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Michael Wacha, The St. Louis Cardinals' 2012 First-Rounder, Is Striking Out Everybody

When he was drafted, Michael Wacha had thrown so many innings in college that it seemed the St. Louis Cardinals would just barely break the seal on the 21-year-old right-hander. They have used the kid gloves, as it's turned out, using him as a pre-scheduled middle reliever between the Gulf Coast League, the Florida State League, and the Texas League, but he's made a little more news than I thought he would. Here's why: He won't stop striking people out.

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Overall, Wacha's allowed five hits and one earned run (a GCL homer, somehow) in 16 innings. He's struck out 29, and he's walked two. Between high-A and AA he's struck out two batters an inning.

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In other words: Michael Wacha is doing just fine, thanks. At this rate he's a sure thing to begin 2013 in the AA rotation, which puts him in position to make his Major League debut as soon as that year. The Cardinals may have cut bait on Tyler Greene and Zack Cox this season, but at least one of their first-rounders is having a pretty good year.