With the No. 19 overall pick of the 2012 MLB Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha, a junior from Texas A&M. Wacha was projected to go earlier in the draft a few weeks ago. The Cards ended his draft day fall at pick No. 19.
Here's the MLB.com scouting report on Wacha.
Wacha jumped on the prospect map very early into his Aggies career and while he's still the top college arm in Texas, he's not quite as high profile now as people thought he might be after the start of his college career.Wacha reminds some of Jon Garland because of his size. He has a live, quick arm that can produce a fastball up to 94 mph, sitting comfortably in the 92-93 mph range. There might be more there, pointing to a future plus fastball. He can spin a curve, though some think he'd be better off throwing a slider at the next level. He doesn't throw a changeup much, but it could be an average offering. He can throw his pitches for strikes and goes right after hitters.Even if he's not the elite college arm some thought he would be, he still has the chance to be a big, durable big league starter. And those don't grow on trees.
This pick originally belonged to the Angels but was transferred to St. Louis as compensation for the loss of Albert Pujols to Los Angeles. The Cardinals will earn an additional compensation pick for the loss of Pujols in the supplemental round, where they'll draft No. 36 overall, and given the lack of immediacy in the MLB Draft his successors are, more properly, Lance Berkman and Matt Adams, who replace him at first base.
But this draft-opening pick marks their first chance to get some value back for losing their franchise player to free agency, and they'll want to get the most out of it.
For more on the Cardinals' moves in the 2012 MLB Draft as news breaks and picks get made, stay tuned to this storystream or check out the analysis at Viva El Birdos.