Here's one facet of the St. Louis Cardinals' successful farm system renovation that didn't vanish with Jeff Luhnow's departure to the Houston Astros: The aggressive promotion of top prospects. Michael Wacha, the Cardinals' first pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, has been on a very limited professional workload thanks to the 113 innings he logged with Texas A&M before being drafted; the baseball-20-year-old (he's turned 21) threw five innings in the Gulf Coast League before getting four carefully watched relief outings with the high-A Palm Beach Cardinals. 16 strikeouts, eight innings, and two baserunners later—yeah—he's on his way to finish the year with AA Springfield.â†µ
(Read more about the promotion and the Cardinals' plans from Derrick Goold, who reported the news.)
Wacha is a Polished Right-Hander With A Good Fastball And A Middling Breaking Ball, in case you didn't already assume that from the fact that the Cardinals drafted him. The Cardinals got him at No. 19 overall only because he'd fallen a bit from his predraft peak, but managed to sign him at slot value anyway.â†µ
And now it's clear that they plan on starting his first full season in professional baseball in the high minors, which is a very aggressive move. I like it, if not quite as much as I like his line in Palm Beach.