The St. Louis Cardinals started the second day of the draft by going after the teammate of a player it had drafted the night before. The team selected Seth Blair on Tuesday and then went with his Arizona State teammate Jordan Swaggerty in the second round.
Swaggerty is a two-way player who served as the Sun Devils closer during the season. The 6-foot-1 hurler posted a 2.05 ERA while collecting 14 saves. In 30 1/3 innings, the right-hander racked up 39 strikeouts while issuing 10 walks.
The draft-eligible sophomore also started 12 games at catcher in 2010. At the plate, he hit .352/.375/.463 with nine stolen bases in 11 attempts.
Swagerty works in the 92-94 MPH range while occasionally touching 96. His curveball is one of the best pitches in this year’s draft and is close to being major league ready. His changeup is average though he shows good command with the pitch.
With three solid pitches, the Cardinals might try him as a starter, like Joe Kelly who was drafted in 2009. If they keep him in the pen, Swaggerty could shoot through the system and might be one of the first players from this draft class to reach the big leagues.
The Team USA veteran was originally drafted in the 44th round by the Colorado Rockies in 2008.
In the third round, the team tabbed prep shortstop Sam Tuivailala. The Californian burst upon the prospect scene last summer while flashing a fastball that hit 93 MPH. But scouts see him eventually as a third baseman with his strong arm and superior bat speed.
If he were to stay on the mound, Tuivailala has a projectable frame but will need time to develop. The Cardinals will have to sign him away from a commitment to Fresno State.
The Cardinals chose catcher Cody Stanley with the 139th overall pick. A fairly athletic catcher, Stanley had success in the Cape Cod League in 2009. Stanley hit .299/.409/.443 on the Cape and garnered All-Star honors. This spring, he hit .323 with 11 home runs and 13 stolen bases. Stanley shows good polish at the plate as witnessed by his 35 walks compared to 21 strikeouts. Stanley’s a solid receiver with good arm strength. This season he threw out 25 would be base stealers to lead his conference.
On the UNC-Wilmington website, Stanley described his day: "I was watching the draft on my computer and had spoken with the Cardinals four picks before I heard and saw my name," said Stanley from his home in Clinton, N.C. "It was overwhelming to see that I had been selected in the draft. You can't prepare for that kind of excitement."
In the fifth round, the Cardinals chose a player with fantastic tools who has yet to put together his potential. Pacific outfielder Nick Longmire has plus power to go along with fantastic speed and athletiscm. He has great size, 6’2 and 210 pounds, and was considered one of the top talents in Northern California.
In 2010, he hit .327/.432/.500 after hitting .385/.448/.596 the previous season. During his senior season of high school, he led the state of California with 15 home runs.
Longmire was drafted in the 37th round in 2007 by the Oakland Athletics.
The organization nabbed its first left-handed pitcher when it chose John Gast in the sixth round. The Florida State Seminole possesses a fastball that sits 91-93 to go along with a power curveball. But the Tommy John surgery survivor wore down during the season and finished with an ERA of 5.61 while striking out 59 compared to 26 walks in 67.1 innings.
The Texas Rangers selected Gast in the fifth round of the 2007 draft.
The Cardinals left the mainland to nab Hawaii shortstop Greg Garcia in the seventh round. The first team All-WAC selection hit .358/.450/.505 with three home runs and 40 RBIs while playing solid defense up the middle. The native of California showed good plate discipline with more walks, 31, than strikeouts, 30.
In an elimination game at the Tempe Regional this past weekend, Garcia drove in four runs while beating the Washington Nationals second round selection, Sammy Solis.
Garcia has good range and above average arm strength. With his baseball savvy and instincts, most believe he should be able to stay at short or could handle the move over to second.
In the eighth round, the organization drafted a player it was very familiar with. After not coming to terms with Daniel Bibona as a 16th round pick last year, the team took him this time eight rounds earlier.
The southpaw is a polished college pitcher who is a combined 30-6 in three seasons at UC-Irvine. In 90 innings for the Anteaters this spring, Bibona racked up 100 strikeouts while walking a stingy 15. He throws his fastball in the upper 80’s with great movement and command. Like Swaggerty, he has an above average curveball to go along with a solid changeup.
The team popped another left-handed pitcher when Tyler Lyons was selected in the ninth. The Oklahoma State product has struggled with consistency the past two springs while excelling during the summer. With Team USA in 2008, Lyons did not allow a run working out of the bullpen. On the Cape in 2009, he posted a 1.77 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 45.2 innings.
This spring, he posted a record of 3-6 with a 6.06 ERA while striking out 80 and walking 18. The southpaw pitches in the high 80’s with a solid curveball that he struggled commanding this spring. Due to these struggles, Lyons found a new feel for his changeup that has made it a valuable secondary pitch.
