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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

St. Louis Cardinals' prospect profile: Lee Stoppelman

Every Wednesday, John Nagel of CardinalsFarm.com will profile a Cardinals' Minor League prospect that may be flying under the radar. Also on Sunday, Nagel will give us a minor league update in a Weekly Farm Report. 

Today's St. Louis Cardinals' prospect profile features Lee Stoppelman. Stoppelman was the Cardinals' 24th round pick in the 2012 draft out of the University of Central Missouri. Originally from Pleasant Hill, Missouri, Stoppelman will turn 23 on May 24th.

Riedel Free ShippingAs a Senior at Central Missouri, Stoppelman went 8-0 with a 1.25 ERA and struck out 75 batters in 65 innings. Stoppelman also limited opponents to a.215 batting average and only issued 9 walks. Stoppelman was selected as the Pitcher of the Year for the Mid America Intercollegiate Athletic Association for 2012.

The college success for Stoppelman continued to the professional level in 2012. After signing, the Cardinals shipped Stoppelman to the Batavie Muckdogs, the Cardinals Low-A Short Season affiliate of the New York- Penn League. For Batavia, Stoppelman appeared in 22 games and pitched 34 1/3 innings. He had a record of 2-1 with a 0.79 ERA. Probably the most impressive part was that he struck out 49 batters in those 34 innings. These numbers earned Stoppelman a spot on the New York-Penn All-Star team.

I was very curious to see where Stoppelman would land to start 2013. I had him projected to start at Low-A Peoria, but Stoppelman surprised many when it was announced he would start the season at High-A Palm Beach. This move may be temporary as Palm Beach has some injured pitchers. So far for 2013, Stoppelman has appeared in 2 games. In the first game, he threw a scoreless inning and struck out two. In the second game, he allowed one run and walked one.

Stoppelman is one of those pitchers that is hard to predict a future. As a late round draft pick, we can't expect too much. Hopefully like Trevor Rosenthal, the Cardinals have found a diamond in the rough. The one thing Stoppelman has shown is he can compete on the professional level.