Even though Day One of the 2020 MLB Draft has passed, there are still a ton of studs available for the St. Louis Cardinals to choose. Let’s take a look at some of my personal favorites.
The St. Louis Cardinals made a splash by selecting third baseman Jordan Walker out of Decatur, Georgia. Though this was a solid pick by Randy Flores, the Cardinals are likely still on the market for pitching to beef up their farm system in that department. On the bright side, this class is very deep and the Cardinals have plenty of draft picks (#54, #63, #70) so I believe the Cardinals can come away with some quality talent.
This class is LOADED with collegiate pitchers, and it even pushed a few surefire first-rounders
completely out of day one, including Georgia’s Cole Wilcox. I expect that Wilcox will return to school next year and play out his Junior year and give it another shot in 2021 though, so he is not a realistic option for St. Louis at 54. If he was staying in, he probably would be picked before the Cardinals have a chance to take him.
There are plenty of options for St. Louis today, here are some of my personal favorites.
Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech – I have been on the Clayton Beeter train for quite some time now. He might not make it to 54, but this is a pick that should 100 percent be made if he does in fact fall to St. Louis.
Beeter was the closer for the 2019 Red Raiders but won the Opening Day starter job in 2020. His fastball is dangerous, usually sitting at about 94-96 mph and is considered one of the best in the class. He has a nasty 12-6 curveball and a plus-slider in his arsenal as well. I was very shocked to see him not get drafted last night. This is more of an upside pick but I think he can develop into a frontline starter.
Chris McMahon, RHP, Miami: McMahon was linked to St. Louis at 21 in a few mock drafts but fell out of the first round mainly due to the depth of college pitchers. McMahon has a high-octane fastball that travels at about 95-96 and can hit 98. His breaking pitches are solid with a plus swing-and-miss changeup that is one of the better ones in this class as well as a very solid curveball. I think he could develop into a very solid ground ball pitcher in the Major Leagues, sort of like Dakota Hudson.
Kyle Nicolas, RHP, Ball State – Straight GAS. Kyle Nicolas has arguably one of the best fastballs in this class, Graded out as a 70 per MLB Pipeline. He also features a slider with a hard break that can get hitters to swing and miss. He has a lot of upside but he isn’t as polished as other pitchers in this class. His mechanics are inconsistent and he might have to make a switch to the bullpen. Regardless, he is super intriguing and the upside is worth the pick if he is still on the board at 63 or 70.
CJ Van Eyk, RHP, Florida State – Van Eyk had legitimate first-round potential but was pushed out of Day One conversation towards the end of the draft process due to the fact that his ceiling isn’t through the roof like other pitchers.
Van Eyk is a smaller pitcher with a 6’1 195 lb. frame, but has the stuff and consistency to be a solid pitcher at the next level. His fastball isn’t high voltage, usually sitting at 93-95 mph. He also has a plus-curveball with 12-6 movement and a changeup that is still in the works but could develop into a plus-pitch.
Dax Fulton, LHP, Mustang HS (OK) – Dax Fulton underwent Tommy John Surgery last fall but he is expected to be good to go for 2021. A lefty with his type of potential does not exactly grow on trees. He sits at 91-93 mph at the moment but can easily add velocity as he adds to his frame and develops through his 6’6 projectile frame. He also has a solid curveball that flashes plus-potential and the ability to command it as well. The Oklahoma signee would have to be an over-slot pick; but with him being easily the best Prep LHP in this class, it might just be worth it.
Day two starts at 4:00 PM CT on Thursday with the final four rounds of the draft set to finish.
This is the perfect draft class for a team that needs pitching depth (though it’s beneficial for every team). So, I have no concerns that the Cardinals can nab a stud with one of their many Day Two picks.