Lyons was selected in the 10th round last year by the New York Yankees.
With its 10th round choice, the team went to the junior college level to find Reggie Williams. The son of the former big leaguer of the same name has fantastic size at 6’4 and blazing speed. The outfielder is still raw but managed to hit .327/.444/.545 at Middle Georgia Junior College.
The speedster did manage 33 steals in only 40 games which was the third best mark in the nation at his school’s level. Though he comes from baseball pedigree, Williams is really raw and will need time to develop his skills. But with fantastic athleticism, I am sure the Cardinals will give him time to mature.
The switch hitter played for his father’s baseball academy travel team called the Dawg Pound.
In the 11th round, the Cardinals selected another left-handed pitcher. Only this time it was a prep pitcher from Florida. Benjamin Freeman struck out 126 hitters while allowing only 17 walks in 59.2 innings. He posted an anemic ERA of 0.70 and held his opponents to a .103 average.
His strikeout total was the third best mark in the state of Florida while his ERA ranked ninth.
Freeman has a fastball that sits in the high 80’s to go along with a curveball, change, and slider. With a long, lean, projectable frame, Freeman could add velocity as he adds bulk. He had signed to play at State College of Florida.
With the Cardinals 12th round selection, the club decided to roll the dice. Austin Wilson was considered to be a first round talent that fell due to his commitment to Stanford. Wilson’s father is an MIT grad while his mother graduated from Stanford and it is rumored that his parents want him to go to college.
Wilson is considered to be the best power prospect in Southern California since current Marlin Mike Stanton. The two have similar body types with similar power upsides. For a big man, he shows good speed on the bases and covering ground in the outfield. His arm grades as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.
At the plate, he shows some of the best power of any player in the draft. Like first overall pick Bryce Harper, Wilson’s batting practice displays have become stuff of legend. He still needs to develop his hit tool but with adjectives used to describe him such as smart, coachable, and hard-working, this seems like an area that can be mastered.
It will take an above slot bonus to buy Wilson out of his Stanford commitment and a $3 million bonus demand has been rumored. But if the Cardinals do step up and sign the 6’4 right fielder, the Cardinals will add a true impact player to the organization.
Speaking of Stanford, the second baseman of the Cardinal, Colin Walsh was the team’s next pick in the 13th. Another veteran of the Cape Cod League, Walsh was an All-Star after getting off to a hot start during the summer of 2009.
The 6’1 junior started every game while leading his team in home runs (7), runs, and RBIs. The switch hitter posted a line of .317/.428/.493 with 53 strikeouts compared to 41 walks.
Scouts like Walsh’s sweet swing that some project will bring him more power. In the field, he is an above average fielder with good range and instincts.
The team’s 14th round choice might be overlooked in California, but Cesar Aguilar proved to be productive. The prep right-hander racked up 81 strikeouts in 60.1 innings while posting an ERA of 1.62.
With a thick lower half, Aguilar works in the high 80’s now but it is very reasonable to believe he will add velocity as he matures.
The team turned to a backstop next when it chose Santa Clara’s Geoff Klein in the 15th. The switch hitting catcher has great bat speed and shows lots of polish at the plate. Klein posted a line of .346/.432/.525 with 29 walks and 25 strikeouts.
A mountain of a man, the 6’4 catcher has power potential and solid receiving skills. Due to his defense, he forced teammate Tommy Medica (a 14th round selection of the Padres) from behind the plate and into the infield.
The senior leaves Santa Clara as one of the school’s most productive offensive players in its history.
For its next two selections, the Cardinals chose two interesting high school outfielders.
First was Anthony Bryant from Connally High School in Texas in the 16th. At 6’3, 215 pounds, he has a body that scouts can dream on while flashing above average power potential. He has plus, plus speed and he flashed that with a state 100 meters championship. His hit tool is his weakest tool at this point and there are some scouts who are not convinced that he will hit.
The Cardinals will have to compete with colleges lining up to offer Bryant football scholarships.
He was a teammate of the Cardinals’ supplemental first round pick Tyrell Jenkins during the 2009 Area Code Games.
In the 17th round, the team nabbed Corderius Dodd from Jackson, TN. Dodd is oversized at 6’2, 250 pounds but could play the outfield if he watches his weight. With above average power and bat speed, he was considered to be the top high school hitter in the state of Tennessee.
For his size, he shows average speed and athletic ability on the bases and in the outfield. He has pitched during his high school career and has the arm strength to play right field.
Dodd told the Jackson Sun he would sign if offered a signing bonus of at least $150,000.
