While many Cards fans are familiar with outfield prospects Oscar Taveras and Randal Grichuck, most would give blank stares upon hearing the name “Stephen Piscotty”. Yet, 23-year-old Stephen Piscotty has ascended through the ranks of the Cardinals organization and is now a starting outfielder that is hitting above .300 for the Memphis Redbirds this year.
Following a standout high school career at Amador Valley High School in California, Piscotty was drafted by the Dodgers in the 45th round, but he opted to play college baseball at nearby Stanford University instead. At Stanford, Piscotty played third base and was a .340 career hitter that was known as a pure hitter that did not necessarily hit for power. Next, the Cardinals drafted Piscotty at 36th overall in the 2012 draft by using the compensatory pick they received for losing Albert Pujols to the LA Angels in free agency.
In his first season, Piscotty played for Single-A Quad Cities, hitting .295 with four homers and 27 runs batted in. Then, he started the 2013 season with Palm Beach, where he hit .292 with nine HR’s and 35 RBI’s in just 63 games, which led to a promotion to AA Springfield. He finished the season with six homers and a .299 batting average in 49 games for Springfield. This season, Piscotty was promoted to Memphis, where he has hit .308 with six homers and 49 RBI’s as a starting right fielder. Although his power hitting is down this year, he has belted more extra-base hits, which has led to more RBI’s. All in all, Piscotty’s numbers have been fairly consistent no matter what league he is in, which portends to a long career in the major leagues.
As a hitter, Piscotty somewhat resembles Allen Craig, as he can hit for power when he needs to yet he is primarily a gap hitter. What sets Piscotty apart is his versatility on the field. He just moved from third base to the outfield last year, and he has a crazy strong arm in right field and rarely makes any errors (he only has one this season).
So when will we see Piscotty in the big leagues? I would say 2015, but it may not necessarily be with the Cardinals. The Cards have an overcrowded outfield consisting of Jon Jay, Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and Oscar Taveras, so it’s quite possible that Piscotty may be traded this season. If Piscotty continues to improve and Cards make room for him, expect him to be a part of an outfield consisting of Oscar Taveras and either Matt Holliday or Allen Craig in the near future, possibly as early as 2015.