DOB: 12/19/1995 Bats: L Throws: L Position: SP Cooney ranks as one of the Cardinals most promising prospects in their system. A big lefty, Cooney broke through to the majors last year in relief of Adam Wainwright and showcased what has lead him to being named number 2 in Baseball America’s Cardinal prospect rankings. Had it not been for appendicitis cutting his season short, he may not have retained his rookie status going into this year. Known for his command, Cooney has boasted an excellent strikeout to walk ratio in the minors. This starts with a fastball he can throw with varying speeds and break. His most promising offering is his change, which has good break and features arm the same arm action as his fastball. He has been known to mix in both a slider and a curve, but these pitches don’t project as favorably into the majors and serve more to keep hitters guessing. Due to his success stepping into the role of a major league starting pitcher last season, it is not unreasonable to think that Cooney can fulfill the role of a middle of the rotation innings eater, something that is becoming increasingly valuable in today’s day and age as highlighted by the Mike Leake contract. It is prospects like Cooney that over the organizational depth necessary to not worry about splashing out major cash in free agency.