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.