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ASU in the Pros Series: Cardinals RHP Mike Leake

In Leake’s eighth season as an MLB pitcher, he’s fit in nicely in St. Louis.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Leake was certainly one of the best college pitchers to take the mound for the Sun Devils, but hasn’t quite attained that same success in the pros.

In 2007 in Tempe, Leake came out of the gate firing and didn’t slow down during his freshman season at Arizona State. He had a 13–2 record — the third most wins ever by an ASU freshman — with one save and a 3.69 ERA in 25 appearances including 13 starts. Leake also set the Arizona State freshman record with 127 innings pitched and 94 strikeouts.

He was named to the First Team All Pac-10 for his efforts. Leake was also a Third Team All-American and a First Team Freshman All-American.

Leake was just as impressive in his sophomore season. He had an 11–3 record with one save and a 3.49 ERA in his 19 appearances including 16 starts. Leake also became one of only three Sun Devils to reach 20 or more career wins as a sophomore. At the same time, he also batted .340 with 2 home runs and 11 RBI’s in 47 at-bats. Outside of his pitching duties he played first base, second base, shortstop and every outfield position.

He led the Pac-10 with 121.1 innings pitched and was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year. He was also named First Team All-Pac- 10 and was a Second Team All-American.

If Leake was great in his first two seasons at ASU, then he was truly amazing in his junior season. He went 16–1 with a 1.71 ERA, 162 strikeouts and held batters to a .193 average. He threw seven complete games, and at one point in the season he threw 26 straight scoreless innings.

His 40 career wins tied him for the third most in school history by a three-year pitcher. Leake again won Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year as he became the first back-to-back winner ever. He was named National Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and was also a unanimous First Team All-American.

Notable Achievements at ASU:

-First Team All-Pac- 10 (x3)

-Third Team All-American

-First Team Freshman All-American

-Pac- 10 Pitcher of the Year (x2)

-Second Team All-American

-First Team All-American

-National Player of the Year

Where is he now?

Leake parlayed his successful three years in college into a first-round selection in the 2009 MLB draft as the Cincinnati Reds took him with the eighth pick in the draft.

He spent five seasons with the Reds and had his best year in 2013 when he went 14-7 with a 3.37 ERA. After spending just half a season with the Giants, Leake signed a five- year, $80 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015.

Though Leake’s record is below .500 at 5-6 through 13 starts, his 3.14 ERA is 80 points below his career average.