Since this week is apparently lefty starter week in my brain, let’s take a closer look at another older prospect who also was added through the 2010 draft in Ryan Copeland.
The Cardinals drafted 22 year old Ryan Copeland as a senior out of Illinois State and put him in Johnson City last year and he starred with a 6.8 K/BB ratio (8.1 K/9 against 1.2 BB/9). He allowed less than 1 walk or hit per inning. Looking at those numbers and as a college senior, he should have probably been better off being challenged at Batavia instead, but I’m not privy to those sorts of decisions within the Cardinals organization.
This year, the Cardinals yet again, didn’t push Copeland, instead opting to send him to Quad Cities instead of Palm Beach. And yet again, Copeland has dominated. His K/9 has passed over that magical threshold arriving at 9.0. And just like JC, his control stayed sound with a 1.5 BB/9 for a healthy 6.0 K/BB ratio. Copeland’s 124 tRA+ indicates just what the other number bear out, that he is clearly above average for the league.
Now, scouting at home, but without a radar gun, Copeland looks like does not throw particularly hard, but as his numbers indicate, he has great control. I would love to see the Cardinals start Copeland out at Palm Beach next year with earmarks to promote him to Springfield, because the young kids at Johnson City and Quad Cities are overwhelmed by Copeland. Right now, he is putting up some good numbers, but let’s reserve judgment on his long term viability until he faces some tougher competition.