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October 23, 2013

Cherington's plan is what Cards do best

BOSTON — St. Louis fireballer Trevor Rosenthal was a Cowley County Community College (Kansas) infielder who didn’t pitch much as an amateur.

He considered himself a position player back then, but on the occasions he did pitch, he brought the heat (97 mph according to one scout who was the first to ever clock Rosenthal off a mound).

That said, Rosenthal had never spoken with any scout from the Cardinals before the organization called him on draft day 2009 and asked him if he’d sign if they drafted him in the 21st round as a pitcher.

His answer was simple. “Sure.”

When Rosenthal showed up to play in the Florida Gulf Coast League, his pitching coach was wowed by his velocity, but Rosenthal’s rawness also was evident.

“He wasn’t impressed by my offspeed stuff because I had nothing,” Rosenthal said. “Like a couple days before I headed down to Florida I made up a knuckle-curve that was terrible.”

Flash forward four years. The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2009 21st-rounder — who posted a 4.88 ERA in 14 relief outings with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in ‘09 — was developed by the his minor league coaches and instructors into an absolute star. The 23-year-old has been St. Louis’ closer this postseason and is 3 for 3 in saves chances.

The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals play Game 1 of the World Series here at Fenway Park today (8:07 p.m. start time), in a rematch of the 1946, 1967 and 2004 Fall Classics.

Whether or not you root for the Cards, you have to respect their tremendous organization led by senior vice president and general manager John Mozeliak.

Mozeliak and his staff do a heck of a job.

The Cardinals draft extremely well. They develop their pitchers and hitters extremely well. They spend money on free agents and veteran players extremely wisely.

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