St. Louis Cardinals Draft Report

I really like the Cardinals first 3 picks, but it tailed off after that. If they would have signed Austin Wilson, it could have been a top 5 draft, but without him, it's about average. After writing this up, I like their picks better than I did before and that's always a good sign. 

 

The Draft:

Zack Cox, 3B - 1st Round

Cox was probably the best college bat available in the draft, and as a sophomore, he had extra leverage. Many thought he would be a tough sign, but signed for a reasonable $2 million.  The biggest knock against Cox is his lack of power. I tend to disagree. He showed good power as a freshman but didn't hit for average. As a sophomore, he cut down his power and hit for better average. I don't see him hitting for a high average if he hits for power, but he can be a MLB average hitting 3B. His defense is not great, but it isn't poor. He needs to watch his weight and work hard to be a solid defender at 3B. He isn't a bad athlete, though. He has a good approach at the plate, but he could strike out quite a bit in his first full season but he has proven he can make adjustments and overcome. That is a great trait to have in a prospect.

Tyrell Jenkins, RHP - 1st Supplemental Round

It is really easy to dream about Jenkins' potential. He's 6'4", 180 LBS so he has a lot of room to gain strength. He isn't a great pitcher yet but he is an extraordianry athlete and should be able to improve quickly once he concentrates on baseball. His mechanics are sound but very inconsistent at this point. He has a decent curveball to go along with his fastball. He was definately a good choice in the supplemental round.

Seth Blair, RHP -1st Supplemental Round

Blair did very well at Arizona State University in his last two seasons there. He has a solid 90's fastball and a good breaking ball. Pitching at ASU isn't easy and he gave up quite a few HR's but that should be less of an issue as a pro. He isn't a polished college arm but with a few mechanical tweaks, he should be able to move quickly with a likely ceiling as a 3rd starter. 

Jordan Swagerty, RHP - 2nd Round

Swagerty worked as the closer for ASU and usually threw in the low 90's. Swagerty's curveball is already a major league pitch. It comes out of the same arm angle as his fastball and has a sharp drop off. I don't see him being a future closer, but it isn't out of the question with a great pitch like that.

Cody Stanley, C - 4th Round

Stanley is a solid defender with a good arm. He has a quick left handed bat, but doesn't generate a lot of power with it. He isn't great at anything but he isn't poor at anything. He doesn't have a great arm, but he has a quick release. He could be a major league catcher and that is nothing to scoff at in the 4th round.

Victor Sanchez, 1B - 26th Round

Sanchez did well as a freshman but floundered his last two season at San Diego. He has a powerful swing and could be a solid power hitter if he can stay healthy. He has the ability to be a solid hitter and a decent defensive 1B. He showed good plate discipline at San Diego, that it reason for optimism. He has top of the draft potential if everything is going well, so the Cardinals could well have gotten a steal in the 26th round. 

Nicholas Longmire, OF - 5th Round

Longmire is very athletic and has a lot of potential and did very well in his pro debut showing a really solid power/speed combo. I'm not a huge fan of his swing, but it has worked so far and if he continues this, he could be a future 20-20 guy with a low batting average.


Samuel Tuivailala, SS -  3rd Round

Tuivailala has a really good arm and it will work well for his future position, either 3B or a corner OF spot. He is playing SS right now, but I think he'll outgrow that position. He hasn't shown the power it will take for a corner spot but he is strong and has a good approach at the plate, so it could come. I'm not sure he was a 3rd round talent, but he is an interesting player to watch. If his bat doesn't come around, he has enough arm to try on the mound.


John Gast, LHP - 6th Round

Gast already had Tommy John surgery and seems to have recovered. He has struggled with control at Florida State University but improved that to some degree this year. He did well in his pro debut and has good stuff. He has a nice breaking ball and a 90-93 MPH fastball. He looks like he has the potential to be a back of the rotation starter.

International Signings:

Carlos Matias, RHP

I am not sure if Matias has officially signed with the Cardinals yet, but they have agreed on a $1.5 million dollar bonus. He had signed with Boston earlier, but he did not pass his identity investigation. I believe he is 18 years old, but I know he can throw in the upper 90's with movement and control. That alone is enough for him to be very high on any list, no matter his age. He is slight of build and will still need to get a visa to play in the states, but he could move quickly once he gets here. 

