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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Adam Wainwright

Every Mets fan remembers him for the last time he pitched against the Mets in NY in October 2006, and I'm sure the media will show Beltran a few times tonight in case you have forgotten; and that was just the start of his outstanding career.

The 28-year old Georgia native was drafted in the 1st round by the Braves in 2000, traded to the Cardinals in 2003 for JD Drew, and made his debut in September 2005. He's 60-29 in his young career, with a 2.94 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He finished a controversial 3rd in Cy Young Voting last year (19-8, 2.63 ERA, but 3.11 FIP). If he has another top-five finish in Cy Young voting this year or next, it will guarantee the Cardinals' 2012-13 option package at 22 million dollars. On April 18th, Wainwright threw a complete game versus the Mets, the day after the 20-inning marathon, and the Mets only mustered four hits, while striking out nine times.

Wainwright is a tall (6'7", 230 pounds), athletic pitcher, who throws straight over-the-top. He throws his two-seam fastball 89-93, a quick-cutter like slider (86 mph), a tight, big-breaking curve (74 mph), and a deceptive change-up (83 mph). His slider and curve represent the two best breaking pitch combination in baseball. He only throws his fastball 45% of the time, so he relies heavily on his slider (17%) and his curveball (30%). His curve and slider have been his two best pitches, and his fastball has been a below-average pitch for his career. He throws 1st pitch fastball only 53% of the time, and heavily relies on his curve with 2 strikes (> 50%).

This year he's continued his brilliance, making the All-Star team earlier this month. Wainwright is 14-5 in 21 starts (148 innings) with a 1.94 ERA and 1.00 WHIP. He's striking out 8.3/9 and walking only 2.2/9. He's gone 7+ innings in 13 of his 21 starts. He has thrown 25 consecutive scoreless innings streak currently, and has allowed only one run in his past five starts (35 1/3 innings).

So obviously Wainwright is a front-line starter/Cy Young candidate, but that's not all; he can also hurt you with his bat (eight extra-base hits last year), as well as with his glove (Gold Glove last year).

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