SECAUCUS, NJ - JUNE 07: MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

2012 MLB Draft: St. Louis Cardinals Complete Draft Class Signings

The St. Louis Cardinals' have signed their 2012 MLB Draft class.

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MLB Draft 2012: St. Louis Cardinals Picks Carson Kelly And Steve Bean Make Pro Debuts

The St. Louis Cardinals are beginning to sign their 2012 MLB Draft picks, and the fastest movers are already playing minor league baseball. Short-season leagues opened Tuesday night, and two highly touted high schoolers, third baseman Carson Kelly (who signed for a million dollars over his recommended slot) and first-round catcher Steve Bean, both made their pro debuts in the lineup for the Appalachian League's Johnson City Cardinals.

Kelly—who some teams saw as a future pitcher—started at third and went 0-3 with a walk, while Bean went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI starting at catcher. 2011 draft picks C.J. McElroy (1-4) and Missouri native Lance Jeffries (1-1, 3 BB) also made their 2012 debuts.

Another first-rounder, Patrick Wisdom, has already made his debut for the short-season Batavia Muckdogs, where he's 0-6 with two walks. The rest of the Cardinals' first-round haul—starter Michael Wacha, right fielder James Ramsey, and newly signed third baseman Stephen Piscotty—are all seen as advanced college talents, and could make their debuts in full-season ball as high as the Florida State League's Palm Beach Cardinals.

For more updates on the St. Louis Cardinals' 2012 MLB Draft picks, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. Oh, and Future Redbirds.


Carson Kelly Contract: St. Louis Cardinals, Draft Pick Agree To $1.6 Million Deal

The St. Louis Cardinals have come to terms on a deal with second rounder Carson Kelly, according to Baseball America's Jim Callis. After a series of economical first-rounders it's not too surprising that the deal is for well in excess of slot value. Very much so.

Related: Cardinals Sign RHP Michael Wacha, No. 19 Pick In 2012 MLB Draft

Kelly, the No. 86 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, will forgo a scholarship to the University of Oregon. He is scheduled to take a physical in St. Louis on Friday morning.

To learn more about the latest MLB prospect news and ratings, drop by Minor League Ball. For more on the Cardinals, stick with SB Nation St. Louis. For more news, notes and analysis head over to Cardinals blog Viva El Birdos. For more from around the league, check out Baseball Nation.


St. Louis Cardinals Go A Million Over Slot To Sign Carson Kelly

The St. Louis Cardinals' 2012 MLB Draft strategy—drafting signable players like James Ramsey and Stephen Piscotty in their flush first round and going after tougher signs with the under-slot proceeds—paid off in a big way Thursday, when they signed second-rounder 3B/RHP Carson Kelly for $1 million over slot—$1.6 million in total. Kelly, who was also being pursued by the Oregon Ducks, immediately steps in as the highest-upside member of a draft that was intentionally heavy on college picks.

The Cardinals also signed high-upside pick Max Foody; Trey Williams is the last of their tough signability guys to remain on the board, though the Cardinals will have to get deep under their slot on James Ramsey to make a pitch to him. We'll be keeping up with it on our St. Louis Cardinals draft results storystream, so stay tuned. (For more on James Ramsey, check out our 2012 College World Series storystream; he's presently leading the Florida State Seminoles into college title contention.)


MLB Draft 2012: Carson Kelly Chased By Oregon Ducks And St. Louis Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals built their 2012 MLB Draft strategy around him, and the Oregon Ducks built their recruiting class around him, but only one set of birds will get to call top high school prospect Carson Kelly their own. The Ducks are a strong college team—and in-state, though he would probably have his tuition covered either way—but the Cardinals have an advantage in chasing their second-round pick, who could be either a third baseman or a pitcher: Lots of money.

By drafting college guys without a lot of leverage—Michael Wacha, James Ramsey, and Patrick Wisdom—in their huge first round, the Cardinals gave themselves room to draft a guy like Kelly, who could reasonably expect to become a first round pick if he excels in college. Their argument: Why even risk it? Just take the six-figure bonus and call it a day.

