DENVER -- After making three Gulf Coast League appearances, right-hander Michael Wacha, the Cardinals' top pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, made his Class A Advanced debut on Monday night.
Pitching for the Palm Beach Cardinals, Wacha struck out five of the six batters he faced. Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz sent out a tweet which noted that Wacha's fastball sat at 95 mph during the two-inning outing. Wacha's fastball, Kantrovitz reported, touched as high as 97.
"He looked very impressive," added general manager John Mozeliak, who was on hand for the game.
Though Wacha will be groomed as a starter, the Cards pitched Wacha in relief on Monday and will continue to do so through the rest of the Minor League season. That's the organization's way of monitoring Wacha's workload. The 21-year-old pitched 113 1/3 innings for Texas A&M University before St. Louis took him with the 19th selection in the Draft.
In Wacha's three previous GCL appearances, he allowed one run on four hits in five innings. He finished his stint there with no walks and seven strikeouts.
The Cardinals' other first-round selection this year, James Ramsey, has been playing with Palm Beach since signing with the organization. In 26 games at the level, Ramsey has hit .279 with a .370 on-base percentage, eight extra-base hits, nine RBIs and nine stolen bases.