If you remember back in June, I covered the St. Louis Cardinals’ draft. I previewed what we could expect the Cardinals to do and who they should go after, after the draft I recapped the first ten rounds and gave you information on what we could expect from them. If you missed all of that you can check the recaps and other previews here.
First Round OF Nick Plummer
-The first round of the draft saw the Cardinals’ go against the grain and grab an outfielder in Nick Plummer with their first pick. Plummer took some time to get going, as he finished the year with a .228/.379/.344 slash line. Plummer has been touted as a strong hitter with potential to develop some power as he grows into his body, much the same as has been thought of with Magneuris Sierra.
Looking into Plummer’s stats a little deeper, shows that the batting average doesn’t tell the whole story here. In 51 games played Plummer had a total of 41 hits. Yes, for a high average guy you’d expect a bit more. However, looking at what he did as opposed to what he didn’t shows he was actually pretty good.
He had a total of fourteen extra-base hits (eight doubles, five triples, and one homer), 39 walks, 22 RBI, and eight stolen bases. Plummer finished the season with a really good wRC+ of 127, despite the low slugging and batting average.
The one area of concern for Plummer, the strikeouts. He amassed 56 strikeouts through his 51 games, which is not good, but is not all that surprising for a kid coming out of high school. Expect Plummer to start out with one of the short season teams next season, and if he excels there he could make it up to Peoria by the end of next season.
Competitive Balance Round: SP Jake Woodford
Woodford was the first pitcher to be selected by the St. Louis Cardinals, and is a big strong kid that the Cardinals were able to convince to forgo the college route. Woodford had an interesting start to his Cardinals’ career. The team smartly built his innings up as the season went on, instead of rushing him into pitching 5-6 innings from the get go. In Woodford’s first couple of starts, they only allowed him to go into the second inning, and then utilized him in the bullpen to give him a break on his next turn, allowing him to pitch three innings.
In those first three appearances (6.1 IP) he allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks, striking out four. Not a bad line for a kid out of high school, pitching professionally for the first time in his life. It was in Woodford’s next outing that he got rocked, pitching into the third inning as a starter he gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits.
The Cardinals’ then gave Woodford a ten day break and utilized him for five innings out of the bullpen in his next appearance, as he allowed no runs on five hits and a walk in his five innings of work, notching the save. Woodford got his third start of the season in his next outing, as he went four innings allowing just one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out five batters.
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The Cardinals’ used Woodford out of the bullpen again in his next outings, as he went four innings allowing one unearned run on one hit and two walks, and striking out two. Woodford saved his best for last in his last outing of the year. He went five innings as the starter and did not allow a run on five hits, while striking out a season high seven strikeouts.
Woodford’s total line for the season was 1-0 with a 2.39 ERA, with a pretty impressive 3.0 strikeout to walk ratio. If he can continue to keep the walks down and continue to improve as he did here, the Cardinals could have gotten another pretty good pitcher to add to their already stacked organization.
Second Round 3B Bryce Denton
This pick was one of my favorites, was selected in the second round pick #, and by all account he is going to develop into a mighty fine hitter. Denton really struggled to get going for Gulf Coast, after signing. Playing in 44 games this season, Denton had a really unimpressive line of .194/.254/.245, that really has no silver lining. However, hopefully the ability and hard work that we know is coming with Denton will come together next season.
Third Round: OF Harrison Bader
Bader played like a man possessed with a passion and desire to get to the big leagues as fast as possible. I talked about him when I took a look at how some of the picks were performing so far. Bader showed some good power and ability to hit for average along with that power. Bader should start the season in Palm Beach and likely will end the year at least making it to AA Springfield.
In seven games with State College, Bader showed he was too good for the New York Penn League, as he slashed .379/.400/.655 in those seven games, while clubbing two homers and two doubles. Bader was then promoted to Class A Peoria, where he slashed .301/.364/.505 in 54 games, where he amassed 22 extra-base hits (11 doubles, nine homers, and two triples), 28 RBI, and 15 stolen bases.
This was really impressive for the third round draft choice out of the University of Florida. I am not normally a fan of rushing kids to the big leagues, but I could see Bader potentially making a debut in 2017 some time, if he continues his hot play.
Fourth Round: 3B Paul DeJong
The Cardinals grabbed yet another offensive player here in Dejong. Like Bader, Dejong played like a man possessed, as he started his career in Johnson City. After 1o games he slashed .486/.578/.973 with four homers, six doubles, and 15 RBI.
This earned him a promotion up to Peoria, which probably helped Dejong adjust to playing professionally a little better considering he was pretty close to where he spent his college days at Illinois State University (Bloomington, IL). Dejong played in 56 games for Peoria where he cooled off a bit, slashing .288/.360/.438, with 20 more extra-base hits (12 doubles, five homers, and four triples).
I would expect Dejong to get a little more time in Peoria, but he could get promoted up to Palm Beach if the club thinks he could handle the move already. Unlike Bader, I wouldn’t expect DeJong to go any further than Palm Beach next season, unless he rakes like he did in Johnson City.
That will do it for today be sure to check out the next few rounds tomorrow as I continue this series on the St. Louis Cardinals’ draft.