If ability runs in the genes, the Cardinals could be holding something legendary. Wednesday, St. Louis signed the great-nephew of Mickey Mantle. Blake King signed with the Cardinals after leading all junior college pitchers in strikeouts.
The 19 year old right-hander plans to work on pitch location and developing another pitch to go with his fastball. King will begin at the rookie ball level in either Pennsylvania or Tennessee.
The Cardinals drafted King in the 44th round of the 2005 draft in June. St. Louis held his rights for one year. During that year, King pitched at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton going 9-3 with a super-low 1.05 ERA. His junior college leading strikeout total was 123.
The iconic Mantle gained fame for his powerful hitting and social manner. He hit 536 career home runs and chased Babe Ruth’s single season home run record in 1961. Mantle finished that year with 54 second to his teammate Roger Maris broke the record with 61. Mantle won three MVP awards and won the prestigious Triple Crown in 1956.