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Michael Wacha: Know Your (Springfield) Cardinals Call-Up

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.

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(Read more about the promotion and the Cardinals' plans from Derrick Goold, who reported the news.)

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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.

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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.