1) Adam Kloffenstein
On July 30, the Cardinals shipped Jordan Hicks north of the border and brought back two interesting starters. The more highly touted of the two, Sem Robberse, struggled in his debut with Memphis. However, the other, righty Adam Kloffenstein, has now recorded two stellar starts in AAA.
Yes, the sample size is small, but Kloffenstein's success is reason for optimism. Since joining the Cardinals, he has allowed just three runs in 10 innings of work. Perhaps best of all, he's also recorded 11 strikeouts. Kloffenstein has, over the course of his career, posted above-average strikeout rates, but this season is the highest of his career.
Kloffenstein is also rounding out his arsenal. His large frame allows him to generate plus velocity on his four-seamer, which often touches 96 mph. This pairs well with two other fastballs: a 90 mph sinker and a cutter. Then, there are the breaking balls, which include a sweeping slider and a curveball. The biggest improvement seems to be his changeup, the sixth pitch in his arsenal! Watch him go to his changeup to record a strikeout in three consecutive at-bats.
That's right, Kloffenstein throws six pitches, each of which has the chance to be at least an average offering. All of this comes with solid to above-average control! Kloffenstein is looking more and more like a major-league pitcher. To see him finding success in his first stint with AAA is incredibly exciting for the Cardinals. Kloffenstein should enter 2024 with a real chance at making the big league roster. Even if he starts in AAA, the 22-year-old will be high on the list of potential call-ups.