Picota — a 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m), 185 pounds (84 kg) right-hander — was a starting pitching prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals farm system who got as high as AAA but never reached the majors. He was signed as a free-agent on December 18, 1983.
Perhaps his best season in the minors was 1986, with the Savannah Cardinals. That year, he went 6–2 with a 2.00 ERA in 85 innings. Although he walked 67 and struck out only 45, the fact that he gave up only 55 hits attributed to his success.
1988 was also a good season for him. With the St. Petersburg Cardinals, he went 11–10 with a 2.89 ERA in 143 innings. He only gave up 130 hits that year, but he only struck out 65 batters. Apparently, he was not a strikeout pitcher.