Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
Though the Cardinals potentially have their shortstop of the future in 2019 All-Star Paul DeJong, there is very little depth in the middle infield department; with Cardinals No. 21 prospect Mateo Gil being the best shortstop in the entire farm system.
Drafting Casey Martin out of Arkansas would be a big need filler and could potentially take over at shortstop in the future for St. Louis. He has an intriguing power-speed combo which could make scouts fall in love with him since he is a shortstop. He has a solid glove, but there is still room to develop. His biggest weakness though is how raw he is as a pure hitter.
The power is there for Martin as he has hit 28 HR’s during his freshman and sophomore years at Arkansas, but he still needs a lot of growth as a contact hitter. He struck out 64 times as a freshman and 71 times as a sophomore and had 22 Ks as a junior in only 15 games. He needs serious work as a contact hitter and taking better at-bats, but the 30-30 potential is there and it’s hard to ignore.
Martin has played a big role in taking the Arkansas Razorbacks to Omaha for the College World Series in back to back seasons. Including a CWS final, where the Razorbacks were ONE OUT away from clinching a title before the Oregon State Beavers clutched out Game 2 and ended up winning the rubber match the next night, (sound familiar Cardinals fans?).
The Razorback shortstop could be a very solid pick for St. Louis if he can fix his inconsistencies as a hitter, but the struggles against higher level SEC pitching could be a turn-off for John Mozeliak and Co. Overall though, I like Martin and the potential as a hitter that he shows can’t be ignored.