The lone pitcher on this list, Kevin Siegrist was drafted in the 41st round in 2008 — a round that doesn’t even exist anymore. A scout discovered him by chance while watching a game at Palm Beach Community College, and the Cardinals took a low-risk shot at him late in the draft. He paid off handsomely for the team from 2013 through 2016, other than 2014, where a forearm injury stunted his effectiveness.
Players taken in the 41st round aren’t expected to do much, and Siegrist is an example of the St. Louis Cardinals’ scouts digging deep to find gold. He pitched well throughout much of his time in the minors despite being dogged by injuries, and he was added to the 40-man roster before the 2012 season.
Siegrist was one of the pitchers the Cardinals became known for possessing: a fireballer who could clock it up to the high 90s, which wasn’t as common then as it is now. Batters hit only .128 against him in his first year, where he pitched 39.2 innings and had an ERA of 0.45.
After an ineffective year in 2014, he led the major leagues in appearances in 2015, with 81. He struck out 90 batters in 74.2 innings and pitched to an ERA+ of 181. He spent much of his time in 2015 and 2016 in a setup role for closer Trevor Rosenthal.
The injury bug bit Siegrist again later in 2016 and in 2017, and those injuries, along with waning effectiveness, led the Cardinals to designate him for assignment on Aug. 31, 2017. The Philadelphia Phillies claimed him, but he only pitched in seven games for them, amounting to five innings. The Pirates signed him in 2018 and released him later than year after he refused to report to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Siegrist’s career doesn’t seem to have much left, even though he’s only 31. But his performance for a few years while with the Cardinals shows that the Devil Magic can work wonders on pitchers too. But let’s also give some credit to the Cardinals’ scouts for unearthing a player who made some real contributions to his team.