Kolten Wong Reaches Base Four Times In Professional Debut

For more MLB Draft 2011 prospect and rumors coverage, visit us at SB Nation St. Louis or Viva El Birdos.

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MLB Draft 2011: St. Louis Cardinals Chase Speed In Middle Rounds

After selecting polished college hitter Kolten Wong in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals went after several speedy high schoolers in the middle rounds of the draft Tuesday. Charlie Tilson, a left-handed center fielder who earned Jacoby Ellsbury comparisons in the mothership article, was their second-rounder, going 79th overall. In the third round they selected C.J. McElroy, Cecil Cooper’s nephew, another high school burner who’s equally renowned as a wide receiver recruit. Their fourth-round pick was high school infielder Kenny Peoples-Walls, a California shortstop with good speed and contact skills who might end up at second base.

Tilson, whose wood-bat power is a subject of some dispute, might require late-first-round money to sign, something the Cardinals should be able to do given their paucity of supplemental picks so far.

For analysis on the Cardinals’ first two days of drafting, keep following our MLB Draft storystream; for more analysis, check out Future Redbirds and Viva El Birdos.

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MLB Draft 2011: Kolten Wong Is St. Louis Cardinals' First Pick

For the second draft in a row the St. Louis Cardinals went with a polished, contact-hitting college infielder with their first pick, selecting University of Hawaii 2B Kolten Wong with the 22nd pick in the 2011 MLB Draft. Wong, 20, hit .378/.492/.560 and stole 23 bases with Hawaii, according to the mothership report on him.

Over at Viva El Birdos, the initial fear is that he resembles not Zack Cox, the 2010 polished-infielder who was widely judged as the best pure hitter in the draft, but Pete Kozma, the much-maligned high school shortstop who seemed to project from the moment he was drafted as a utility infielder.

Wong is supposed to move somewhat faster, and could help stabilize an infield situation that's been a mess for years, but it's always worrisome to see an MLB team draft for need, given the amount of time it takes an MLB Draft prospect to reach the majors for good. Wong doesn't appear to be a tough signability issue, so he could be a member of one of the St. Louis Cardinals' full-season squads soon. For all the updates on the Cardinals' draft performance, follow our 2011 MLB Draft storystream.

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