With rounds 3-10 taking place on Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals have more great opportunities to add talent to an already strong draft class. Who’s name did they call?
The St. Louis Cardinals did a very good job in the first day of the draft. Picking Nolan Gorman (19th overall), Griffin Roberts (43rd overall), and Luken Baker (75th overall) has started this year’s draft off well. With seven total picks for the Cardinals on day two, there is just as much potential coming from these later rounds.
In the past the Cardinals have found gems in Paul DeJong (4th round, 2015), Harrison Bader (3rd round, 2015), and Jordan Hicks (3rd round, 2015) who are all impacting the major league club right now. With that in mind, lets look at who the Cardinals drafted:
Third Round (Pick #95): Mateo Gil, SS, Timber Creek HS (TX), 17 years old
This pick breaks the record for youngest player drafted that the Cardinals set last night, as Gil is even younger than Nolan Gorman.
Gil has a very athletic mean and lean build that projects well for the future. Sitting at 6-1 and 180 lbs, he has some room to get stronger especially as only a 17 year old. Gil, the soon of Benji Gil will have to be wooed away from a commitment to TCU but with his father being a big-leaguer, he will know what it takes to make it.
As far as what he does well, he is a defense first shortstop. He has good range and a cannon of an arm. Offensively he has quick hands and a level swing, producing a solid amount of line drives. Given his height and current weight, there’s no reason to believe he won’t stick at shortstop and even develop some power down the line.
It’s interesting to see Flores going back to a high school infielder, this was another case of the Cardinals taking the best overall guy at their pick. No problem with that.
Check out Mateo Gil via 2080 Baseball:
Fourth Round (Pick #123): Steven Gingery, LHP, Texas Tech (Jr.)
Steven Gingery is a bit of a risky pick because he is coming off of UCL surgery that ended his junior season early. Lets just all accept this risk, but look past it and see what made the Cardinals want him.
During his sophomore season, Gingery led the team with a fantastic 1.58 ERA in just under 100
innings. He totaled 107 strikeouts and opponents only hit .186 off of him. Those are some great numbers. The biggest question will be if he is going to be the same pitcher after the surgery. Baseball America had Gingery projected at pick #103, so the Cards may have gotten a steal here.
Gingery is a very high floor prospect and while he doesn’t yield a very high velocity, he has one of the best change-ups in the draft. Gingery’s nice and easy pitching motion and over the top delivery is not complicated at all, over the top and simple but he has good arm action on his changeup. Gingery figures to be a starter moving up the system if his injuries stay at bay.
Check out Gingery via Baseball America:
Fifth Round (Pick #153): Nick Dunn, 2B, Maryland (Jr.)
Second baseman Nick Dunn out of Maryland is the Cardinals smallest draftee thus far at 5’10” and 175 lbs. Size isn’t an issue because he can still put up numbers at the plate.
Dunn has very good plate discipline, evidenced by the fact that he has walked more than he has struck out in his college career. Even with his size, he hit double digit homers his junior year. While this power will most likely only translate to gap-to-gap power in the majors, I’ll take it.
On the defensive side of the ball, Dunn is not a very great mover in the field and has a below-average arm. With this being said, second base is a good home for him and due to his offensive profile, he still holds a lot of value to a club (see: Matt Carpenter). I like this pick as a safe contact/on-base guy with potential for 5-10 homers.
Here is some video on Dunn via 2080 Baseball:
Sixth Round (Pick #183): Edgar Gonzalez, RHP, Fresno State (Jr.)
Edgar Gonzalez is a 6-1, 200 lb righty who had a 2.84 ERA in 95 innings this year and opponents only batted .220 against him. Gonzalez’s hides the ball very well when he pitches and sits in the mid-low 90’s as a starter with a good-but-not-great curveball.
Gonzalez, according to reports, may stick as a starter but could be moved to a reliever as he can hit mid 90’s in bursts. This is a low risk pick and overall I think it’s just a boring albeit solid pick
Here is Edgar Gonzalez via Scout Trio:
Seventh Round (Pick #213): Brendan Donovan, OF, University of South Alabama (Jr.)
Brendan Donovan is a pure hitter. No doubt about it. All he has done in college is hit. This year he hit .302/.456/.480 with five home runs and 55 RBI’s for South Alabama. He doesn’t have that much power but has a great ability to barrel the ball.
He has a ceiling as an average MLB player, which while not that exciting, is a win for any draft pick. Think of how many players don’t get to the majors out of the 40 total rounds. MLB average is great for a 7th rounder.
Flores has continued to lean towards the corner outfielder/infielder with a great hit tool later in this draft. This is a general change away from the usual, “athlete first” approach the Cardinals have taken the last few years.
Here’s Donovan via Vincent Cervino:
Eighth Round (Pick #243): Lars Nootbaar, LF, USC (Jr.), 20 years old
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I’m only going to make one comment about it, but man what a name. There have been many odd MLB names, but I don’t know if I have seen one that looks more alien than this. But names won’t get you to the big leagues so lets dive into who he is as a prospect.
Sitting at 6-2 and 205 lbs, Nootbaar is a big strong kid with lots of muscle. Given his height it suggests that he still has some room to fill out his body, but he’s no weakling right now. Continuing with the theme of the draft for the Cardinals, Nootbaar’s best tool is his power. He has above-average bat speed although his power does come with a trade-off of more swings and misses.
Defensively, He does have average to above-average range in left field, and pairs that with an arm that could use a strength upgrade. He runs reasonably well for his size and there’s no reason he wouldn’t stick at a corner outfield spot. Overall this guy has a high-homer ceiling, but managing strikeouts will decide if he gets there.
Take a look at Nootbaar via Baseball Census:
Ninth Round (Pick #273): Matthew Duce, C, Dallas Baptist (Sr.), 22 years old
It is interesting that the Cardinals decided to wait until round nine to draft their first catcher. In my opinion, it reflects both the talent and richness of the catchers currently in the Cardinals’ system. Duce is a fine selection for them as he is an average defensive catcher with a great hitting approach.
Just like Nick Dunn, Duce has walked more than he has stuck out in his collegiate career. Duce has modest power, smacking 10 homers his senior year but does not hit as well for average.
Check out this walk off home run by Duce via Missouri Valley Conference:
Tenth Round (Pick #303): Kevin Woodall Jr. (Sr.), 1B, Coastal Carolina University (Sr.), 22 years old
Once again, the Cardinals dip back into the power-hitting corner position player pool for Woodall. He is a big kid standing 6-7 and 245 lbs. His senior year, Woodall batted .298 with 19 (!) homers in 245 at bats. He is a serviceable first baseman but won’t turn any heads. He will be fun to watch if he can carry his power over into pro ball.
Overall draft day two was another good day for the Cardinals. Interestingly enough, the Cardinals have broken form by picking position players with eight of their 11 total picks. It will be interesting to see where the Cardinals go with the rest of their 30 picks in this years draft. How do you guys think the Cardinals did?