As for the Ducks—there's an interesting look at this from their side on OregonLive. But I don't like their odds.


2012 MLB Draft Results: St. Louis Cardinals Sign Patrick Wisdom; Close On Others

The St. Louis Cardinals signed one of their five first-round picks Wednesday, agreeing to terms on a bonus with No. 52 overall Patrick Wisdom. Rick Hummel reported on the Wisdom signing, although no terms were released. Wisdom, a college third baseman with power potential who's struggled to make contact in three seasons with St. Mary's, will reportedly begin his career in short-season Batavia when the New York Penn League opens later this month.

Wisdom was considered by some draft analysts to be one of the picks the Cardinals appeared to make for signability reasons—he and No. 23 pick James Ramsey, in particular, were seen as players who the Cardinals could sign early and affordably so as to go after more difficult signs later in the draft.

He finds himself in a rather crowded environment at third base—Carson Kelly, one of those would-be tough signs, is a third baseman behind him, and ahead of him David Freese, Matt Carpenter, and former first-rounder Zack Cox are all entrenched at the position in a minor log-jam. (Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso can also play third base, if you're counting.)

More MLB Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


MLB Draft 2012: The St. Louis Cardinals' Cape Cod League Fatal Attraction

The St. Louis Cardinals have shown a strong preference for taking Cape Cod League alumni in the MLB Draft. But is it a healthy infatuation?


MLB Draft 2012: Houston Astros, Carlos Correa Near Deal Already

The 2012 MLB Draft is barely over, and the Houston Astros already appear to be nearing a deal with Carlos Correa, the powerful shortstop they chose with the No. 1 overall pick. Credit former St. Louis Cardinals farm czar Jeff Luhnow, I guess, for knowing exactly what he wants and going after it. Reporting the deal: The Astros' owner, Jim Crane, a reliable source if ever there was one. If he signs this early Correa, 17, will have a chance to join the club's rookie-level affiliates as soon as they open up later in June.

In years prior this kind of deal might lead to Carlos Correa being labeled a "signability pick," but the limited draft pools out of which all teams will be issuing their signing bonuses have led to signability being a very real asset in a player. The Cardinals were among the first teams in the draft to play this game, back when they drafted college senior James Ramsey No. 23 overall.

For more on Jeff Luhnow's draft strategy, then and now, I'd like to point you to our own Nathan Grimm's interview with him.


2012 MLB Draft: Carson Kelly The St. Louis Cardinals' Toughest Sign

The St. Louis Cardinals took a conservative approach in day one of the 2012 MLB Draft, and on day two—with the No. 86 pick, in the second round—they gave themselves a target with which to paint all that unspent bonus cash: Carson Kelly, a 17-year-old high schooler who looks like a top prospect whether you think he's actually a pitcher or a power-hitting third baseman. He'll be tough to keep out of college, but the Cardinals, having drafted a few college seniors ahead of him, should have plenty of money left in their bonus pool to spend. Here's some video, if you'd like to make the positional decision for yourself:

Scouting reports like him on both sides of the ball, but the Cardinals shouldn't count their position changes before they're hatched—they'll still have to sign him, and immediately after he was drafted he didn't seem to have his mind made up. In a draft filled with polish, the Cardinals could certainly use a player like Kelly's upside, no matter which glove they tell him to pack. But he's likely to cost more than some of their first rounders.


MLB Draft Results 2012: St. Louis Cardinals Have Eclectic Mix Through Two Days

The first day of the St. Louis Cardinals' 2012 MLB Draft resulted in a surprising number of college seniors, perhaps none more surprising than No. 23 pick James Ramsey, a college hitter with indifferent tools and a bit of a positional problem whose numbers, adjusted for schedule and park, were better last year than anybody else's in Division I. Day 2 saw a more balanced approach, starting with vaunted high school prospect Carson Kelly, who could be an impact player on the infield or as a right-handed pitcher. Here's a look at the complete results through two days of drafting.

