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MLB Rookie Report: Mike Mayers, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals

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The St. Louis Cardinals brought up rookie right-hander Mike Mayers last weekend. He was crushed in his first major league start (1.1 innings, nine runs, eight hits, two walks) and was optioned back to the minors, but he's performed well enough in the minors this year that more chances should come. Let's take a look at his background and possible future.

Mayers was drafted in the third round in 2013 from the University of Mississippi. A solid 2014 campaign (3.39 ERA, 117/37 K/BB in 154 innings between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A) was followed by a weak 2015 (6.56 ERA in Double-A) and thoracic outlet syndrome which limited him to 57 innings. Healthy in 2016, he's pitched quite well in Double-A and Triple-A for a combined 2.62 ERA in 107 innings, 86/36 K/BB.

Listed at 6-3, 200, Mayers was born December 6th, 1991. He can get his fastball well into the 90s, clocked as high as 97 and consistently around 92-93. He has a pair of mid-80s secondary pitches in his slider and change-up. None of his pitches are particularly special but when his command is working he's been an efficient strike-throwing inning-eater in the high minors.

As a major league pitcher he projects as a fifth starter. It is possible his stuff could play up if used in a bullpen role.