Now that the minor league season is complete, it is a good time to look back at the results of the St. Louis Cardinals 2008 draft picks. In the first of a two-part series, the hitters will be reviewed here.
51 players selected by the organization in June, 2008, 24 were position players.
Of those, 20 came to terms with the Cardinals. 22 made their debuts with
Of the five hitters selected in the first 10 rounds, four of the five have to be extremely encouraged by their debuts. One is already playing in the prestigious Arizona Fall League. A late-round find would be named his league's Player of the Year.
Overall, the early results are very encouraging for what could turn out to be a very strong 2008 draft class for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Below, to the right of each player's name is the round in which he was drafted. Picks are listed in numerical order by the round selected.
Brett Wallace (1)
The former Arizona State Sun Devil enjoyed an outstanding start in professional baseball. One of only two drafted position players starting at the full-season level, the 22-year-old hit .327/.418/.490 in 41 games for Quad Cities of the Midwest League.
for their aggressive promotions, the Cardinals challenged Wallace again by
skipping him a level and putting him in the Double-A Texas League. At
two-game stretch in late August, the
Shane Peterson (2)
Overall, Peterson enjoyed a strong professional debut despite struggling during the dog days of August. The former Long Beach State Dirt Bag hit .291/.400/.409 for the New York-Penn League Champion Muckdogs. He ranked third in the league in on-base percentage and walks while ranking second in doubles.
Peterson came up big in the playoffs, hitting .409 with seven RBIs during post-season play. The 20-year-old was named a New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star.
Niko Vasquez (3)
again being aggressive, the Cardinals skipped Vasquez a level and promoted him
to Quad Cities. The
Jermaine Curtis (5)
lost some time with an ankle injury and the
Curtis finished the season with a line of .305/.383/.439. The former UCLA Bruin punished left-handed pitching, posting a line of .462/.543/.564. He walked more times, seven, than he struck out, six, against southpaws. For his efforts, Curtis was named a NY-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star.
Aaron Luna (9)
Drafted out of Rice, the former Owl received an aggressive first assignment to Quad Cities. Luna showed a propensity for reaching base with a .402 OBP while slugging .578. In 21 games for the River Bandits, Luna hit six home runs.
When a roster spot opened up, Luna was assigned to the A-Advanced Palm Beach Cardinals. In the pitcher-friendly Florida State League, the 21-year-old was clearly overmatched, though his playing time was sporadic. Luna finished his trial with a line of .080/.303/.080. Even so, he still showed the ability to reach base.
Alex Castellanos (10)
Belmont-Abbey product got off to a fantastic start at
His twenty stolen bases was the second-best mark while he ranked seventh in triples and tied for tenth in doubles in the Appalachian League.
22-year-old was then promoted to
Devin Shepherd (11)
A former fifth-round pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2006, Shepherd's was the tale of two months. In July, Shepherd hit .317 before hitting only .224 in August. The big outfielder never really found his power, slugging only .325 in the Gulf Coast League.
The five-tool prospect wore out left-handed pitching to a line of .444/.524/.500.
Michael Swinson (12)
got off to a great start in his debut in the Gulf Coast League. In his first four games, the
Along with Shepherd, Swinson was named by camp coordinator Mike Shildt as one of the most improved players during the recently-completed instructional league.
Charles Cutler (14)
quietly put together a superb professional debut behind the plate for
Xavier Scruggs (19)
former UNLV Running Rebel struggled with the strikeout in his first shot at pro
ball. Scruggs whiffed 68 times in
215 at bats for
Luis Mateo (20)
18-year-old showed flashes of his speed with 15 stolen bases between two
stops. Starting his professional
career in the Gulf Coast League, the Puerto Rican hit .274/.338/.363 before
being promoted to
After entering the Appalachian League, Mateo hit .284 while hitting .500 against left-handers.
Matt Rigoli (21)
The son of the long-time Cardinals' scout struggled in his debut in the Appalachian League. Rigoli hit .205 with 28 strikeouts in 83 at bats.
Colt Sedbrook (22)
middle infielder led the
In the New York-Penn League, he finished eighth in hitting, fifth in on-base percentage, tied for third in hits, and tied for fourth-most triples. Sedbrook was recognized as a New York-Penn League Mid-Season All-Star.
Chris Swauger (26)
out of The Citadel, Swauger led
For the season, the 22-year-old finished with a mark of .291/.348/.469, including hitting .389 with runners in scoring position.
Brett Lilley (29)
former Notre Dame Golden Domer started his pro career at
diminutive left-handed swinger then found his way north to
Jack Cawley (34)
continued to hit after leaving
Cawley showed good bat control, totalling 20 strikeouts compared to 18 walks.
Curt Smith (39)
Smith was rewarded with a late season call-up to the Quad Cities where he hit .244 with 10 RBIs in 11 games.
Paul Cruz (40)
athletic outfielder out of the
Cruz did show good bat control, with 20 strikeouts compared to 19 walks.
Blake Murphy (42)
backstop was originally assigned to
When a catcher was needed at Quad Cities, the 23-year-old was promoted to fill the roster spot. For the River Bandits, he reached base at a .351 clip.
Joe Babrick (43)
18-year-old had a tough time in his Gulf Coast League debut. The former
Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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