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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scouting Report, RHP Blake Hawksworth

The 27-year old Canadian was a draft-and-follow in the 28th round of 2002, and was the #1 Cardinals prospect in 2004. His minor league time was been riddled by injuries (ankle and shoulder problems in 2004 and 2005, eventually labral surgery). He also missed time in 2007 (toe) and 2008 (knee). His minor league record was 35-39 with a 4.01 ERA. He was finally healthy in 2009, and was moved to the bullpen, where he was a big boost to the Cardinals 'pen. Scouts/a coach said, "We never saw him this good as a starter." Hawksworth faced the Mets twice in 2009, and threw 3 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. He also faced the Mets twice this year in April, and threw 3 scoreless innings (5 base-runners and 5 strikeouts).

Hawksworth has a funky delivery; he jumps at the hitter and throws from a 3/4s arm slot. He features a low 90s fastball (93 mph average) with late movement, and a plus change-up. He hasn't had a true 3rd pitch (an inconsistent slider previously, but throwing a 78 mph curve now) and has struggled as a starter as a result. Has become change-up happy in the past when he doesn't trust his fastball. He doesn't have a ton of swing and miss stuff, with a 7.1% swinging strike %.

He has made 7 starts this year, and is 3-3 in 35 2/3 innings, and has allowed 23 earned runs (5.80 ERA). He's allowed 5 home runs in the past 26 2/3 innings. Overall, he's 4-6, with a 5.23 ERA and 1.81 WHIP, due to a high BAPIP (.359) and high walk rate (4 W/9). He also has a low K/9 at < 6. He hasn't thrown more than 6 innings all year, and in his last start he only threw 4 1/3 innings, allowing 10 base runners and 5 earned runs vs the Cubs.

He was ranked the #8 prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America, and #13 by Baseball Prospectus. 

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