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Cooper Hjerpe

P
St. Louis Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals
Cooper Hjerpe
Name: Cooper Austin Hjerpe
Born: Mar 16, 2001 in Davis, CA United States
High School: Woodland (Calif.) HS
Wt.: 200 lbs
Bats: L / Throws: L
Drafted in the 1st round (22nd overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2022 (signed for $3,182,200)
Ten years ago, a player like Hjerpe likely would have been viewed as much less impressive than he is in 2022—even as one of the best starting pitchers in college baseball. A 6-foot-3, 200-pound lefthander, Hjerpe has dominated this spring and posted a 2.45 ERA over 16 starts and 95.2 innings, while striking out 39.7% of batters faced and walking just 5.3%. He’s dominated every lineup he’s faced despite throwing a fastball that averages just 90-91 mph. The key to Hjerpe’s success is a unique, 52-54-inch release height created by a sidearm slot that makes everything he throws play up. His vertical approach angle is elite, and while Hjerpe touches just 94-95 mph at peak, he generates plenty of whiffs with his fastball, especially at the top of the zone. When hitters do make contact, he has been difficult to elevate and allowed just three home runs this spring through those 95.2 innings of work. Entering the year, scouts questioned Hjerpe’s secondaries, and his lower arm slot made some evaluators wonder if he would ever be able to get to a consistent breaking pitch, but his secondaries have improved this spring. His slider is a fringy and slower breaking ball in the upper 70s that gets whiffs more because of his unique angle than the shape and velocity of the pitch, but that has still meant a close to 50% whiff rate. His upper-70s changeup gets average to above-average grades and does have plenty of velocity separation from his fastball. On top of excellent deception, Hjerpe is a refined and polished strike thrower who has above-average command (his 7.50 strikeout-to-walk ratio was a top-20 rate among Division I arms) that should be more than enough to profile in a back-of-the-rotation starting role. It wouldn’t be a surprise if some teams liked the idea of putting Hjerpe in the bullpen, where he could move quickly, and where his unique release point and arm angle would be a nightmare for hitters. Model-driven teams are likely highest on Hjerpe, whose performance and pitch data give him a chance to be the first college pitcher selected in a light year for four-year arms.
Career Statistics
  • Career Statistics
  • 2023 Game Logs
  • 2023 Splits
  • Spring Training
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Split TypeAVGGABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOOBPSLGOPS
Split TypeWLERAGGSSVIPHRERHRBBSOAVGOBPSLGWHIP
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