On Wednesday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have agreed to terms with three of their top five selections from last week’s MLB Draft. Catcher Robert Stock (second round), right-handed pitcher Joseph Kelly (third round) and shortstop Ryan Jackson (fifth round) each agreed to contracts.
Stock was a two-way player with the USC Trojans as he also was a member of the pitching staff. Stock batted .226 with six home runs and 30 RBI this past season. He walked 23 times and struck out 24 in 137 at-bats. Stock batted .263 with 14 home runs and 74 RBI in his three-year Trojan career. He made national headlines after he bypassed his senior year in high school to join the Trojans as a 17-year-old freshman in 2007. Stock was named 2005 Baseball America Youth Player of the Year. Stock will begin his pro career at short-season Johnson City as a catcher.
Kelly, from the University of California-Riverside, was named Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year as a freshman in 2007. This season, he was 1-1 with a 5.65 ERA in 23 games out of the bullpen. Kelly’s father, Joseph Sr., played football at Vanderbilt and for the San Diego Chargers.
Playing for perennial powerhouse Miami, Ryan Jackson was regarded as one of college baseball’s top defenders in his three-year career at UM. After hitting .236 as a freshman in 2007, Jackson earned All-America honors as a sophomore after his average jumped 124 points to .360. The Miami Springs, Fla. native led the 2008 `Canes with 19 doubles, and tallied 38 in his career. This past season, Jackson hit .263 with four homers, 38 runs scored and a .362 on-base percentage. In his three collegiate seasons, Jackson hit .293 with eight homers, 103 RBI, 115 runs scored and 19 stolen bases. He is expected to open with Batavia.
This make the official signing count 35 of 50 of the organization’s 2009 draftees.