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Robert Kaminsky: Prospect Profile for St. Louis Cardinals' 1st-Round Pick

Courtesy of St. Joseph Regional HS (N.J.)
Courtesy of St. Joseph Regional HS (N.J.)
Mike RosenbaumMLB Prospects Lead WriterJune 6, 2013

Player: Robert Kaminsky

Drafted by: St. Louis Cardinals (No. 28 Overall)

Position: LHP

DOB: 9/2/1994 (Age: 18)

Height/Weight: 6’0"/190 lbs

Bats/Throws: B/L

School: St. Joseph Region High School (N.J.)

College Commitment: North Carolina

 

Background

Kaminsky asserted himself as a top draft prospect for 2013 as a junior last spring when was 8-2 with a 0.20 ERA, with 12 hits allowed and 103 strikeouts in only 52 innings. The left-hander’s outstanding campaign ultimately garnered recognition as the New Jersey State Player of the Year.

He added to his increasingly impressive resume in June with a dominant showing at the Perfect Game National Showcase (held at the Metrodome). Working two perfect innings, Kaminsky fanned seven batters—one of which reached base on a dropped third strike—while showcasing a polished three-pitch mix.

And if his 2012 campaign wasn’t already impressive, the southpaw improved his stock even more at the tail end of the summer; more specifically, Kaminsky created a sizable draft buzz when he fanned eight batters over four frames against Team USA in the annual Tournament of Stars, and he then followed it up with a strong performance in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

While his combination of stuff and pitchability is easily the best among all prep pitching prospects, Kaminsky’s lack of physical projection is a legitimate concern. Although the knock shouldn’t impede his overall success at the next level, at least not initially, it’ll be interesting to see how it ultimately impacts his draft spot on June 6.

 

Full Scouting Report

Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 80-point scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.

Body/Mechanics

Kaminsky has an undersized frame at 6’0", 190 pounds; lacks physical projection; repeats his smooth and polished delivery with ease; requires minimal effort; tall set and delivery helps him create downhill plane towards the plate; stays closed until last possible moment and creates considerable deception; fast arm action from high three-quarter slot; consistent release point with three-pitch mix.

 

Fastball: 55/55

Sits 88-92 mph and will max out a few ticks higher; smooth and balanced delivery causes fastball velocity to play up; will jump on opposing hitters with late life; important that he works on downhill plane, as the pitch lacks significant movement; commands it to both sides of the plate against right- and left-handed hitters; isn’t afraid to attack the hands.

 

Curveball: 65/65

Future plus-plus offering; power breaking ball with tight spin in the 78-82 mph range; excellent pace and late, downward bite; thrown from same release point as fastball; difficult to recognize out of his hand; legitimate feel for the pitch; throws it any count; adept using it as an out-pitch; knows how and when to bury it to induce whiffs.

 

Changeup: 45/55

Used sparingly but nonetheless effective; mid-70s velocity and thrown with fastball-like arm speed from same release point; turns it over well to create some fade and sink; development of pitch will be crucial towards mid-rotation projection.

 

Control: 55/60

Around the strike zone with all three pitches; mechanically efficient; understands the zone relative to his stuff.

 

Command: 50/60

Potential for plus command of three-pitch mix; high baseball IQ gives him knowledge of how to sequence his offerings; outstanding present feel for locating fastball-curveball mix; understands how to attack hitters and make adjustments during the second and third time through the lineup.

 

MLB Player Comparison: Scott Kazmir

 

Projection: Low No. 2, high No. 3 starter.

 

MLB ETA: 2016

 

Chances of Signing: 100%

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