Michael Wacha, the Cardinals 19th overall selection in this year’s MLB Amateur Draft, made his debut on Monday night in Palm Beach, Florida. Wacha pitched two scoreless innings, striking out 5 of the first 6 batters he faced and collected a hold in the Palm Beach Cardinals 9-3 win. The hard throwing righty consistently hit 95 MPH on the radar gun in his short relief appearance, part of the Cardinal’s plan to limit his workload.
Wacha was one of five Cardinals selections during the first night of the First-Year Player Draft in June. The pick was actually a result of the departure of Albert Pujols from St. Louis in the offseason, which compensated the Cards with two picks, one of which they used on Wacha. In his debut with the PB Cardinals, Wacha jumped straight from the Gulf Coast League Staff to the Cards full season Class A affiliate, bypassing the Cardinal’s lowest class A affiliate and other short-season teams.
Part of the reason the Cards are staying put on this year’s trade deadline is a result of the high expectations for Wacha and the four other first day selections for St. Louis. His debut in class A Palm Beach is certainly a stellar sign for Cards management.
Wacha played his college ball at Texas A&M, and in 16 starts for the Aggies this past season went 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA. You can follow him on Twitter at @MichaelWacha.