- Full name Lucas John Gregerson
- Born 05/14/1984 in Park Ridge, IL
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 205 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Saint Xavier
- Debut 04/06/2009
- Drafted in the 28th round (856th overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Cardinals are one organization that isn't afraid to use its future relievers as closers in the minor leagues, and Gregerson is a recent graduate from one of the organization's most productive roles: closing for Palm Beach. Like Chris Perez, Mark Worrell (sent to the Padres in the Khalil Greene trade) and Mike Sillman before him, and now Francisco Samuel after him, Gregerson is part of a parade to the majors of righthanders who have closed for the team. Gregerson had 10 saves for Springfield last season, pitching more in a setup role, but he continued to riddle opponents with a sinker/slider combination that gets strikeouts as well as ground balls. He has a tall frame, and his delivery adds to the late, boring sink of his fastball. His slider is a plus pitch, and hints of how he could race to the majors became clear in the Double-A bullpen. Gregerson, who has good control overall but whose control sometimes wanders against lefties, held righthanders to a .202 average and struck out 59 of the 217 he faced. Expected to work as a setup man again this season in Triple-A, his complement of pitches and specialist profile puts him in line for a big league cameo at some time in 2009 and the chance to establish a niche in the majors.
Gregerson inherited one of the most relished roles for relievers in the system when he took over as Palm Beach's closer in April. The previous two Palm Beach closers had led the minors in saves in 2005 (Mark Worrell) and finished second in 2006 (Mike Sillman). Gregerson finished with 29 saves while holding batters to a .188 average (.188 by lefties, .189 by righties). He was a two-way threat at St. Xavier (Ill.), an NAIA school, winning the Chicagoland Conference player of the year award in 2006 after batting .335 as a right fielder and posting a 0.68 ERA as a closer. Exclusively a reliever as a pro, he has devastated lower-level hitters with his sinker/slider combo. Gregerson's hard sinker has good movement and comes in the low 90s, and a vicious slider that Palm Beach teammate Adam Ottavino called "out of this world" is his strikeout pitch. Gregerson earned a promotion in August, finished the season as Springfield's closer in the Texas League playoffs and pitched briefly in the Arizona Fall League. He'll likely return to Double-A to open 2008, and he could ascend quickly as a setup man.