SF Giants News: Former 2nd round pick joins Cardinals on minors pact

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Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Jason O. Watson/GettyImages

A former SF Giants hurler is returning stateside after a successful two-year stint overseas. The St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have added lefty pitcher Andrew Suárez on a minor league deal with a camp invite.

SF Giants News: Former 2nd round pick joins Cardinals on minors pact

The Cardinals have had some success in recent years with bringing players back from overseas. Miles Mikolas is one example that stands out as he has posted a 3.46 ERA in 106 outings for the Cardinals over the past four years.

The right-handed pitcher threw briefly for the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers earlier in his career, but he spent three seasons with the Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league in the mid-2010's before returning to the majors with the Cardinals.

Suárez has had a similar career arc to Mikolas in that that he struggled early in his career and decided to pitch overseas.

San Francisco originally selected the 30-year-old pitcher in the second round of the 2015 draft out of the University of Miami. He was well-regarded as an amateur prospect as he was picked in the ninth round of the 2011 draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and the second round of the 2014 draft by the Washington Nationals.

The left-handed pitcher was a relatively polished prospect out of college in that he had a quality four-pitch mix including a low 90's fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. He had good control of his repertoire in the minors, but he lacked a true out pitch.

Not surprisingly, Suárez moved quickly up the minor league ladder, debuting with the Giants in 2018. He had a quality rookie campaign in which he tallied a 4.49 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 1.29 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, and a 2.89 SO/W ratio in 29 starts.

Suárez certainly flashed the potential to be a reliable back-end rotation arm but he was unable to maintain that performance as he struggled over the next two seasons before joining the LG Twins of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO).

In the KBO, the lefty pitcher was excellent as he posted a 2.18 ERA in 23 appearances while earning All-Star honors. He struggled a bit more in the NPB last year, registering a 4.09 ERA in 21 starts with the Yakult Swallows.

He joins a Cardinals organization that is seemingly light on starting pitching depth, so Suárez has a chance at reappearing in the majors after a two-year hiatus.