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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

TCN Blog 2012 top story #10: Five in the first round

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.

The five combined first round and supplemental picks are the most the Cardinals have enjoyed since 1991, when they had three first-round selections and two supplemental picks.

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.

Link to The Cardinal Nation Blog’s top 20 stories of the year countdown

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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3 Responses to “TCN Blog 2012 top story #10: Five in the first round”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    In the interest of unimportant accuracy….

    If the supplemental round is counted (as with Piscotty, Wisdom, and Bean), then Baylor’s Mark McCormick would have qualified during 2005.

    In 2006, Univ of Miami closer Chris Perez, who we had to surrender to the Indians owing to a jinxed rash of 3B injuries during 2009, was a supplemental too.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      I had forgotten, but RHP Clayton Mortensen was also a supplemental first rounder during 2007. He went 36 in the nation, versus 39th for Chris Perez during 2006. Mortensen has been a useful ML reliever for the past two seasons, justifying his selection. We had to give up some talent to land Matt Holliday during 2009 and Mortensen was part of the price.

      Also RHP Herron in 2005 was a supplemental first rounder who went 46th in the nation.

      While the first round is 30 selections, the size of the supplemental round varies, year to year. LHP Brad Furnish was literally a second rounder in 2006, though still a higher pick than 2012 supplemental first rounder catcher Steve Bean.

      2012’s draft of US amateurs certainly offered the Cards more than their customary number of high picks. They had 4 extra picks during 2012, versus 3 extras (Greene, McCormick, Herron) in 2005, 2 extras in 2006 (Perez, Furnish), and 1 extra in 2007 (Mortensen).

      Looking back at the track record of extra picks, Perez has been an all-star; Mortensen a useful MLer entering a third year; and Greene is a backup for the Astros, just a Jed Lowrie trade away from playing time (and its a safe bet Luhnow will trade Lowrie for prospects during 2013).
      McCormick and Furnish were felled by arm woes, while Herron encountered other problems.

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    While the players might shrug it off, as they should, nonetheless who would want to be drafted via a comp pick for Albert Pujols? This can create an unpleasant weight of expectations. Can CF James Ramsey and RF/3B Piscotty backfill a historic player?
    In reality, they just need to be themselves and the become the best that they can be, no better, no less.
    But its probably not a bad thing for the Cards to have selected a college senior in Ramsey and a poised player from Stanford as the Pujols backfills, because they should find Albert’s shadow easier to ignore than might a high school draftee.

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