The Cardinals' Italian Stallion: Adam Ottavino

In 2006, the Cardinals made Adam Ottavino their first-round draft pick, taking him 30th overall. Up to this point, Ottavino hasn't really lived up to that billing, as he's struggled with command and health both. However, the organization remains quite high on him, mostly due to the fact that in spite of his issues, he still possesses a big fastball that is capable of overmatching hitters when Ott' is going right. 

Anyhow, enough background. Ottavino also just happens to be playing for the Italian team in the WBC, and was the starting pitcher in the Italians' match-up against Venezuela yesterday. You can view the whole game over at for free, though I think there are some wonky restrictions as far as who your internet service provider is.

Overall, it was a pretty nice outing for Ottavino, but it seemed pretty obvious that he was overthrowing quite a bit. He was popping the catcher's mitt pretty good, but his fastball seemed to move less, and he seemed to have less idea where it was going, the more he tried to dial it up. Sitting down more at 92-93 mph, Ott had nice movement and was throwing mostly strikes; any higher than that and he looked like he was really grunting, and the resulting pitch was significantly worse almost every time. He did get better as the game went on, looking just downright nasty in the third inning, so maybe he was just a little amped up to get out there. 

Couple of pretty nasty hangers in there too, though he didn't really get punished for them. I've seen Ottavino pitch a few times live, and that seems to be pretty much par for the course with him. Great stuff, but he always seems like he's trying to throw the ball through the catcher, the crowd, and the outer stadium wall occasionally, and things just get ugly. If he ever learns to gear back and just let the talent take over, Adam could still turn out to be a very good pitcher, I think. 

Regardless, it's always nice to be able to get some visual on a guy to go with the name. Head on over and check it out.
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