Originally posted on The Cardinal Nation blog  |  Last updated 10/21/13
The entire baseball world has now witnessed the poise and performance of St. Louis Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha. In the 2013 post-season, the 22-year-old right-hander is 3-0 with an 0.43 ERA and was named the National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player. The Texan’s meteoric rise to the majors, sticking for good after pitching just over one season in the minor leagues, led to questions here and elsewhere as to its uniqueness. While there may have been other Cardinals pitchers in the interim to arrive as quickly, the name that immediately came to mind for me as a comparison is a Hall of Famer, Steve Carlton. “Lefty” had been signed out of a Miami high school in October 1963 at the age of 18. The next summer, Carlton breezed through two Class-A leagues and Double-A with a combined record of 15-6 with a 2.22 ERA. At the start of his second professional season – on April 12, 1965 at the age of 20 – the left-hander made his major league debut with St. Louis. Not having the collegiate
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