The St. Louis Cardinals had 25 selections in the third and final day of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, from rounds 25-40. Rounds 41-50 have been eliminated starting this year.
Of those picks, five have a father that works in the organization. The most high profile of those selections is Tate Matheny (23rd), son of the big league manager Mike. Others include Jacoby Almaraz (21), son of area scout Joe, Eduardo Oquendo (32), son of Jose, Derrick May, Jr. (37), son of the minor league hitting coordinator and the bench coach’s son, also named Mike Aldrete (39).
The Cardinals stocked up on right-handed pitchers, adding nine on Wednesday: Joe Scanio (16), Chris Perry (17), Steve Gallardo (19), Dixon Llorens (25), Joey Cuda (27), Andy Hillis (29), Joey Donofrio (31), Robbie Shaban (33), and Aldrete.
The organization also has added to its stable of left-handed arms with six new draftees: Lee Stoppelman (24), Steve Sabatino (26), Kyle Helisek (30), Mark Trentacosta (34), Ben O’Shea (35) and Javier Machuca (38).
In adding to its pitching corps, the Cardinals chose pitchers from large programs like San Jose State and Notre Dame, as well as smaller programs like Northwestern State and Methodist University.
Other selections include first baseman Jeremy Schaffer (18), catchers Casey Schroeder (22), Alex Swim (36) and Ian Rice (40) and outfielders Matthew Young (20) and Dodson McPherson (28).
Only four of the 25 came from high school programs: Schroeder, Matheny, May and Rice.
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Joe Scanio (16)
The Cardinals went to Northwestern State in Louisiana for this pick, but in doing so, they got themselves a local boy. Joe Scanio attended Hazelwood West. Scanio was named a preseason all conference selection after posting a 6-0 record to go with a 1.65 ERA working mostly out of the bullpen in 2011. In 2012, he went 5-4 with a 2.96 ERA with 72 strikeouts in 67 innings.
At 6-foot-4, he started his college career at St. Charles Community College before transferring to Northwestern State. The college senior played summer ball in the Midwest Collegiate League. His teammate Mason Melotakis was drafted 63rd overall by the Twins.
Chris Perry (17)
With this pick from Methodist University of North Carolina, the Cardinals continued to collect right-handed pitchers. The junior posted a record of 6-2 with a 2.14 ERA. In 92.2 innings, he collected 132 strikeouts including a season-high 14 batters in seven innings pitched against Piedmont. His 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings was the best mark in college baseball. For his efforts, he was named the USA South Pitcher of the Year.
Jeremy Schaffer (18)
The last time the Cardinals chose a first baseman out of Tulane, the pick was Mark Hamilton. This time, the selection is Jeremy Schaffer. Though a catcher during his college career, most scouts believe he will have to move from behind the plate. His bat is his best tool and he finishes his Green Wave career among the career leaders in multiple offensive categories.
The 2012 Academic All-American hit .326/.434/.537 with nine home runs and 19 doubles this spring. On the Cape in 2010, he really struggled with the wood bats. In 97 at bats, he hit only .175.
Steve Gallardo (19)
The Cardinals went back to the California junior colleges to select another right-hander. Steve Gallardo is a two-time All-Conference selection along with being the South Coast Conference’s Pitcher of the Year in 2011.
In 2012, he struck out 98 in 77 innings while walking only 13. The 5-foot-10 pitcher possesses a low 90’s fastball and a hard slider.
The highlight of his season was a 10-inning no-hitter in April. During the contest, he struck out 17 and walked only one.
Matthew Young (20)
The Cardinals added to its stable of athletic outfielders when the team chose Matthew Young out of California State-Dominguez. The junior possesses good size at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds.
During the 2012 season, the right-handed hitter posted a line of .357/.419/.626 with nine home runs and 13 doubles. For his efforts, he was named not only an all-conference selection but an all-region pick, as well.
Jacoby Almaraz (21)
The organization did not look far to find the slugging first baseman from Angelina (TX) College. Jacoby Almaraz is the son of the Cardinals’ cross-checker Joe. He was previously drafted in 2010 by the Padres and 2011 by the Braves.