Strikeout pitcher Boone Whiting would be the next player the Cardinals would take off the board, in the 18th. The Centenary product ranked fifth in the nation in strikeouts per nine innings with a mark of 12.9 and ninth in total strikeouts with 120.
The Summit League Pitcher of the Year posted a 6-2 record with a 3.21 ERA during his junior season. His fastball sits in the high 80’s while his slider is a swing and miss pitch.
In the 19th round, the Cardinals nabbed Tennessee Tech outfielder Chad Oberacker. The left-handed hitter posted a line of .452/.527/.690 with six home runs and 70 RBIs. He showed great plate discipline and pitch recognition while drawing 34 walks compared to 23 strikeouts.
Oberacker started every game his last two seasons at Tech and his .452 average was the third best mark in the nation.
In the 20th round, the Cardinals selected another high school shortstop. Trevor Martin is a veteran of the travel team circuit and has committed to attend Western Nevada College.
At the plate, Martin shows tremendous bat speed and polish for a high school hitter. He should be able to stay at short for now and if signed, the organization adds another outstanding athlete to its minor league depth.
21st-rounder Josh Lucas is a mountain of a man, standing 6’6 and bringing a fastball that sits in the high 80’s. With better mechanics, he is easily projectable of reaching the mid 90’s.
Very raw on the bump, Lucas has struggled with his control and command of his secondary offerings.
In the 22nd round, the team brought another outfielder in the fold with the selection of Steven Ramos. Drafted out of Ohlone Community College, Ramos has a commitment to Cal State-Fullerton to play baseball starting this fall.
The leadoff speedster helped lead his team to the California Junior College state championship. In two seasons, he hit .380 while stealing over 70 bases.
Another juco player was picked next, in the 23rd, pitcher Dyllon Nuernberg. The right-hander is a veteran of the showcase circuit as both a pitcher and a catcher.
Nuernberg has a fastball that is consistently in the low 90’s. In only 15.2 innings this spring, the 6’2 pitcher struck out 21 while giving out eight free passes.
With the 24th round came another outfield selection. This time it was Pat Biserta out of Rutgers. Formerly the Scarlet Knights’ designated hitter, Biserta was moved to left field and that is when the bat erupted. The left-handed hitter finished the season with a .368 average while slugging 18 home runs.
Undersized for a corner outfielder, there is some that believe his power will have difficulty transitioning to wood bats.
After selecting two players from Puerto Rico in 2009, the Cardinals waited until the 25th round to pick a player of the island this time around. Richard Mendoza has a projectable frame that could easily add bulk. He has a full effort delivery that features a deceptive leg kick.
Mendoza’s fastball sits in the low 90’s and it is not out of line to think that he could add more velocity as he fills out his frame. His secondary offerings are lacking but this seems like a very good pick this late in the day.
Coming out of high school, 26th round selectionVictor Sanchez looked like a potential top round pick. Unfortunately, injuries have relegated him to play a lot of designated hitter and first base. A third baseman as a freshman, Sanchez showed fantastic polish and pitch recognition for a player his age.
Also, as a freshman, he showed his power potential by leading his San Diego team with 12 home runs. Sanchez’ possesses above average bat speed and along with his upper cut swing has power potential.
If he could ever find consistency and good health, this pick has the potential to be a steal for the Cardinals.
The former Team USA member was drafted by the Cubs in the 25 round in 2007.
The Cardinals finished up day two with the selections of three more pitchers and a shortstop.
27th round selection Aiden Lucas has a pitcher’s frame, 6’3 and 215 pounds, though he was more recognized as a hitter in college. Lucas finishes his career at Denison as the school’s career leader in ERA and saves.
In the 28th round, the Cardinals then chose another middle infielder, Taylor Black. The slick fielding shortstop got off to a slow start after he arrived at the University of Kentucky but proved his mettle during SEC play. In 100 at bats in college baseball’s toughest conference, he hit .300 along with 10 home runs.
Black struggled with wood bats during his summer spent in the Northwoods League.
Appalachian State’s Chris Patterson was the next player brought into the mix, taken in the 29th round. The right-hander served as the team’s closer picking up 13 saves while posting a 1.67 ERA. In 43 innings of work, he notched 60 strikeouts while allowing only 13 free passes.
With the team’s final selection of day two, the Cardinals chose Iden Nazario in the 30th round. The southpaw appeared in only 10 games for the Miami Hurricanes this season covering only 10.1 innings. Nazario really struggled, posting an ERA over 10 while striking out 17 and allowing 11 walks.
Nazario was previously picked in the 41st round of the 2007 MLB draft by the Washington Nationals.
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