The St. Louis Cardinals and second-round pick Charlie Tilson agreed to a contract just ahead of the final deadline for 2011 MLB Draft deals Monday, settling on a deal that, at $1.25 million, is worth just $50,000 less than the one the team gave first-rounder Kolten Wong. Tilson, a high school center fielder from the Chicago area who's got excellent speed and a solid line drive swing, went 79th overall and was considered among the toughest signs in the Cardinals' draft slate.
Tilson adds depth to a Cardinals outfield that was thinned out by the trade of Colby Rasmus at this year's Major League deadline and adds upside to a draft that was headed by Wong, a polished college infielder who, prior to a trip to the disabled list, was hitting .327/.386/.500 in full-season ball with the Quad Cities River Bandits.
With the minor league season nearly over Tilson will start his professional career with the complex-level Gulf Coast League Cardinals, the team's most remote stateside affiliate. 2010 first-rounder Zack Cox, another tough sign, had a similar stint with the GCL before entering full-season ball in 2011.