  1. RHP Michael Wacha (No. 19 overall)
  2. OF James Ramsey (No. 23)
  3. 1B-3B Stephen Piscotty (No. 36)
  4. 3B Patrick Wisdom (No. 52)
  5. C Steve Bean (No. 59)
  6. 3B Carson Kelly (No. 86)
  7. LHP Tim Cooney (No. 117)
  8. SS Alejandro Meija (No. 150)
  9. RHP Cory Jones (No. 180)
  10. RHP Kurt Heyer (No. 210)
  11. RHP Kyle Barraclough (No. 240)
  12. OF Yoenny Gonzalez (No. 270)
  13. C Rowan Wick (No. 300)
  14. 2B Jacob Wilson (No. 330)
  15. SS Trey Williams (No. 360)
  16. LHP Max Foody (No. 390)
  17. SS Brett Wiley (No. 420)
  18. SS Anthony Melchionda (No. 450)
  19. SS Bruce Caldwell (No. 480)
With five first-rounders, this Cardinals draft is sure to cast a major influence over the farm system for years to come—we'll see, over the next few years, whether that influence is a positive or negative one. For more on the 2012 MLB Draft, follow along on our St. Louis Cardinals draft storystream.

2012 MLB Draft: Michael Wacha, Like Adam Wainwright Before Him, A Prototypical Cardinals Starter

The first day's worth of 2012 MLB Draft results are out, and the St. Louis Cardinals made a perfectly predictable pick with the No. 19 supplemental pick they got for losing Albert Pujols in free agency: A polished college pitcher who's tall, right-handed, and throws a fastball he's got great command of in the low-to-mid 90s. That's Michael Wacha, of Texas A&M, the basically Adam Wainwright-shaped pitcher the Cardinals drafted Monday night to start their five-pick first round.

He's got a good fastball, a solid change-up, and a curveball that Future Redbirds suggests will have to be scrapped entirely. His strikeout rates aren't quite what you'd want to see from a first-round starter, but he's got great command and he could be ready soon to reach his ceiling, which is somewhere in the No. 3 starter range.

Not the most exciting pick the Cardinals could have made, but then the Cardinals don't make very many of those. He could be valuable shortly, though, and consistently—and that's been the Cardinals' M.O. for a while now.

More St. Louis Cardinals Draft 2012 coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


2012 MLB Draft Results: St. Louis Cardinals Go College-Heavy On Day 1

The St. Louis Cardinals went college-heavy on Day 1 of the 2012 MLB Draft. Results-first guys dominate their first round, with Michael Wacha going No. 19 overall and James Ramsey, an undersized batting-champ type, going No. 23. Later on they selected Stephen Piscotty, a polished bat-first third baseman reminiscent of Zack Cox. It was a perfectly conventional draft for the Cardinals, who in addition to Cox selected Kolten Wong, another top college hitter with average tools, with their first pick in the 2011 draft.

Despite Jeff Luhnow's exit, the Cardinals' draft Monday was basically recognizable as a Cardinals draft. The cheap cogs on last year's World Series team seem like the paragons of their system—this is a draft designed to produce more Jon Jay types, more Allen Craig types, more Fernando Salas types. In 2012 Matt Carpenter and Lance Lynn have continued to prove the dividends that strategy can pay, but it is, admittedly, a little boring in the short term. Here's their complete draft day so far, with links to additional coverage:

No. 19 Michael Wacha is a tall, Adam Wainwright-shaped college pitcher from Texas A&M. No. 23 James Ramsey is a college senior with a line-drive bat whose signability may have been much of the appeal;'s draft-day comparison to Skip Schumaker briefly set the internet on fire. No. 36 Stephen Piscotty is another college star, although scouts liked him somewhat more than Ramsey. No. 52 Patrick Wisdom is the night's big surprise, a power-hitting third baseman coming off an awful year. Finally, No. 59 Steve Bean is a high school catcher with an interesting bat.


