Reverend Redbird

Preaching the Gospel of St. Louis Cardinal Baseball

Cardinal Draft Retrospect (and a Max Scherzer update)

Posted by The Right Reverend on April 20, 2006

Max is still out indefinetly with arm troubles, though he still should still go very high in the draft, and some are speculating the Royals will take him. Speaking of the draft, the order was announced yesterday. The Cardinals have first round picks #30 and #42. I have no idea who they will take, but I thought it might be fun to take a look at previous Cardinal 1st round draft picks and how they are now faring.

  • Tyler Greene, SS, 1st round, 30th overall 2005. The Georgia Tech standout drew comparisons to Derek Jeter by scouts, though the results thus far aren't much to write home about, but it's still very early. Last season in short season New Jersey Tyler batted .261/.352/.370 in 138 at bats. He was promoted to Palm Beach (A+) where in 85 at bats, he hit .271/.326/.388. Greene is currently struggling at Palm Beach, hitting .154 in 39 at bats. It should also be noted that in his short minor league career thus far, Greene has been an excellent basestealer, swiping 21 bags and only getting caught once. VERDICT: I'd like to seem him get it going at the plate, but the tools certainly are all there.  
  • Colby Rasmus, OF, 1st Round, 28th overall, 2005. Had a very strong debut in Johnson City (R) last year, hitting .296/.362/.514, including 7 homeruns and 13 stolen bases. He's currently playing for the Swing. (A-)After starting going only 2 for 28, Rasmus is 8 for 24 with 5 doubles and 2 walks. VERDICT: At only 19, Rasmus has plenty of time for growth, but so far his future looks very bright. Could be Jimmy's heir as the next great Cardinal center fielder, though I'm sure the Cardinals will take their time with him. Needs to cut down K's.  
  • Mark McCormick, RHP, 1st Round, 43rd overall, 2005. I was able to see him pitch last year when the Swing visited the Cedar Rapids Kernels late last season. His fastball was consistently hitting 96 and 97 on the stadium scoreboard, and once hit 99. He also displayed a good curve. Unfortunately, he looked Ricky Vaughn wild.  Well, maybe not that wild, but he was still rough, allowing 5.91 walks per 9 in around 43 inning last year. That's on par for what he averaged in college. VERDICT: Because of his heat and his wildness, he's drawn comparisons to White Sox closer Bobby Jenks, only  big Bobby looks like he could swallow McCormick whole and chase him down with a tall can of Amstel Light. I'm no scout, but I'm guessing his future lies as a closer if he can ever harness his control. Or he could end up selling insurance in a few years, I dunno. Until then, he's back with the Swing, and thus far in 2 starts he's pitched 10 innings, walked 9 and struck out 14. Yep, still wild.
  • Tyler Herron, RHP, 1st Round, 46th overall, 2005. Holy dinger, Batman. Herron started 13 games for Johnson City last year, and for a 19 year held his own, sorta. He gave up way too many homeruns (2 per 9) to earn a shot with a full season club. But in fairness, HoJo field is an extreme hitter's park. Currently, he's in extended spring training. VERDICT: Wait and see, he's still very young at 19 years old. Tyler played shortstop in high school, and his own father thinks he has a better shot at the pros playing short then pitching. But he's pitching now, as it's a valuable commodity.
  • Chris Lambert, RHP, 1st Round, 19th overall, 2004. After he tore up the A level (7-1, 2.63 ERA in 10 starts) he's been miserable at the AA level. (18 starts, 6.35 ERA, 10 hits per 9, 5 walks per 9) And so far this season, his ERA is 8.53 in 12.2 innings. Lambert was the Cardinals lone representative at the Futures Game last year. VERDICT:It's still early, but AA has killed him so far. I wonder if Lambert is rethinking his choice to enter the baseball draft and give up hockey. It's not at all too late by any stretch, but I'm guessing his ceiling is at the bottom of a rotation.
  • Daric Barton, 1b/C, 1st Round, 28th Overall, 2003. Oh, no! Do we have to revisit this again? Truthfully, I don't feel as bad about the Mulder for Kiko, Barton and Haren trade. Out of the deal, I miss Dan Haren the most. (BTW, Haren is blogging now. Check it out.) Anyway, back to Daric. He's an on base machine who has consitently hit around .300 at every level, but his power still remains a question. There's a thought  he may move back to catcher after an underwhelming season from Jason Kendall last year. I think Daric's "young, high school stud catcher who can rake" role in the Cardinal system has been replaced with a higher powered version in the form of Bryan Anderson, who was in the Cardinal camp this spring. Anderson hit .331/.383/.513 in the Appy league last year, and for the Swing thus far is hitting .379 for the Swing with a couple of doubles in 29 at bats. At age 19, Anderson could make us forget all about Daric Barton if he can continue to hit the way he has with consistency. VERDICT:Barton will be a productive everyday player in the majors, draw bushels of walks and hit for gap power. Baseball Prospectus compares Barton to National first baseman Nick Johnson, and that seems about right to me. If Dan Johnson doesn't start to hit soon (.031 in 32 AB's) Barton could find himself up sooner then later.
  • Justin Pope, RHP, 1st round, 28th overall, 2001. (Nope, no first rounders selected in 2002.) Pope was traded in August of 2003 to the Yankees for stopgap starter Sterling Hitchcock, which pretty much tells you all you need to know. He hasn't cracked a major league roster yet. Last season, Pope was moved from starting to the bullpen, where he saved 29 to go with a 2.81 ERA at AA Trenton. VERDICT:At 25, time is running out and Pope probably has little chance making the Yankee club this year unless they have an insane amount of injuries happen in the bullpen.  
  • Shaun Boyd, 2B/OF, 1st Round, 13th overall, 2000. He's finally made it to Memphis. Blessed with exceptional athletic ability, but with little results to show for it, Boyd typifies the old school of thought as it pertains to the draft, and is a prime example why there are others in charge of those duties now. VERDICT: A bust, and at best he might be at the back of a poor team's bench, unless some completely wild and unforeseen breakout occurs.

Other semi-recent high draft picks of note:Chad Hutchison, (98) JD Drew, (99) (had to get the unpopular ones out of the way!), Rick Ankiel, (97) Matt Morris, (95) Braden Looper (96) and Adam Kennedy. (97) As you can see here, that 1st round picks are a mixed bag and there can be plenty of talent to be had in the latter rounds. See: Pujols, Albert. It will be interesting to see how it plays out when June comes around.

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