Looking forward, the St. Louis Cardinals are in good hands after their first round selection of right-hander Michael McGreevy.
The St. Louis Cardinals needed to continue adding depth throughout their minor league systems. Within the last 10 years, the Cardinals have really had a couple really good hits, as well as a couple big misses on their selections. Looking at some of the selections they have made since 2011, you’ll see multiple names that have not appeared to make an impact, and some that have.
2011: Kolten Wong, 2B, Hawaii
2012: Michael Wacha, RHP, Texas A&M(19), James Ramsey, OF, Florida State(23)
2013: Marco Gonzalez, LHP, Gonzaga(19), Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Saint Joseph Regional High School(28)
2014: Luke Weaver, RHP, Florida State(27)
2015: Nick Plummer, OF, Brother Rice HS(23)
2016: Delvin Perez, SS, International Baseball academy(23), Dylan Carlson, OF, Elk Grove HS(33), Dakota Hudson, RHP, Mississippi State(34)
2018: Nolan Gorman, 3B, Sandra Day O’Connor HS(19)
2019: Zach Thompson, LHP, Kentucky(19)
2020: Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur HS(21)
While looking at the list of names, you will notice that up until 2015, everyone that was previously drafted is either out of the league or no longer on the Cardinals. If you look even further ahead, up until this year not many people would’ve considered Nick Plummer or Delvin Perez a valuable player at any level other than Low-A ball. The Cardinals just haven’t done well when it comes to drafting, but as for the past three years, there has been a turnaround.
Looking at the way the board was falling, and reading over multiple mock drafts, I didn’t think that the Cardinals could end up with a right-handed pitcher. However, you have to go with who you feel is the best player available and the Cardinals clearly felt that was UCSB right-hander Michael McGreevy.
Michael McGreevy, RHP, UCSB
Michael McGreevy was a top-50 player, according to most big boards, so drafting him 18th overall came as a shock. After doing extensive research on McGreevy, he is exactly what the Cardinals need going forward. The phrase that I read most often about McGreevy is that “he’s a control pitcher. He does not walk any batters.”
The Cardinals have allowed the most in walks in baseball with 394. McGreevy is still a young pitcher, but with the ability to add depth, they were able to get a guy whose talent is exactly what the Cardinals need.
McGreevy has a lot of tools, and the way the league has transitioned, his niche is unique. His fastball has grown since his first college appearance, after starting the year sitting around 91 mph, he has now found himself sitting around 92-94 while topping out at 96. His fastball shows great break that tails away from the left-handed hitters and in on right-handed hitters. With the sinking action of his fastball, he has the ability to create a strikeout pitch. However, in McGreevy’s case, it’s more commonly used as a control pitch to force groundouts.
McGreevy has a four-pitch arsenal, but the slider is the best strikeout pitch by far. After hearing about his incredible slider, I decided to watch film to determine for myself. After watching his slider, I found myself captivated with his ability to throw a 12-6 curveball for a strike. His curveball isn’t normally classified as a 12-6, but with the vertical break of the pitch, it’s how I found I was best able to explain just how much his curveball breaks. His curveball is sitting around the mid-70s right now, and has found himself increasing speed throughout his time at UCSB.
McGreevy has a lot to offer a team with his first two pitches, but the way he can mix in a slider makes him that much more appealing. Most players in this draft find themselves with one or two very good pitches, but McGreevy has three very solid pitches. McGreevy has used his slider as a way to make hitters chase along the outside part of the plate with his ability to place the slider exactly where he wants it. His slider doesn’t have the same vertical movement as most sliders, but he can make it move more vertically and create a very good secondary pitch looking forward.
So when talking about the changeup, it get’s a little bit tricky. Based upon a few reports that I had read, he has a very good changeup that he can break beautifully along the corners, but is hesitant to throw it. When he throws his changeup, he has the ability to create break that actually reminds me of a gyro-ball with the way that it moves. He has good break on the changeup that could end up being one of his secret weapons as he climbs the ladder in the Cardinals’ farm system.
The Cardinals have struggled with walks this year and McGreevy is exactly the pitcher they needed. He has phenomenal ability to control every pitch in his arsenal that will allow him to use all four of them in any count he so chooses. He is able to paint the corners like a true piece of art, and is able to control all four of his pitches with ease.