Amauris Capellan, OF

Capellan may have actually signed in 2009, but since it was the end of 2009, I'll still count him here. He signed for $450,000 but did not show much this season in the Domincan Summer League. He is supposed to be a strong fielding OF with a good approach at the plate but he did not hit well at all this summer. He is still very young, so we'll have to be patient.

A few others to watch:

Corderius Dodd , OF - 17th Round

Dodd is massive. He's 6'3", 250 LBS and will likely be relegated to 1B in the long run, but he has enough arm to stay in the OF for now. His swing doesn't translate to game power yet and he'll need time to work on his skills, but if he can harness his bat speed and size, he could be really special. 

Reginald Williams , OF - 10th Round

Reggie was drafted just 4 spots behind his younger brother this year. He is a solid athlete whose father played in the majors. He is an athletic player with tools, but is very raw. He has speed, but his baserunning needs work. He needs a lot of refinement all around.

Dean Kiekhefer, LHP - 36th Round

Don't get me wrong, Kiekhefer won't be a star, but he's fun to watch. He throws from a 3/4 to sidearm delivery and has good movement on his pitches. He throws mostly in the upper 70's and low 80's but his movement and and command allows him to get people out. I hope he does well, because I would enjoy seeing him pitch to guys used to seeing mid-90's stuff out of the pen.

Best Unsigned Player from the Draft:

Austin Wilson, OF - 12th Round

At one point, I had Wilson as the 9th best prospect in the 2010 draft. He has as much potential as anyone in the draft with his 6'4", 210 LB build and amazing athleticism. He is quite raw and has a lot of work to do to get to his potential. His arm in RF is phenomenal and he has very good speed for his size. His raw power is off the charts but his usable power is less. His commitment to Stanford was strong due to the fact he is a very intelligent young man and comes from a family that values education. That is the only reason he lasted this long. The Cardinals made a valiant effort to sign Wilson, but he chose the other Stanford Cardinals instead. He could be a Dave Winfield type. I just hope Stanford doesn't sap too much of his power, as they are known to teach only one type of swing, and it isn't suited for power hitters.

Overall Top 50 Prospects from MiLB Prospects:

1. Shelby Miller, P
2. Zack Cox, 3B
3. Pete Kozma, SS
4. Lance Lynn, P
5. Tyrell Jenkins, P
6. Eduardo Sanchez, P
7. Seth Blair, P
8. Jordan Swagerty, P
9. Niko Vasquez, SS
10. Richard Castillo, P
11. Carlos Matias, P
12. Breyvil Valera, H
13. Adam Reifer, P
14. Bryan Anderson, C
15. Aaron Luna, OF
16. Jonathan Rodriguez, 1B
17. Daryl Jones, OF
18. Nicholas Longmire, OF
19. Frederick Parejo, H
20. Robert Stock, C
21. Bryan Augenstein, P
22. Deryk Hooker, P
23. Cody Stanley, C
24. Ryan Jackson, SS
25. Matthew Adams, C
26. Scott Gorgen, P
27. Jermaine Curtis, 3B
28. Anthony Ferrara, P
29. Amauris Capellan, OF
30. Ryde Rodriguez, OF
31. Nick Additon, P
32. Oscar Taveras, OF
33. Victor Sanchez, 1B
34. Virgil Hill, OF
35. Joe Kelly, P
36. Tommy Pham, OF
37. Matt Carpenter, 3B
38. Roberto De la Cruz, 3B
39. Nicholas Longmire, OF
40. Samuel Tuivailala, SS
41. Tyler Greene, SS
42. Donavan Solano, H
43. Mark Hamilton, 1B
44. Curt Smith, 1B
45. Casey Mulligan, P
46. John Gast, P
47. Blake King, P
48. Adron Chambers, OF
49. Steven Hill, 1B
50. Cesar Valera, SS
 *Maikel Cleto would rank 19th if I were to add him since being acquired for Brendan Ryan.

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