Stephen Piscotty, Outfield
The 2012 draft for the St. Louis Cardinals brought in Stephen Piscotty as a compensatory selection. This was a tough choice over Michael Wacha, who was taken as a first round pick. Second round pick Carson Kelly could eventually take over as the best pick of this draft, but as of right now he is all potential. Another notable player with potential from this draft is recently-converted pitcher, Rowan Wick.
This was not Piscotty’s first time being drafted. He was drafted in the 45th round of the 2009 draft out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He elected, however, to study at Stanford. After his college career, the Cardinals drafted him and he made his way though the minors to a major league debut in 2015.
His debut ended as a one-for-four day against the White Sox. Piscotty went on to play sixty-three games in his rookie campaign hitting .305 and finishing sixth in Rookie Of The Year voting. He followed that up with a season that ended with an average of .273 and twenty-two home runs in 153 games.
Piscotty has shown ability with the glove, posting a 3.3 UZR in right field last season. That was an improvement from his -1.0 during his rookie season. Piscotty’s continued improvement could bring a few Gold Gloves to the outfield in St. Louis.
The upside of Piscotty is likely to increase with the recent offseason acquisitions. He hit .363 with runners in scoring positions last season, which was a season where the Cardinals swung for the fences. Without the power hitters this year, there will be more opportunity to drive runs in with timely hits, which was a bright spot for Piscotty last year.
This was a hard choice to make, considering Piscotty has played less than one and a half seasons. Especially since Wacha has been contributing since 2013. The main reason Piscotty is a better pick is because Wacha, at 25 years old, is already showing signs of a deteriorating body. So, the best 2012 draft pick for the moment is Piscotty, with a special eye on Carson Kelly.