Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Look Back at Recent Cardinal Drafts

                                2013 1st Round Pick Marco Gonzales

The Cardinals had two first round picks for the second straight season, although they didn't have the 3 supplemental picks they had last year. They selected two left handed pitchers in the first round in Marco Gonzales(from Gonzaga) and Rob Kaminksy(high school). The Cardinals also drafted lefties Ian McKinney and Jimmy Reed in the top ten. In the second round they drafted Columbian shortstop Oscar Mercado. They also drafted two other shortstops, getting Canadian Malik Collymore and Chris Rivera. In round three they drafted right handed pitcher Mike Mayers from Ole Miss. The organization stocked up on left handed pitchers and shortstops in the top rounds this year.

When John Mozeliak took over as GM in late 2007, he made it a priority to improve the farm system and player development. The team hasn't hit on all the picks since then, but they have drafted some key contributors to this year's team in those years. The Cardinals were also rated the top farm system in the game coming into this season. Today, we'll take a look back at the Cardinals drafts under Mozeliak.


The Cardinals had two first round picks plus 3 supplementary 1st round picks in this draft. The Angels gave up their first round pick and the Cardinals got a supplementary pick when they signed Albert Pujols in free agency. They used those two picks to select starting pitcher Michael Wacha and third baseman Stephen Piscotty. Wacha is already in the big leagues a little less than a year after being drafted. Piscotty is one of three third baseman chosen by the club in the first two rounds. They also drafted Patrick Wisdom in a supplementary pick for losing Octavio Dotel, and Carson Kelly in the second round. Piscotty is playing the best out of the three with Kelly having the best long term potential. Center fielder James Ramsey was the Cardinals regular first round pick and is currently in Double A Springfield. The Cardinals also drafted catcher Stephen Bean in a supplementary pick for losing Edwin Jackson.


Hawiian second baseman Kolten Wong was selected in the first round of the 2011 draft. He is currently batting .326 with 4 home runs, 20 RBIs, and 8 steals in Triple A Memphis. The Cardinals selected two center fielders in the next two rounds in Charlie Tilson and CJ McElroy. Tilson has played the best out of the two. Seth Maness was the first player from this draft class to make the big leagues and has 4 wins out of the bullpen for the Cardinals this year. Left hander Ryan Sherriff has made it to Triple A and is the most promising pitcher from this draft after Maness.


Third baseman Zack Cox was picked in the first round of this draft. Cox was traded to the Marlins last July for reliever Edward Mujica. Mujica(aka the Chief) has been dominant since joining the team and has taken over as closer, converting 18 out of 18 saves. Seth Blair was a supplementary pick for Mark De Rosa, but has been a dissapointment. The Cardinals selected right handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins in a supplementary pick for Joel Pineiro. Jenkins is a big right hander with good stuff, but has not been able to harness his potential yet. He is in Single A Peoria and was rated in the top ten of the best Cardinals prospects. Reliever Jordan Swagerty was drafted in the second round, but had Tommy John surgery last year. Lefties John Gast and Tyler Lyons were both drafted in 2010, both making their debuts in the rotation for St. Louis this year. Righty Boone Whiting was promoted to Memphis this year after doing well in Springfield. Shortstop prospect Greg Garcia was also picked in 2010.


Shelby Miller was drafted out of high school with the team's first pick in 2009. Miller has been dominant this year with a sub-2 ERA. Miller is a leading contender for NL Rookie of the Year this season. Joe Kelly, Trevor Rosenthal, and Keith Butler were all drafted in 2009. Rosenthal can reach 100 mph on his fastball and has done a terrific job as the 8th inning setup guy this year. Middle infielder Ryan Jackson was drafted in the 5th round. He is hitting well in Triple A, but hasn't done much at the major league level. Matt Carpenter was drafted in the 13th round and has been a sparkplug at the leadoff spot this year. Matt Adams was also selected in this draft and has great power potential. This draft was one of the best in this team's recent history. Four years later, Miller, Kelly, Carpenter, Rosenthal, and Adams are playing big roles on the major league team. Where would this team be without those guys?


Similar to 2010, the team selected a 1B/3B type in Brett Wallace. Wallace has never lived up to the hype in the big leagues, but was traded in a package for Matt Holliday. Shane Peterson was drafted in the second round and was also part of the Holliday deal. Pitcher Clayton Mortensen was the third player in the deal, and neither of the three have done much in the majors. The Cardinals did draft Lance Lynn in a supplementary pick for Troy Percival. It's hard to even remember Percival pitching for the Cardinals. Lynn has already made an All Star team and is pitching very well this year. Alex Castellanos was drafted in the 10th round, and the significance of him as that he was traded for Rafael Furcal, who played a big role in the 2011 push for the championship. Jermaine Curtis and lefties Sam Freeman and Kevin Siegrist were also picked in this draft. Lynn is the only player from this draft to make a mark on the Cardinals, but two of these players were traded for Holliday

The Cardinals have had 14 players play for them this year in these 5 drafts. Lynn, Adams, Rosenthal, Carpenter, Kelly, Miller, Gast, Lyons, Maness, and Wacha look like they are solid big leaguers. There are a few more that could be. The team has come along way since 2005 when they had one of the worst farm systems.

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