The St. Louis Cardinals have promoted pitching prospect John Gant to the major league roster. Here’s a quick look at what to expect.
The New York Mets originally signed Gant, as a 21st round pick in the 2011 draft from high school in Wesley Chapel, Florida. A solid performer in the Mets system, he attracted the attention of the Atlanta Braves who acquired him as part of the Juan Uribe/Kelly Johnson trade in July 2015.
He saw substantial action for the Braves in the major leagues last year (50 innings, 4.86 ERA) but is still considered a rookie by MLB for 2017. The Cardinals acquired him in December 2016 in the Jaime Garcia deal.
Gant ranked 12th on the pre-season St. Louis Cardinals Top 20 prospects for 2017 list, with a Grade B- and the following commentary:
12) John Gant, RHP, Grade B-: Age 24, posted 4.86 ERA in 50 innings in the major leagues with 49/21 K/BB but apparently still considered a rookie by MLB; not flashy but has a three-pitch mix with 88-94 MPH fastball, change-up, curve; in my view he is capable of cutting that ERA by at least a run if given a chance but will have to solidify his hold on a job quickly. Acquired from Braves in Jaime Garcia trade. I think he will do well with the Cardinals. ETA 2017.
Listed at 6-3, 200, Gant is a right-handed hitter and thrower born August 6th, 1992. He opened 2017 on the disabled list with a groin injury but was activated on May 15th and made three starts in Triple-A, posting a 2.19 ERA in 12 innings for Memphis with an 11/5 K/BB.
The basic report for Gant hasn’t changed. As a starter he works his fastball at 88-94 MPH, averaging 92, while mixing in a solid curveball and change-up. Right now the Cardinals will use him in the bullpen and I imagine his fastball velocity could be a bit higher in that role. He pitched better for the Braves last year than his 4.86 ERA indicates and I like his chances to perform well for the Cards.
His delivery includes unusual timing elements as you can see in this St. Louis Post-Dispatch video:
As well as this video from SportsVideos