur baseball leagues, and an opportunity for further evaluation from baseball scouts as well as a good place to sharpen one’s’ skills. He had no trouble finding the strike zone and even was considered a star in the league. That breakout season alone put him on the radar for many teams in this year’s draft.
The Gamecock ace came into the 2020 season with a ton of hype, making plenty of Preseason All-American teams as well as getting first-round hype in the MLB Draft. He finished the shortened season with a 2.84 ERA with 22 K’s in only four starts.
With Mlodzinski, the team that drafts him is taking a huge gamble on his ridiculous upside. He has shown a ton of improvement from his freshman/sophomore year but still has a long way to go if he wants to succeed in the Major Leagues. With his talent though, it is a gamble worth taking.
(P.S. Mo, if you are reading this: Carmen Mlodzinski, No Matter What.)