Stephen Piscotty ’12, touted by most over the last several seasons as the top prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals’ farm system, is expected to be called up to the MLB level for the first time in his career before the Cardinals’ Tuesday evening game against the Chicago White Sox. The news was first reported by Rob Rains of StL Sports Page.
As Piscotty is not currently on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster, the announcement of his call-up and the corresponding move to clear a spot on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters has not yet been officially made by St. Louis.
The outfielder from Pleasanton, California will finally get the call after parts of four seasons in the minor leagues, the last two of which were spent with the Memphis Redbirds, the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate. In 223 games over two seasons with Memphis, Piscotty hit .281 with 20 home runs and 110 RBIs.
Although Piscotty had always hit for a decent average (he was a career .288 hitter in the minor leagues), his power stroke didn’t settle into form until this season, after he spent the offseason revamping his swing to improve his power potential. The work paid off, as his home-run rate nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015.
Piscotty, who played infield and outfield and also briefly pitched at Stanford, has played outfield at every level in the minors. However, given Matt Holliday’s recent return from injury, there’s likely not going to be a consistent spot available for Piscotty in the outfield, even with Jon Jay’s wrist issues.
As a result, he will likely see most of his time at first base, where St. Louis has struggled recently: Usual starter Matt Adams suffered a season-ending injury in late May, while Mark Reynolds, who slid into the role at first after Adams’ injury, has experienced some characteristic hitting woes, slashing a meager .229/.297/.386 there this season. Piscotty has made six recent starts at first base for the Redbirds.
He could also see time in the DH spot to ease him into the pace of big-league play. Such an opportunity is made possible by the fact that the Cardinals will be playing interleague ball at an American League ballpark when he is called up.
Piscotty, the Cardinals’ pick in the supplemental first round (36th overall) in the 2012 MLB Draft, did not miss a single game through the three years of his spectacular Stanford career. While on the Farm, he was a career .340 hitter with 12 home runs and 132 RBIs, twice being named to the All-Pac-10 first team (2011, 2012).
In his junior season in 2012, Piscotty not only led the team in RBIs and finished third in the Pac-10 in hitting, but he also went 6-2 on the mound with a 3.05 ERA and a save as one of the weekend starters for the Cardinal. As a sophomore in 2011, he hit a team-leading .364 as Stanford would go on to lose in the Super Regional to North Carolina.
Piscotty will become the 59th Stanford player formerly coached by Mark Marquess to debut in the Major Leagues.
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dhpark ‘at’ stanford.edu.