Jun 1, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State pitcher Luke Weaver (7) delivers a pitch during the Tallahassee regional of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament at Dick Howser Stadium. Image Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals: 2014 MLB Draft Day 1

The 2014 MLB Draft got underway Thursday night.

The St. Louis Cardinals had four picks in the first night of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. In addition to the 27th pick of the first round, the Cardinals also owned a first round compensation pick because of Carlos Beltran signing with the New York Yankees. The Cards picked 68th in the second round and 71st in the Competitive Balance B round.

Round 1, Pick 27 Luke Weaver, RHP, Florida State
Weaver finishes his FSU career with a 16-6 record after posting an 8-4 record during the 2014 season.

“For three years Luke Weaver was the epitome of a student-athlete, said FSU coach Mike Martin. “All the way through his last semester at Florida State, he maintained over a 3.0 GPA culminating with a 3.5 GPA this past spring.

“Luke Weaver was well respected by all of his teammates because of his hard work, dedication and determination to succeed in all facets of his life. He continued to improve from his freshman year through his junior year and was an exceptional pitcher for us. He represented his family, his university and himself in a first class manner at all times. Everything Luke Weaver has accomplished since he has been at Florida State he has earned. We are excited for Luke and congratulate him on being drafted by the Cardinals.”

“We love Luke’s stuff, his makeup and his potential,” stated St. Louis Scouting Director, Dan Kantrovitz. “He has a fastball he can spot on both sides of the plate and an ‘out’ pitch that is effective to both lefties and righties. His change-up is his go-to out pitch and his breaking ball is also a quality pitch.”

Round 1A, Pick 34 Luke Weaver, RHP, Harvard-Westlake School
Flaherty was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year in baseball for California. Flaherty is a UNC commit and sign-ability may be a factor according to MLB Network’s John Hart.

Flaherty posted a 10-0 record this season with a 0.63 ERA after owning a 13-0 record during the 2013 season.

“Jack is an exciting talent,” Kantrovitz stated. “As he goes from a two-way high school player to exclusively a pitcher, we think he will thrive in our system. He has life on his fastball that can run up to 93-94 mph. The thing that separates him is that he has three quality secondary pitches he can throw for strikes.”

Round 2, Pick 68 Ronnie Williams, RHP, American Senior HS (Fla.)
Williams pitched his team into the state championship game and they took home their first title in school history. This past season, Williams posted a 8-2 record with a 0.97 ERA. Williams pitched 65 innings in 11 games, striking out 72 and walking 22 batters.

Round 2A, Pick 71 Andrew Morales, RHP, UC-Irvine
Morales was a first-team preseason selection by the National Collegiate Writers Baseball Association. During the 2013 season, Morales was a three-time Big West Pitcher of the Week and had a 10-0 record on the mound. During two seasons pitching for Rio Hondo, Morales was 21-1 on the mound. Heading into this weekend’s Super Regionals, Morales is 20-2 with a 1.75 in 34 appearances over two seasons. In 216.0 innings pitched, Morales struck out 213 batters while walking 49 hitters.

“This is great news and well deserved for a guy who has earned it,” said UC-Irvine coach Mike Gillespie.

“First of all, he’s a outstanding individual person who was just a non-stop worker,” said Rio Hondo coach Mike Salazar, who coached Morales during his first two collegiate seasons. “Every day for two years, he worked his tail off just to get better each day.”

Redbird Rants will update picks and quotes from coaches throughout the evening.

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