At 6-foot-3, 180, Almaraz should add power as he develops bulk.
Casey Schroeder (22)
The Cardinals will try to sway the Kentucky commit from attending school in Lexington this fall and instead turning professional. The Ohioan is a 6-foot-3, 190 pound switch-hitting catcher with a strong arm and solid receiving skills.
At the plate, Schroeder should develop more power as he matures and already has good plate discipline.
Tate Matheny (23)
The Cardinals chose the son of its manager with this pick. Matheny has led Westminster to back-to-back state championships as the team’s starting centerfielder. He was named a finalist for Missouri Player of the Year by ESPN after hitting .605 with an astounding 2.021 OPS.
Word is that Mike Matheny did not want the Cardinals to select his son. Reports also said that he was going to hold to his commitment to Missouri State. It will be interesting to see if Tate signs or if this was just a wasted pick.
Lee Stoppelman (24)
Drafted out of the University of Central Missouri, Stoppelman is a native of Pleasant Hill, MO. The southpaw posted a 10-0 record to go with a 1.47 ERA. In 79.2 innings, he struck out 89 while holding opponents to a .217 batting average against.
Standing 6-foot-3, the college senior has a projectable frame and could be a find this late in the draft. His fastball sits in the high 80s and his delivery has been described as funky which helps his deception.
Dixon Llorens (25)
The Cardinals waited until the 25th round to choose the draft pick with most interesting name. To find him, the Cardinals went to Miami-Dade Community College, one of the top jucos in Florida. The right-handed pitcher has a solid two-pitch arsenal. Only 5-foot-9, he throws his fastball in the low 90s with good command. Llorens shows good feel for a slider that already grades out as an above average pitch.
He has signed a letter of intent with the reigning two-time NCAA champion South Carolina Gamecocks so he could be a tough sign.
Steve Sabatino (26)
The southpaw from Notre Dame missed his junior season after having Tommy John surgery. Working out of the bullpen in 2012, he made 27 appearances (including one start), but struggled to find the zone. In 35.1 innings, he walked 20 while striking out 34. This shouldn’t be too discouraging, a lot of pitchers coming off Tommy John struggle with command.
As a sophomore, Sabatino was made was the Fighting Irish’ number two starter. The native of Lockport, Il. was invited to play in the Area Code games while a prep star.
Joey Cuda (27)
The right-hander was named the Eckerd College MVP after a stellar senior season. In 86.1 innings, Cuda racked up 114 strikeouts. That total ranked him in the top five in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings in the nation.
After his junior campaign, he was named the Sunshine State Conference Pitcher of the Year after posting a 1.66 ERA. Last summer, Cuda had a good run in the Valley Collegiate Baseball League.
While in high school, Cuda was an outstanding football player with 4.7 speed.
Dodson McPherson (28)
The senior outfielder out of Wingate (NC) College hit .330/.434/.575 with 12 home runs and 12 doubles this spring. In 212 at bats, the right-handed hitter struck out 27 times while drawing 38 free passes. As a junior, McPherson was named the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year.
Like several other Cardinals draft picks this year, McPherson played in the Valley League in the summer of 2011. With wood bats, he hit .325/.394/.541 with seven home runs and 15 doubles in 194 at bats.
Andy Hillis (29)
There is some familiarity here as the Cardinals previously selected Hillis in the 49th round of the 2009 MLB draft. He chose to play at the University of Tennessee, during which time he had Tommy John surgery. While rehabbing, the 6-foot-7 right-hander transferred to Lee University (TN).
Working out of the Lee bullpen, he appeared in 29.2 innings, striking out 24 and issuing 11 walks. Hillis is a draft-eligible sophomore so he may prove to be a difficult sign just like in 2009.
Kyle Helisek (30)
The senior southpaw struggled with consistency, finishing with a 6.27 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 37 walks in 66 innings. The Villanova alum spent his summers playing in the Northeast Collegiate League.
