On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the signing of outfielder C.J. McElroy – the team’s third round selection (109th player overall) in last month’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. As we noted in our weekly subscriber-only Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook last weekend, McElroy has been assigned to the Cardinals’ lowest level affiliate in the US, their rookie level Gulf Coast League team in Jupiter, Fla. Baseball America reports his signing bonus is $510,000.
McElroy, 18, excelled as a two-sport prep standout and had commitments from the University of Houston to play both football and baseball. His father, Chuck McElroy, pitched in the majors for 16 seasons and his uncle is Cecil Cooper, former Houston Astros manager and MLB player. McElroy’s grandfather Sylvester Cooper played in the Negro Leagues.
The right-handed hitting McElroy hit .488 this year for Clear Creek (TX) High School and established the school’s single-season stolen base record with 33.
With the announcement, the Cardinals have signed 34 of the 50 members of their 2011 draft class, with 32 of them active. Including first-rounder Kolten Wong, the organization has closed deals with 11 of their first 13 selections and 16 of 20. Second-rounder Charlie Tilson remains the biggest name unsigned.
To see signed and unsigned players by position and level – along with all 300 Cardinals system players – be sure to check out and bookmark the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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