Picks came in fast and furious today. Let’s take a look at who the St. Louis Cardinals’ were able to acquire today so far.
Pick #1 Harrison Bader 6’0 190 lb OF University of Florida
Another depth move for the St. Louis Cardinals. As I stated in my previews, it was time for the Cardinals to get their OF depth shored up. Here we have another good bat has been added to the organization in Harrison Bader. In three seasons at Florida, he slashed .311/.390/.457 with 27 2B 18 HR while driving in 107 runs.
At the professional level, he is going to have to work on the plate discipline as he struck out 51 times in 233 AB this year, although he has increased his walks with 31 as opposed to just 18 and 14 in his first two seasons.
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The K’s may have been a result of the increased power this season where he has had 15 HR so far as opposed to the 3 in his first two seasons.
All in all another good pick for the Cardinals. He could be a late bloomer in the power department and if he can become more disciplined at the plate he could be another good player for the Cardinals.
Pick #2 Jordan Hicks 6’2 185 RHP, Cypress Creek H.S. Houston, TX
There’s not much out there on this guy. He has a bit of a different delivery that may need to be tinkered with. He’s said to come with a good live fastball in the mid 90s. He had some issues in H.S. that caused him to switch schools, not really sure what happened. Hicks has committed to the University of Tulane.
Pick #3 Paul Dejong 6’0 190 lb C/3B/OF Illinois State University (Redshirt Junior)
I really wanted the Cardinals to go with a catcher here and they made me proud! I am disappointed that I didn’t do a write up on a local guy in Dejong, but I didn’t see him falling to the Cardinals in the 4th round. I think the Cardinals are going to give him a shot at Catcher for sure, as he could immediately become the best catching prospect in the organization which isn’t really saying much.
The thing that really is good about him is his bat which has really jumped since his freshman season. As a freshman he hit .260 with 0 HR, 6 2B, and 17 RBI. Not a great showing, however as a sophomore and junior he really improved with a combined 36 2B, 23 HR, and drove in 97 runs. Has said to have even gotten better on defense in those seasons. Again, another solid pick by the Cardinals and I look forward to watching this guy move through the ranks.
Pick #4 Ryan Helsley 6’2 RHP Northeastern State University
This is an interesting pick here for sure. There’s not a whole lot of analysis out there about him. However, looking at his stats, he shows some promise. In 63.2 IP this year, he struck out 95 batters for a 13.42 K/9, which is pretty dang good. However, his other stats aren’t all that great. He had an ERA of 3.53 while giving up 10 HR and 11 2B in his 63.2 IP.
I would say he may end up as a better reliever than a starter. However, if he learns to control the contact made against him a little better he could end up being a solid pitcher especially with the high strikeout numbers.
Pick #5 Jacob Evans 6’2 205 LHP University of Oklahoma
This would be my first head-scratcher, I know as it gets later it’s all about what matches for your organization. However, this one doesn’t really make much sense for the team. Not that Evans isn’t a good pitcher, as he finished his junior season at Oklahoma 6-1 with a 1.67 ERA with 53 K in 43.1 IP and 8 saves.
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It’s just not necessarily the pick I would make quite yet. There are better players left on the board yet especially on the offensive side like the player I talked about yesterday in Joey Bart. It just seems a bit early to be taking a reliever yet. He does fit the “Cardinal Way” mold, being that he was one of the team captains for the Sooners.
Pick #6 Jesse Jenner 6’0 190 lb C University of San Diego
Well, here is our second Catcher or first if Dejong does not turn out to be a C. Jenner went through two colleges already before he settled on University of San Diego last year. Jenner is a senior, so he will most likely sign as he doesn’t have any leverage. Jenner projects well as a good hitting catcher. Not so sure about his defense as there is not much out there on him. In 471 AB in college he has a slash of .314/.407/.415 which is a good line. The slugging could be a bit better but he projects to have some more power than his 8 career HR suggest.
Interesting enough Baseball Cube ranks his batting and contact ratings at 96 and 92. Which if those pan out and the power starts to show up he could be someone to keep an eye on. I once again would have preferred to see Joey Bart picked here, but there must be some concern with signability here as he has fallen pretty far in this draft.