One of my Scout.com colleagues was rightfully excited about Rob Kaminsky’s two hits allowed over seven scoreless innings on Tuesday night for Class A-Advanced Palm Beach and feels a promotion to Double-A is due. After all, the outing lowered the lefty’s season ERA to 2.14.
If 2.14 ERA is good enough for a promo, then what about Alex Reyes at 2.08? Considered to have a higher ceiling than Kaminsky, Reyes was named to the MLB Futures Game the same day the organization announced he was being placed on the disabled list with right shoulder soreness that is supposedly minor.
Then again, both of them should take a back seat to teammate Trey Nielsen (pictured), who has a 1.85 ERA this season in 13 starts from the same rotation. Since mid-May, Nielsen has been about unstoppable. In his last seven starts, the right-hander has three scoreless outings and he allowed just one earned run in each of the other four, while averaging between six and seven innings pitched.
|2015 thru June||TCN top 40||ERA||Wins||Losses||Starts||IP/start||K/9 innings||BB/9 innings||Opp BA||GO/AO|
Looking at these numbers, a promotion case could be made for any of the first three, which is my point. Reyes and Kaminsky are top 100 prospects in all of baseball and are among the top three or four players in the Cardinals system. As a former 30th round draft pick, Nielsen remains almost anonymous.
The son of former MLB player Scott Nielsen was a third baseman at Utah, pitching in just four games as a collegian. Nielsen was drafted in 2013 though he could not pitch due to Tommy John surgery. Last season at State College, the 23-year-old right-hander logged a 2.50 ERA with 49 strikeouts against 14 walks in 50 1/3 innings and tossed six scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his only post-season start for the NY-Penn League champs. Nielsen was among the select invitees to Cardinals Spring Training Early Program (STEP Camp) this March.
In The Cardinal Nation’s June top 40 prospect ranking update (member content), the fast-rising Nielsen has moved up to number 19 in the system.
Despite all this quality pitching, the punchless Florida State League Cardinals have just a 36-40 record. But that is a story for another day.
Updates: In my haste to get the initial post up, I neglected to include the third top 10 Cardinals prospect in the Palm Beach rotation, 2014 first-rounder Luke Weaver. His results to date have been added to the above table for comparison.
Nielsen makes his 14th start of the season for Palm Beach at home against Fort Myers on Wednesday night at Jupiter. The Cardinal Nation members should check out local reporter Chris Greene’s Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook, posted Wednesday mornings all season long and full of news from Roger Dean Stadium.
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