- Full name John Novinsky
- Profile Throws: R
Organization Prospect Rankings
Novinsky was the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference pitcher of the year in his junior season at Iona, going 8-1, 1.86 to establish himself as the best draft prospect in New York in 2000. After the Cardinals drafted him, Novinsky went to pitch in the Cape Cod League and put together a 3.11 ERA at Yarmouth-Dennis before signing in September for $70,000. After a mediocre debut in 2001, Novinsky got off to a great start last season before an inflamed ulnar never knocked him out for seven weeks. When he came back, the Cardinals made him the closer at Potomac, with promising results. He pitched very well in August, though his numbers were marred by one disastrous appearance when he gave up five runs and recorded just one out. Novinsky has an average fastball that ranges from 90-92 mph with good movement, as well as a slider and changeup that are solid pitches. He needs to work on his command and there are questions about his durability. In addition to last year's injury, he had Tommy John surgery when he was in high school. That could keep him in the bullpen, where he seemed to thrive last year, but the Cardinals have not made that decision yet.
When signing with the Cardinals proved a bit stickier than he expected, Novinsky went to the Cape Cod League for the summer of 2000 and posted a 3.11 ERA in 38 innings with Yarmouth-Dennis before finally signing. He made his pro debut in 2001 and held his own with a bad Peoria team that was, by several accounts, not a positive development situation. Novinsky has a good arm and can touch 94 mph with his fastball. He throws an array of pitches, including two fastballs, a slider, a changeup and a knuckle-curve. He's confident to the point of brashness, and the organization considers him a tad stubborn. Novinsky needs to refine all his pitches and develop a better feel for pitching. He has dumped the knucklecurve for now and probably will be better off without it at this point in his career. He'll move up to high Class A for 2002 and show whether he's a face in the crowd or a legitimate prospect.