Of the players that signed following last summer’s Amateur Draft, only three players have made their major league debut. On Thursday, another player will join that list when he throws his first pitch.
Last September saw the debut of second round pick Paco Rodriguez, a reliever for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched in 11 games last season and has seen action in 25 this year.
This past April, ninth round pick Michael Roth made his debut as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He has served primarily has a reliever out of the bullpen, pitching anywhere from less than an inning to over two innings in a game.
Most recently, the fourth overall first round pick, Kevin Gausman made his debut as a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. It wasn’t pretty to say the least. Gausman only pitched 61.1 innings in the minor leagues before the Orioles came calling. In two starts with Baltimore, the rookie has allowed 11 runs to score in nine innings.
The nineteenth pick of the first round, Michael Wacha, will be making his debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday when he takes to the mound at Busch Stadium when the Cardinals take on the Kansas City Royals. Wacha will become the first Cardinals pitcher since Cris Carpenter to make the jump in less than 12 months from the draft. Carpenter was drafted as the 14th overall pick in the June 1987 and made his debut on May 14, 1988.
Wacha was the Cardinals pick for losing Pujols to the Angels. For the Cardinals, the anticipation is high. He should be in the rotation for years to come.
All of that being said, the first weekend of June sees a new crop of players drafted as MLB holds the annual amateur draft from Thursday to Saturday as opposed to the traditional Monday-Wednesday dates.