The St. Louis Cardinals had five selections in the first day of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. Four were compensatory picks awarded for the loss of Albert Pujols (#23, #36), Octavio Dotel (#52) and Edwin Jackson (#59). Their own selection was 19th overall.
This was the first time since 2005 (Colby Rasmus and Tyler Greene) that the Cardinals had multiple first round picks, and only the sixth time (1988, 1990, 1991, 2000, 2005, 2012) that the Redbirds have selected more then one player in the opening round since the draft’s inception in 1965.
With those selections, the Cardinals chose four college players and a high schooler. Having a system strong in pitching, the organization nabbed four position players after taking a college pitcher first. They are pitcher Michael Wacha of Texas A&M, outfielder James Ramsey from Florida State, third basemen Stephen Piscotty of Stanford and Patrick Wisdom of St. Mary’s of California plus Texas prep catcher Steve Bean.
All signed and played this summer, finishing at five different levels of the system – from Wacha at Double-A Springfield to Bean in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Wacha was exceptional, while Piscotty and Wisdom played well. Ramsey and Bean were placed aggressively and struggled initially.
Of course, the jury remains out on all these players and will for several years. Yet the four collegians will rank in the top 18 players in the 2013 Top Prospect List from The Cardinal Nation. They seem worthy additions to a Cardinals system that was already one of the best in all of baseball.