St. Louis Cardinals’ MLB Draft Preview: Round 3
Tomorrow is the day. The day I have been waiting for ever since I started this series. The MLB Draft is set to start tomorrow night at 6 PM and today we will discuss the St. Louis Cardinals’ options in the third round.
Unfortunately, for me I will be either on the road during or in a meeting at the time, so I will not be viewing the drat live. You can be sure that I will be recording it and catching up with my thoughts on twitter later. Also, after the draft be sure to catch my recaps and interviews of the Cardinals’ draftees.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at who the Cardinals should take a look at in the third round.
District on Deck
The Cardinals will have two picks in this round of the draft #100 and #105. Pick #105 comes from not being able to come to terms with pick #104 Trevor Megill last year. Here I will lay out four options for the Cardinals to take with these two picks.
Option #1 Trey Cabbage: 6’3 190 lb – 3B, Grainger H.S. Rutledge, TN
Cabbage displays a strong bat with pretty good bat speed that doesn’t produce too much power right now. However, with his frame and bat speed the power should come. He was a three sport athlete at Grainger playing Basketball and Football as well. As a junior last season he hit .464 slugging .891 showing some of his pop potential with 8 HR, 11 2B, and 6 3B. He also stole 22 bases last season so his athleticism has translated to the base-paths.
Defensively, he has a really good arm at third and good instincts but will need to continue to work on his quick feet to stay at 3B. Given his athleticism and experience at the position, it is not outside the realm of possibilities for him to get a chance at SS. Either position would be a good option for the Cardinals with the cupboard being bare at 3B and he could give them some increased depth at SS.
Cabbage has committed to the University of Tennessee
Option #2 Austin Allen: 6’4 205 C, Florida Tech
Here is a player that could be well gone by the time we get to this point. However, there is also the chance that due to his defensive limitations he winds up being available for the Cardinals at #100 or #105. If he is available there, he could be a potential steal of a pick. Allen has a strong ability to hit the ball and do it well. His coach Greg Berkemeir had this to say about Allen in Teddy Cahill’s piece on Baseball America, “He’s an advanced hitter. He’s got raw power as well. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark to all fields. He does it pretty regularly in BP and in games” this ability is something that cannot be ignored and is why he will be popular among teams picking in the late 2nd early 3rd rounds.
Allen may not necessarily end up playing as a C, as I mentioned at the top of the preview there are questions about where he could end up playing. Some say he could become more of a corner IF/OF type player. However, there are teams that would likely give him a shot at C and if the Cardinals have not selected a C to this point they could be one of those teams. If he has some of the natural instincts at the position he’s got two of the best defensive catchers to ever play the game in the organization to help him out during the winter/spring training months. This would be a fabulous pick for a third round pick, yes he is a division II prospect so there’s some question as to whether his abilities will translate to hit pro pitching but he slashed .422/.473/.733 in 45 games this season. That’s an OPS of 1.206 for reference of how good this is, Cardinal legend Mark McGwire in his historic season in 1998 had an OPS of 1.2224. Nobody is claiming he is going to be this good, but with these numbers, the ability will translate.
Another bit on Allen is that is a great person as well as a great player. His coach went as far to say this was his best aspect. This is something the Cardinals definitely take into consideration when acquiring talented players, taking a look at guys like Matt Holliday, Matt Carpenter, Kolten Wong, and even the 2014 first rounders of Jack Flaherty and Luke Weaver to see the Cardinals’ strong preference for character guys.
Option # 3 Ryan Mountcastle 6’4 190 lb – SS Hagerty H.S. Winter Springs, FL
Here is yet another good player that could very well fall into the Cardinals’ lap here. Mountcastle is a top level talent offensively with a strong and quick swing. I have seen him go as high as the late first round in some mocks but most rankings have him in third round range. Watching him hit, shows he has a very nice and quick swing from the right side that translates for good power and average. The swing is a bit on the loose side so it could need some tightening and fine tuning once he gets to the professional level but regardless his offense should translate well to the pro game.
Defensively, Mountcastle is yet another player who has some questions about where he will play . Most do not think Mountcastle will end up as a SS. He likely will project as a 3B or in the OF like Allen.
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Mountcastle as a high school prospect could demand a bit of a more hefty signing bonus from teams which like the defensive concerns would lend to him falling a bit in the draft. If the Cardinals’ like his bat enough he could end up being yet another potential special pick with his strong bat.
Mountcastle has committed to the University of Central Florida
Option # 4 LHP Bryan Hudson 6’8 205 lb Alton High School Alton, IL
If the Cardinals’ first three picks have been the way I would like it and heavy on the offense, then it is likely they would really like the prospects of picking a local pitcher here in Bryan Hudson. Hudson, according to Baseball America is the 100th best prospect and has risen to #71 on MLB.com’s list. He is a big left hander with a strong pitch arsenal including a FB that runs in the 90-92 MPH range. According to Norm Sanders of the Belleville News-Democrat MLB.com is calling Hudson the best Illinois SP since Mike Foltynewicz who was taken in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Houston Astros.
The left-hander has put together a very impressive resume this season only giving up 5 ER all season in 70 IP striking out 152 for a 15.13 K/9 which has caused him to continue to rise up the draft boards. Hudson no doubt has the ability to dominate on the mound which will make any team that gets him very happy. However, what makes him stand out even more is his calm and gentle attitude and humility. One local newspaper even went as far to pen him a nickname as “The Humble Hurler”. Hudson is a fan of our St. Louis Cardinals and is obviously giddy at the opportunity to be drafted by the local favorite. If he is available in the third round still, I cannot imagine the Cardinals not taking advantage of the local product being available and using one of their two third round draft picks on him.
Hudson has committed to the University of Missouri (Mizzou)
Once again, if you have not read the other posts on the draft, you can check them out here. I should have a short fourth round preview up before the draft begins tomorrow night, so check back here and make sure you are following me on twitter.