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FSL notes: Cards' Piscotty 'cuts loose'

Former third baseman making most of move to the outfield
May 8, 2013

In right field, Stephen Piscotty's strong arm is an asset. "I can just cut the ball loose," said the No. 36 pick in the 2012 Draft by St. Louis.

As a third baseman, though, the former Stanford University standout's throws often missed their mark. "I think I was throwing the ball too hard," he said.

The result was 22 errors in 36 games last year with Class A Quad Cities and a position switch entering this season with Palm Beach.

"They told me I was moving to the outfield, and I worked hard to get comfortable," Piscotty said. "I love right field -- I can use my arm."

It's in the batter's box, though, where the 22-year-old California native has always been the most at home.

Despite a stint on the disabled list in April after being hit by a pitch, Piscotty batted .315 with five homers and 13 RBIs in his first 24 games in the Florida State League. He's struck out just 10 times in 89 at-bats and has a slash line of .371/.528/.899.

"It's been a good start," he said. "Now I have to keep it up."

Being set at one position should help. It's an unfamiliar situation for Piscotty, who played almost everywhere at Stanford while making the All-Pac-12 team twice.

Piscotty even pitched for the Cardinal, taking over as the team's No. 3 starter late in his final season and going 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA.

But it may have been that stint as a pitcher that made his throwing from third base such a struggle after receiving a bonus of $1.43 million from St. Louis.

"After pitching, I couldn't find the right arm slot from third," Piscotty said. "It was just a tough summer."

But Piscotty didn't let the errors derail his hitting, posting a .295 average with a .824 OPS in 55 games for Quad Cities.

Piscotty won the 2011 batting title in the Cape Cod League with a .349 average and had hit .340 for his three-year career at Stanford, where he started games at third base, first base, left field, designated hitter and pitcher.

The only time he had been in right field was in the Cape Cod League, where he played with James Ramsey, who was taken by the Cardinals 23rd overall in 2012 after an All-American season at Florida State.

Although rarely in the lineup at the same time, they were teammates again in Palm Beach until center fielder Ramsey was promoted to Double-A Springfield on Sunday after batting .361 in 18 games.

Ramsey went on the disabled list with a hamstring strain shortly after Piscotty returned April 18 from being hit on the left forearm by a pitch a week earlier.

"They took X-rays, but it was just a bruise," Piscotty said. "I've been hit harder."

But it would have been interesting to have Piscotty and Ramsey in the Palm Beach lineup regularly. Not only are they former Cape Cod League teammates, but they almost had a memorable college meeting.

Florida State defeated Stanford in a NCAA Super Regional last year to advance to the College World Series.

"I was going to start the third game, but they swept us," said Piscotty, who was denied his last chance to go to Omaha.

Now his goal is St. Louis, and he got into two Grapefruit League games with the Cardinals this spring.

"It was pretty cool," Piscotty said. "I struck out my first time up, but it was still a good experience."

In brief

Record pace: It's unlikely, but if third baseman Miguel Sano stays with Fort Myers all season, the Florida State League may finally have a new home run record. The mark is 33 -- last done by Jim Fuller of Miami in 1971 -- and Sano had 10 homers in his first 30 games. The Twins' No. 1 prospect also led the FSL in the other Triple Crown categories, batting .387 with 31 RBIs in Fort Myers' 24-6 start. Sano, who turns 20 on Saturday, is No. 12 on's Top 100 Prospects. He hit 28 homers for Beloit of the Class A Midwest League last year.

Change of billing: Right-handed pitcher Anthony DeSclafani -- not more hyped left-hander Justin Nicolino -- has been the more successful of the two Jupiter starters who came to the Miami organization in the big offseason trade with Toronto. DeSclafani, 23, is 4-1 with a 0.70 ERA in six starts, while Nicolino, 21, is 0-1 with a 4.25 ERA in the same number of games. They were also teammates for the Blue Jays last season at Lansing in the Class A Midwest League, where Nicolino went 10-4 with a 2.46 ERA and DeSclafani was 11-3 with a 3.37 ERA. Nicolino is the Marlins' No. 4 prospect.

King of the hill: Bradenton right-handed pitcher Nick Kingham followed up his 13-strikeout performance against Brevard County on April 28 with his third straight victory, allowing four hits and a run in six innings against Palm Beach last Friday. Kingham (3-2) has given up just 15 hits and three runs over 23 innings in his fast four starts while striking out 33 and walking three. His ERA, which was 6.52 after his first two starts, is now 2.76. A fourth-round choice by the Pirates in the 2010 Draft, he had a 1.68 ERA in his final nine starts for Class A West Virginia in 2012.

Guy Curtright is a contributor to