We are nearing the 2023 trade deadline and the St. Louis Cardinals have already taken action. Over the weekend within the same hour, Jordan Montgomery, Chris Stratton, and Jordan Hicks were all traded for a plethora of minor-league talent. Our great staff at Redbird Rants will be breaking down the players involved so make sure to check them out. This article will be focusing on the Jordan Hicks trade that brought back two minor-league pitchers. Sam Robberse and Adam Kloffenstein. Robberse is regarded as the main piece in this deal, but Kloffenstein might be the sneakiest pickup out of the two trades made over the weekend. Let's dive into the makeup of Adam Kloffenstein.
Adam Kloffenstein was selected 88th overall in the third round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. He is a big-frame pitcher, registered at 6’4, 245 pounds which is attractive for any pitching staff. That would usually indicate a durable pitcher with above-average velocity, but Kloffenstein has an average fastball of 45 that is not projected to get any better.
His most dominant pitch is his slider which is graded at 60 which will be a strong pitch to use in the majors. The Cardinals struggle to find swing-and-miss repertoires but might have one here in the making. The change-up has a 50 potential so as long as he has strong command, he can attack batters to set up his use of the slider. His final prospect grade is a 40 which is pretty average but the Cardinals are needing to add depth to their future staff. Having an efficient number 4-5 starter who is cost controlled is huge for a middle-market team. MLB.com has him listed as the Cardinals' 23rd-ranked prospect.
Kloffenstein started off his career with a high hit rate and high ERA. Given his velocity is not elite, that could indicate his control was lacking and the pitches were not being effectively delivered. But since 2021, his numbers have shown tremendous improvement. In the current 2023 season, he has pitched 89 innings with a 3.24 ERA, 10.6 SO/9, 3.4 BB/9, and 8.0 H/9 which gives a 1.270 WHIP. All figures are trending in the right direction year after year. So he is showing that his command is improving which is leading to more swings and misses. Not only are those good numbers, but they are more impressive that he is doing it in AA which is regarded as the hardest level in the minors. He is expected to report to AA Springfield, and I will be attempting to make his debut to keep all the readers updated on how he looks live.
John Mozeliak has gotten himself into a mess with the roster he has constructed. After months of taking gambles and being vague to the fanbase, he is finally owning up to his lack of determination to compete. Making trade deadline deals as the seller is not ideal for this franchise, but at least Mo is making good moves to retool the roster to compete in 2024. Many promising players were acquired over the weekend that have been gaining the attention of fans, especially Thomas Saggese. But Adam Kloffenstein has the potential to establish himself as a consistent starter in this rotation and shows promise to be a reliable back-end starter for years to come. Also, Kloffenstein is a cool name.