St. Louis Cardinals third-ranked prospect, right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver, fractured his left wrist in a recent minor-league workout when he collided with a teammate. Weaver’s left hand will remain in a cast for the next three to four weeks.
Weaver’s 2015 regular season was put on hold, too. Some arm tightness kept the young hurler out of action until mid-May. He was expected to begin this season as a member of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, but his fractured wrist will cause him to start the season on the disabled list.
Despite missing over a month of last season, Weaver managed to dazzle in the chances he was given. In nineteen starts with the Class A Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals, Weaver posted a 1.62 earned run average across 105 1/3 innings. His three-pitch arsenal — which includes a sharp curveball and a changeup that typically radars ten miles per hour slower than his 93 MPH fastball — helped him tally 88 strikeouts and manage a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 88/19.
Weaver, 22, was a non-roster invitee to the Cardinals’ major-league camp this spring. Weaver appeared in three Grapefruit League games before being reassigned to minor-league camp on March 13. In those games, Weaver worked five innings and surrendered four runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out five.
The injury to Weaver means that two of the Cardinals’ top-three prospects will not see action in April. St. Louis’s top and MLB’s thirteenth overall prospect, Alexander Reyes, was suspended for violating the minor League baseball drug prevention and treatment program when he tested positive for marijuana last fall; Reyes will miss the first 40 games of this season.
The Cardinals drafted Weaver with the 27th overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, and he draws comparisons to a pitcher the Cardinals drafted the year before– Michael Wacha. Wacha and Weaver share comparable body builds and pitch arsenals.
Barring any setbacks, Weaver is in position to make his season debut in a little over a month.