Look at the numbers:
St. Louis Cardinals left-handed pitching prospect Austin Gomber spent the first two months of Class AA ball in Springfield, Mo., trying to focus on development, not numbers.
It was a time for experiments, tweaking and searching and discovering who he is going to be as a pitcher. He was 2-6 at the end of June.
Now look. Gomber, the 15th-rated prospect in the St. Louis system according to MLB.com, is 8-1 in his last 11 starts for Springfield. In three starts between Aug. 4 and Aug. 15, he pitched 20
innings and did not give up an earned run. The scoreless streak came to an end Sunday when Gomber allowed a two-run homer to Corpus Christi’s Ryne Birk, but Gomber won his fifth consecutive game. He gave up two runs in 6 2⁄3 innings and struck out seven.
The big lefty (6-5, 235 pounds) is on an upward arc. Gomber, 23, is one of the few left-handers among the top Cardinals’ top pitching prospects. He has turned the corner from pure development to a point of tracking numbers.
He entered the week 9-7 with a 3.53 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 130 innings. His WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) sat at 1.20.
On the move:
The Chicago White Sox made a couple of key moves with their best prospects last week. Pitcher Michael Kopech was promoted from Class AA Birmingham (Ala.) to Class AAA Charlotte. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez moved from high Class A Winston-Salem (N.C.) to Birmingham.
Kopech, acquired from the Boston Red Sox in an offseason trade for Chris Sale, was 8-7 with a 2.87 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 119 1⁄3 innings for the Barons. But it was the work in the six starts since July 4 that took him to AAA: 4-1, 0.66 ERA with 54 strikeouts in 41 innings.
Kopech, 21, walked seven in his last 41 innings in Birmingham. In
his first 42 1⁄3 innings of the season for the Barons, he walked 23. Command and control. Jimenez, 20, made his second change of address this season. He started in high-A ball with Myrtle Beach (S.C.), hitting .271, before he was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the White Sox in the All-Star break deal for Jose Quintana and joined Carolina League rival Winston-Salem. There, he hit .345 in 29 games. Jimenez was promoted Aug. 15 to Birmingham in the Class AA Southern League, where he had seven hits in first 20 at bats for the Barons through Aug. 20.
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Prospect Austin Gomber is turning heads at Springfield.