St. Louis Cardinals Prospect Profile: Brycen Mautz

Brycen Mautz is an exciting left-handed pitcher in the Cardinals' system. Let's take a closer look at his profile!

St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins
St. Louis Cardinals v Miami Marlins / Leon Halip/GettyImages

Brycen Mautz was selected by the Cardinals in the second round (59th overall) of the 2022 draft. The left-hander spent the previous three years at the University of San Diego. After spending most of his first two collegiate seasons in the bullpen, Mautz broke out as a starter in 2022. He accumulated 90.2 innings across 15 starts, drawing the interest of a number of teams before being taken by the Cardinals.

The Noot News Podcast just interviewed Mautz on the podcast and were able to have a fun conversation about his career so far.

Mautz sat out the rest of the 2022 season and made his debut in April of 2023. His first season was full of positives. Perhaps most importantly, Mautz staved off major injuries as he ramped up his workload, ultimately making 23 starts and recording 104 innings for the Cardinals' A affiliate in Palm Beach. In that action, he was quite effective. He posted an ERA of 3.98, which was inflated by a disappointing second half. Before the trade deadline, Mautz recorded a more impressive ERA of 3.59. Some advocated for a promotion, but the Cardinals chose to give Mautz a full season of action in Palm Beach.

Another positive was Mautz's strong control. Still just 22, he demonstrated a knack for inducing whiffs without walking too many hitters. Mautz struck out over 25% of the hitters he faced and walked just under 10% of them. Those are superb marks, especially for a young starter with minimal previous experience. His advanced control should help him move through the system quickly.

There weren't a ton of negatives associated with Mautz's first professional season. He struggled throughout the month of August, but the sample size was small due to a short stint on the injured list. Thankfully, he returned and posted decent numbers in September, including a nice start on September 9th, his final appearance of the season. Mautz's best outing came in April. In just his third professional start, Mautz twirled six perfect innings and struck out eleven opponents. He allowed zero baserunners, but the Cardinals failed to score. Funnily enough, Palm Beach's bullpen allowed a run immediately after Mautz was pulled, and they lost 1-0.

Mautz is, of course, currently being developed as a starter. His arsenal includes a solid fastball with plenty of run, a sweeping slider that devastates right-handed hitters, and a changeup that is still a work in progress. Some evaluators believe he could sit at 96-97 MPH in the future. Though he's reached these velocities in shorter stints, he topped out closer to 93-94 MPH in his starts. He generated most of his whiffs with his slider, which already grades out as an above-average offering. His changeup has often been underutilized, though most evaluators believe it could become a serviceable offering at the big league level.

This smaller arsenal and his reliance on his fastball/slider combination hints that Mautz could someday find himself pitching from the bullpen. Even in such a scenario, Mautz's floor would remain relatively high. His velocity would allow him to pitch near the back of a bullpen.

Mautz should begin the season at A+ Peoria, although a strong spring could afford him the opportunity to begin the season with AA Springfield. The first scenario, the likelier of the two, would make it difficult to contribute to the major league squad before the middle of 2025. In the second scenario, it becomes possible that Mautz will reach the majors as a starter in early 2025. But, as some have speculated, he could make an excellent reliever. If the Cardinals chose to utilize him as a reliever and decided to be aggressive with his development, he could potentially help out near the end of 2024. Regardless, 2024 will be a huge year for the young lefty.