Yet another promising pitching prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals is lefty Tim Cooney. He was taken in the third round of the 2012 draft and already worked his way into Double-A a season ago.
Across High-A and Double-A a season ago, Cooney combined for a 10-13 record with a 3.56 ERA. More impressive than that was that he pitched in 154.1 innings in just 26 starts. He pitches deep into ball games which shows why he got decisions in 23 out of his 26 starts a season ago.
He did play the majority of his season in Double-A last season, so there’s a chance the Cardinals could decide he’s ready for Triple-A. The organization likely has a good idea of where they want him already. How he performs in spring training could change those plans, though.
Another particularly impressive aspect of Cooney’s game is his ability to strike out batters while avoiding walks. Incredibly, last season Cooney struck out 148 batters while only walking 22. With nearly a 7:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Cooney surely projects well at the next level.
If Cooney wants to take the next step in his progression, he will have to induce more ground balls and fly balls rather than relying on the strikeout as much. He did give up over one hit per inning a year ago which could turn into some long innings on occasion.
At 23-years-old, Cooney’s strengths certainly outweigh his weaknesses. With his stellar command, he will be joining the long list of Cardinals pitchers ready to take a shot at major league hitters. Based on his experience and progression to this point, it would make sense for Cooney to either start in Double-A or Triple-A after spring.
From there, it’s up to him how quickly he gets the call to the show.