Right-hander Michael Brettell ‘excited’ to get started with St. Louis Cardinals

Junior pitcher Michael Brettell throws in the second game in the three game series against Bowling Green at Keilitz Field on April 28.

Prior to the start of the 2018 MLB Draft, Central Michigan junior right-handed pitcher Michael Brettell was told he would be drafted late on the second day or early on the third day, which was around the 9-12th round. 

Then, he waited... and waited.

“I was pretty much just waiting that whole time,” Brettell said. “It was a lot of anxiety. I was tense because I had to wait for my name to be called.”

Finally, his name was called. With the No. 453 overall pick, the St. Louis Cardinals used its 15th round selection to draft Brettell. He was overwhelmed. 

“I was flushed of my emotions because I was waiting for that moment from when the draft started to when I actually got picked,” Brettell said. “It was an amazing experience to enjoy that moment.” 

From Fonthill, Ontario, Brettell led the Chippewa's pitching staff. He finished the 2018 season with a 6-7 record and a 4.74 ERA. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound starter pitched in 15 games, of which two were complete games. Brettell struck out 70 and walked 32 hitters in 93.0 innings of work. 

Brettell has already signed to join the Cardinals but is waiting for his work visa to go through since he is a Canadian playing in the United States. Once the paperwork is complete, the right-hander is headed to the Rookie-level Johnson City Cardinals in Tennessee. 

“I’m excited to see how I can handle it,” he stated. “I know I have good stuff, but it’s a whole new level of competition. I’m excited to see what I can do facing those guys.” 

He believes the Cardinals will use him as a starter and transfer him to the bullpen if needed. Brettell is most ecstatic to play for an organization with a winning mentality. 

“The Cardinals are a championship type of culture team,” Brettell said. “I’ve heard only good things about their minor league program, so I’m excited to get started. I know their philosophy on the mound is get ground balls to get outs, which is what I pride myself in. 

“I feel like I’ll fit in with the organization.”

In three seasons at Central Michigan, Brettell was 15-13 on the mound with a 4.53 ERA, 146 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP in 210.2 innings pitched. He threw in 57 games, of which 29 were starts. Brettell finished with a 6.24 strikeout per nine innings ratio. 

“CMU was a great experience to be able to mature physically and mentally, getting myself ready to play at the next level,” he said. “I had good coaches, good teammates and made a lot of friends there, but I’m ready to move on and take my career to the next level.”

After Rookie-level Johnson City, the Cardinals farm system consists of Short-Season A State College Spikes, Single-A Peoria Chiefs, High-A Palm Beach Cardinals, Double-A Springfield Cardinals and Triple-A Memphis Redbirds. 

Just like it was as a young boy, Brettell's dream is to make it to the MLB. Now that he's been drafted, the dream is even closer. 

“It comes down to how hard I’m willing to work and I’m definitely ready to put in that effort," Brettell said. "I want to get better every day to keep competing and doing well. As long as I keep pitching well, I feel like I can move up.” 

In order to help himself move up and pass other pitchers on the depth chart, Brettell will showcase his sinker. 

“A lot of the guys (with the Cardinals) are good pitchers, but I feel like my sinker can help me push myself because it’s dynamic and I can control it," he added. "I can get a lot of outs with that one pitch, but I want to develop better offspeed pitches to complement it. I feel like the sinker is my bread and butter to get me through.”

Along with Brettell, Central Michigan right-hander Dazon Cole was drafted in the 25th round by the Los Angeles Angels and outfielder Daniel Robinson was picked in the 29th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.