Today, is another adventure into the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2015 MLB Draft, to see how the players the team drafted have performed so far.
This was pretty good first and only draft for Chris Correa, the Cardinals’ former scouting director, and I enjoyed covering it to the depth that I did. Again, I highly suggest that you check out my recaps for a little background information on the players that were selected in the first 10 rounds.
5th Round Pick RHP Ryan Helsley
The fifth round draft pick from Southeastern Iowa had a really solid season in his first professional season. Much like they did with Jake Woodford, the Cardinals were pretty careful with their treatment of Helsley. Helsley made his first appearance out of the bullpen and never made it beyond the fifth inning in his nine starts. The impressive thing for Helsley is that in his first five appearances (three starts and two relief appearances), he only allowed one run on 12 hits and six walks.
Helsley also really only had just one bad appearance, where he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks in four innings pitched. Helsley finished the year with a 1-1 record with a 2.01 ERA and impressively only giving up just two home runs in 40.1 innings pitched. I’d say Helsley proved that he should start the season in Peoria next season and could be a dark horse pitching prospect to look out for.
6th Round Pick LHP Jacob Evans
This was a fascinating move for the Cardinals. They drafted Evans out of Oklahoma as left handed reliever. Evans was dominant at Oklahoma out of the bullpen and at the time of the pick, I was a little confused as to why the Cardinals were grabbing a reliever so early. However, when I took a look at his stats from this season with State College it became a bit more obvious why the Cardinals took him. They saw some great potential in Evans.
Evans didn’t allow a run on three hits in his first four appearances out of the bullpen, that’s pretty good. Evans was used in this capacity up until August 8th when the team decided to use him as a starter for the first time. The results were really good, in his first four starts Evans allowed three runs on 14 hits and just three walks. It was was his fifth start that hurt Evans the most. Evans allowed 10 runs on eight hits and two walks, in just two thirds of an inning. Why Evans was left in for so long, I am not sure.
Evans bounced back and went six strong innings in his final outing of the year, allowing just two runs on two hits and no walks, while striking out nine. Wow, what an underdog story for the Cardinals here. Evans went from no starts at all during his junior year at Oklahoma to making six starts for the State College Spikes. I would assume that the Cardinals’ liked what they saw from the lefty and will assign him to Peoria or Palm Beach next season.
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7th Round Pick C Jesse Jenner
Jenner had an okay season in his first professional tour of duty. He posted a .250/.361/.323 slash line in 147 plate appearances for State College and started 34 games at catcher, where he did throw out 50% of runners who ran against him, showing a pretty good arm. The most impressive thing Jenner showed offensively was his patience. Jenner only struck out 13 times and posted 13 walks as well for a 1.00 walk to strikeout ratio. Keep an eye on Jenner, if he can develop a little more out of the bat he could be a decent catching prospect for the team. I don’t know that Jenner has quite proved that he is worthy of a promotion, but he will likely get the start in Peoria.
8th Round Pick LHP Ian Oxnevad
Oxnevad is a pitcher that I think could be a dark horse for the Cardinals. He is a tall left-hander who the Cardinals’ grabbed out of High School in Washington. I extensively talked about Oxnevad in my recap of rounds 8-10, as well as had the chance to do an interview with him. Oxnevad got to work and had a solid season, where the most runs he allowed in a single outing was three in a four inning relief in appearance in his next to last appearance of the season for the GCL Cardinals.
Overall, Oxnevad had an impressive season, where he made 7 starts totaling an ERA of 2.42 and kept hitters to a .245 batting average against on a .286 BABIP, resulting in a really good WHIP of 1.192. Oxnevad, also only allowed one home run his entire season. Which is pretty good for an 8th round pick out of high school.
9th Round Pick 2B Andrew “Opie” Brodbeck
For a player who comes in with a David Eckstein type motor and work ethic, Brodbeck is an interesting prospect. He comes from a small school in Florida, and been a good hitter in his career. Brodbeck struggled a bit in his first taste of professional ball for the GCL Cardinals. He finished the year with a slash of .231/.344/.351 with eight doubles and four triples. While the on base percentage is something to build on, he has some work to do obviously.
Brodbeck is a good kid and a hard worker, as I gathered from my interview of him a few months back. The Cardinals’ saw something in him, so hopefully he has a better year next year. Look for him to start the year with either Johnson City or State College.
That will do it for this week’s season recap of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2015 MLB Draft picks. Be sure to check out next week’s edition as I venture into some of the later rounds for the first time.