- Full name Robert Anthony Stock
- Born 11/21/1989 in Bellevue, WA
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 260 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Southern California
- Debut 06/24/2018
Drafted in the 2nd round (67th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009 (signed for $525,000).
View Draft ReportStock is one of the draft's most intriguing players due to his background. He was Baseball America's Youth Player of the Year in 2005 when he was 15, and a year later, Stock skipped his senior year in high school to enroll at Southern California. He's a 19-year-old draft-eligible junior, and his college career has been one of valleys and recent peaks. He was the Trojans' starting catcher and sometime closer his first two seasons, showing modest power, a good fastball and good catch-and-throw skills. He showed raw power and catch-and-throw tools in his first two seasons, particularly arm strength. However, his draft stock suffered; after ranking No. 5 in our Cape Cod League Top 30 following his freshman season, he didn't even make the top 30 last summer, and scouts were stunned by his poor performance on scout day in fall 2008, when his bat looked slow and his pop times sluggish. When Stock got off to a slow start offensively in 2009, attention shifted to his performance on the mound. The Trojans turned to Stock as a starter this year, and he has delivered. He made his first start March 29 and beat Arizona State, striking out 10 in five innings, and hasn't looked back, registering a complete-game win at Arizona and showing surprising polish. His delivery is fairly easy, giving him good control of an 88-92 mph fastball that can hit 95 and a surprisingly good changeup that some scouts consider a plus pitch. His low-80s breaking ball also grades out as average, and Stock now figures to go out in the first three rounds as a pitcher--if he proves signable.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Stock was Baseball America's Youth Player of the Year in 2005, and a year later he graduated high school early so he could enroll at Southern California. His bat and defense tailed off after his freshman year with the Trojans, and scouts got more interested in him as a pitcher last spring. But he prefers to catch, and the Cardinals are giving him a chance to do that after drafting him as a 19-year-old junior. He signed for $525,000. Stock has a cannon for a right arm, and his fastball hit 95 mph in college. He has a quick transfer and makes accurate throws, nailing 29 percent of basestealers in his pro debut. He has good lefthanded power, makes consistent contact and had no problems hitting with wood in his first pro summer. Stock batted just .263 in college and still has to prove he can hit enough to be an everyday player. His supporters think his age mitigated his college performance, while his detractors think he'll wind up as a pitcher. His biggest need defensively is to improve his receiving. He has below-average speed but isn't bad for a catcher. St. Louis hopes to advance Stock and 2009 first-rounder Shelby Miller together through the minors, and they'll begin their first full pro season in low Class A.
Minor League Top Prospects
Stock skipped his senior year of high school to attend Southern California a year early, meaning that after three collegiate seasons he's still just 19. Many teams preferred Stock as a righthanded pitcher, especially given that he hit .262 in 465 career college at-bats, and as he showed a quality fastball and two other pitches as a Trojans junior. Nevertheless, the Cardinals made him a second-round pick and committed to him as a catcher. He wanted to stay behind the plate, and the early returns in pro ball were positive. An intelligent player, Stock knows the strike zone and uses the whole field. His strong lefthanded swing already produces occasional plus pull power, and he can drive the ball into the left-field gap. Stock works from a standstill batting stance, so the Cardinals want him to improve the load in his swing to help him get going and provide balance and rhythm. Reviews of Stock's defense were mixed. Some liked him as an average big league catcher, but others thought he'd fit best at first base. Stock's arm ranks as average to plus and his transfer and feet are quick, and he threw out 29 percent of basestealers. His blocking ability is less refined, but Elizabethton manager Ray Smith, who caught professionally for 10 seasons, praised Stock for his energy level and take-charge attitude behind the plate.
- Israel activated RHP Robert Stock.