St. Louis has moved former No. 1 pick Rick Ankiel through its system over the past two years as if he were a Ming vase. This year the bubble wrap comes off—very carefully. Ankiel, just 20 years old, will take the No. 5 spot in the rotation, thanks to the off-season additions of Darryl Kile, Pat Hentgen and Andy Benes. "It's the perfect spot for him," pitching coach Dave Duncan says. "Those guys all pitch a lot of innings, so we don't have to ask a lot out of Rick." Ankiel threw 170? innings overall last season (with 233 punchouts), which puts him in line for about 190 this year on his growth chart. He struck out 39 batters in 33 big league innings, hinting that he could do for the Cardinals what Kerry Wood did for the Cubs in 1998 at the same age. Like Wood, Ankiel has a hellacious breaking ball. When asked when he last saw a lefthander with a curveball like Ankiel's, Duncan replied, "Koufax."