2012 MLB Draft: Stryker Trahan A St. Louis Cardinals-Fan Favorite—Before He's Even Drafted

The 2012 MLB Draft hasn't even started yet, but in my capacity as editor of Viva El Birdos I've already noticed a St. Louis Cardinals fan favorite emerge—the stupendously named Stryker Trahan, a left-handed hitting high school catcher with excellent all-around hitting skills. Tim McCullough of Future Redbirds encapsulates The Case For Stryker Trahan perfectly here; basically, if you believe Trahan can stick at catcher he could be Brian McCann. He would be a fit for the Cardinals at No. 19 or No. 23, and with Yadier Molina locked into a long-term contract he would instantly become the long-term heir apparent, with bat enough to help elsewhere should Molina still be entrenched by the time he's ready.

This reminds me a lot of Daric Barton in 2003, only with more catching ability and a little less hitting hype. Barton, thanks in part to his emergence on a perennially dysfunctional Oakland Athletics team, has never quite lived up to the potential he flashed as a teenaged Wade Boggs in the Midwest League. But if he were at catcher he probably would have made an All-Star team by now.

More 2012 MLB Draft coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:


2012 MLB Draft: The Lost Transcript: Jeff Luhnow Talks St. Louis Cardinals, Draft Mentality Last June

Last year Jeff Luhnow, then the St. Louis Cardinals' Vice President of Player Procurement, and I sat down to discuss trading young players, drafting to a position of strength, and measuring risk versus reward when considering players with high contract demands.

Here's what Luhnow, now set to pick first overall in the 2012 MLB Draft as the Houston Astros' general manager, had to say.


MLB Draft 2012: Shelby Miller's Velocity Drop Shows Fickleness Of Draft-Day Profiling

Ahead of the 2012 MLB Draft—and ahead of our inevitable fetishization of whomever the St. Louis Cardinals select in it—it's worth talking a little about Keith Law's assessment of Shelby Miller, the Cardinals' top prospect from the moment he was draft No. 19 overall in 2009. Back then—and since, when he's made his uninterrupted climb up into the Top 10 of most MLB prospect lists—he was lauded for his mid-to-high-90s fastball. Now, per Law, his fastball is down to "90-93," but he remains a top prospect (and an effective pitcher in AAA Memphis.)

Forget about his effectiveness: The Shelby Miller we get in 2013 might look nothing like the one we were promised in 2009, no matter how good he is. Prospects make wild shifts like these all the time; the most confusing one for me has been the plight of longtime Tampa Bay Rays prospect Reid Brignac. In the low minors he was an imposing slugger who probably didn't have the glove to stick at shortstop; now he's an outstanding shortstop who doesn't have the bat to stick in the majors. To move across sports, it's a little like a more abrupt version of the change that occurs in the NBA periodically, a kind of Dan Majerle syndrome—where a ferocious dunker becomes, after he turns 25, a smooth three-point shooter.

Miller, in all likelihood, is fine. So when the Cardinals make their pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, just remember that the shortstop with the great arm and excellent speed might, before he's winning All-Star Games for the National League, end up a power-hitting catcher.


MLB Mock Draft 2012: A Computerized Mock Draft Gives Cardinals Lance McCullers, Taylore Cherry

A 2012 MLB Mock Draft is a much more difficult, involved process than, say, the NFL mocks were earlier this year; there are hundreds upon hundreds of picks, some of which are assigned by arcane free-agency-related processes, none of these picks are famous, and none of them will be famous for another year or two on the outside, unless they're Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper. So I was interested to see Minor League Ball's Matt Garioch attempt an automated MLB Mock Draft, organized by randomly generating a number within a range of picks in which each prospect figures to be taken. The results for the St. Louis Cardinals: Pitchers Lance McCullers and Taylore Cherry.