Helisek’s delivery is a little peculiar that helps keeps hitters off balance. This could help his development into a left-handed reliever.
Joey Donofrio (31)
Donofrio made a team high 25 appearances out of the California-Berkeley bullpen. In 38.1 innings, the right-hander posted 43 strikeouts with only 11 walks. The senior held opponents to a .218 average while being credited with two saves.
The 6-foot-3 pitcher played his summer ball in the wood bat West Coast League. His fastball sits in the low 90s while his off-speed pitches are below average.
Eduardo Oquendo (32)
Not only did the Cardinals choose the manager’s son Wednesday but they also made their third base coach happy. Eduardo Oquendo is a shortstop at Olney Central Community College in Illinois.
Undersized, the shortstop hit .246 this past spring.
Ronnie Shaban (33)
The right-hander made only made six appearances for Virginia Tech after suffering a hamstring injury in 2012. In four innings, he struck out five and picked up three saves along the way. The senior spent a summer in the Cape Cod League and a summer playing in the Coastal Plains League.
Shaban was drafted in the 49th round of last year’s draft by the Baltimore Orioles. His fastball sits in the high 80s but he could add some velocity now that he will no longer be a two-way player like he was for the Hokies.
Mark Trentacosta (34)
The redshirt junior was used primary out of the California-Irvine bullpen in 2012. In 34 innings, he garnered 26 strikeouts and only five walks. Trentacosta pent last season as a redshirt, but did play summer ball in the West Coast League, where he led the league in saves with 11.
In high school, Trentacosta played on the Boston Red Sox area scout team.
Ben O’Shea (35)
O’Shea should be a tough sign as he turned down a 10th round deal with the White Sox last year. The junior played at Tampa this spring where he flashed a low 90s fastball but below average off-speed pitches. He posted a 2.34 ERA with 73 strikeouts and 13 walks in 92.1 innings.
O’Shea has a big league body, standing 6-foot-6 and weighing in at 250 pounds.
Alex Swim (36)
The junior catcher has been a starter since arriving on the Elon campus. This season, he hit .357/.398/.448 with three home runs and 11 doubles. At 6-feet, Swim probably won’t add much power but does show good plate discipline and a mature approach at the plate. In 241 at bats this spring, he struck out on 13 times.
Swim has shown scouts enough that most believe he will be able to stick behind the plate.
Derrick May, Jr. (37)
The high school outfielder hit over .400 while slugging over .700 during his senior campaign. May is the son of the Cardinals minor league hitting coodrinator and the former big leaguer of the same name. His grandfather, Dave May, was also a big league player.
May signed a letter of intent to play baseball at Villanova. From the right-side of the plate, May has a smooth line drive stroke. At 6-foot-3, he has a pro body and should add power as he matures.
Javier Machuca (38)
In a decision that is very unpopular in Puerto Rico, players from the US Commonwealth must go through the Rule 4 Draft, rather than negotiate as free agents like the rest of Latin America.
The left-handed pitcher hails from the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico. The 19-year-old calls Caguas, Puerto Rico home. He is average sized at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds.
Mike Aldrete (39)
Mike Aldrete was a two-way player at San Jose State, making 21 relief appearances in his first season with the Spartans. The son of the Cardinals’ bench coach had a 3.51 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 13 walks in 28.1 innings. While not on the mound, the 22-year-old made eight starts at shortstop, hitting only .136.
Listed as a pitcher by the Cardinals, Aldrete played on the highly regarded Bethesda Big Train travel team while a high schooler.
Ian Rice (40)
Ian Rice is a highly-regarded prep backstop that played on the East Cobb Braves travel team. The right-handed hitter started on his high school team as a freshman, leading the team to its first ever Alabama state championship.
Rice signed a letter of intent to attend Chipola Junior College. He has above-average right-handed power and has shown the ability to stay behind the plate.
Interesting video of Rice: link
Links to earlier related articles:
Cardinals Draft Day Two coverage
Cardinals Draft Day One coverage
Link to our entire library of 2012 draft materials, including scouting reports, mock drafts, interviews and much more.
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