St. Louis Cardinals’ MLB Draft Preview: Catcher, a Position of Interest

Oct 9, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina behind the plate in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in game one of the NLDS at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina behind the plate in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs in game one of the NLDS at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports /
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Option #3 Cooper Johnson

Age: 18

Hits/Throws: R/R

School: Carmel High School (Chicago, IL)

Cooper is yet another defense first catcher and many believe he is even more defensively gifted than Murphy. The difference here is that Johnson has more time to develop than Murphy and more time to refine his already elite defensive skills and try to become at least serviceable with the bat.

Like Murphy, the offense is absolutely a big question mark for Johnson. Prospect Junkies says that he biggest challenge for Johnson at the plate has been pitch recognition. This is something that he can develop a bit through the minors, but if it is something that he is already struggling with at his level it is a bit concerning.

This is especially true when you read Joe Schwarz’s piece for Viva El Birdos on Randal Grichuk and pitch recognition. So, while he may have good potential to develop offensively and could have good power potential, this is not something we want to worry about already.

Much like Murphy, Prospect Junkies believes Johnson already presents a 70 grade arm. This presents Johnson in the category of a player you jump on and pay over slot for because of the potential.

While Cooper sounds like a good option for the Cardinals, he would have to be selected with one of the club’s supplemental round picks. He won’t likely last long in the second round with his potential at his age. If he does last longer than the second round, he would have to be paid quite a bit over slot to sign with a strong commitment to Ole Miss in his back pocket.

Next: Ben Rortevedt