Lance McCullers is a high-school righty with a big-leaguer father—Lance McCullers, Sr., briefly a shutdown reliever with the San Diego Padres—and a high-90s fastball that could threaten the triple-digits. The only thing keeping him from top-of-the-draft consideration is his height—he's listed at 6'2", which has scouts thinking "reliever" as a reflex. (Here's a nice interview with him from 2010.) Taylore Cherry is another high schooler, but he's enormous, standing 6'9" and weighing 260 pounds; he also lacks McCullers's velocity, at least right now.

Two high schoolers would be a big change of pace from the Cardinals' recent polish-heavy drafts, but their last big risk—Shelby Miller—is just about to pay dividends. For more 2012 MLB Draft news and updates, with an eye on the St. Louis Cardinals, "like" our MLB Draft storystream on Facebook.


2012 MLB Draft: High School Bats With Power Potential Might Impress Cardinals

Over at Viva El Birdos the red baron has been running his 2012 MLB Draft scouting reports, an annual routine, and he's come upon a prospect he particularly likes for the St. Louis Cardinals: Trey Williams, a high school outfielder with power potential and a surprising amount of polish already. Or maybe unsurprising—his father was a first-rounder himself, 1983 No. 4 Eddie Williams.

The Cardinals' lack of power potential in their farm system has long been commented on, and while it's less true now than it's been in a while, now that Matt Adams and Oscar Taveras have broken out, it's still an area I'd like to see the Cardinals attack more directly. Their recent foray into big-ticket high-average hitters has mostly disappointed; Brett Wallace is in and out of the major leagues with the Houston Astros, and Zack Cox has struggled in his first exposure to AAA Memphis.

They'll be running more scouting reports at VEB all the way up to draft day; stay tuned there and to this storystream for more information as we count down to the 2012 MLB Draft this June.


MLB Draft 2012: What Will The St. Louis Cardinals Do With Their Albert Pujols Compensation Pick?

The St. Louis Cardinals go into the 2012 MLB Draft with a lot of draft picks to burn—five in the first 59 picks, to be exact, thanks to the various players they lost to free agency in the offseason following their World Series victory. No pick, however, will hold quite so much narrative value as the last part of their Albert Pujols compensation—the No. 36 pick in the supplemental round. (The Cardinals also get the Los Angeles Angels' first-rounder.) In their baseball mock draft, John Sickels and Matt Garioch of our own Minor League Ball connected the Cardinals with a high school outfielder for that portentous pick.

Nick Williams is his name. He's from Texas, and ostensibly committed to the Texas Longhorns, and he's exactly the kind of toolsy, high-speed outfielder the Cardinals targeted multiple times in their 2011 draft, starting with Charlie Tilson. Garrioch likes his well-rounded set of hitting skills, and ESPNHS suggests he's got the defense for center field and some power potential.

It's hard to say who the Cardinals will draft this far ahead of draft day, but a player like Nick WIlliams would definitely fit their MO of late.


MLB Draft 2012: St. Louis Cardinals' System Already Stacked

The St. Louis Cardinals go into the 2012 MLB Draft season with the best farm system they've had in years. Last season's first-rounder, Kolten Wong, is hitting .329/.418/.518 in AA Springfield as a 21-year-old. No. 1 prospect Shelby Miller is in AAA Memphis, and likely the first man up in case of a rotation emergency. And Oscar Taveras, the Cardinals' 20-year-old hitting star, is slugging .667 and throwing up the Bryce Harper signal after being tested with a AA promotion of his own.

And now they have draft picks. Lots of draft picks. The Cardinals' own No. 23 pick is joined by a No. 19 and a No. 36 for Albert Pujols's departure, No. 52 for Octavio Dotel, and No. 59 for Edwin Jackson. That raft of early draft choices could solidify the Cardinals' status as a top farm system in baseball.

Of course, there is one complication—the Cardinals' minor league guru, Jeff Luhnow, is now GM of the Houston Astros. In addition to Luhnow's departure the Cardinals will also have to reorient their pitching priorities with Dave Duncan away from the team.

More St. Louis Cardinals coverage from SB Nation St. Louis:

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