The history of the St. Louis Cardinals top-7 draft picks

St. Louis was granted the 7th overall pick in the 2024 draft. When was the last time the team drafted that high, and who have they drafted previously at that slot?

Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals
Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages
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Terry Kennedy-1977

Terry Kennedy was drafted sixth overall in the 1977 draft out of Florida State University. The former catcher played fourteen seasons at the major league level, and he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, and San Francisco Giants. Kennedy was elected to four All-Star games, and he won the Silver Slugger Award in 1983 for the Padres.

In his fourteen-year career, Kennedy was able to tally 21.6 bWAR, 113 home runs, and finished his career with a slash line of .264/.314/.699. Terry and his father, Bob, became the first father-son duo to tally an RBI each in a World Series game in 1984 against the Detroit Tigers.

After his playing career, Kennedy managed, coached, and instructed for the Cardinals in addition to a half dozen other teams across baseball. While Kennedy's playing career in St. Louis was short-lived, he ended up having a successful career both on the field and in the clubhouse.

Andy Van Slyke-1979

In the second iteration of the Cardinals' top-seven picks of the 1970s, the team chose Andy Van Slyke, an outfielder from New Hartford High School in New York. Van Slyke is most commonly known as the player whom the Cardinals traded away for Tony Pena in 1987, a trade that was lopsided at the time.

Slyke, a three-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glover, and two-time Silver Slugger had an extremely successful career. He accumulated 41.3 bWAR, had an OPS+ of 119 by the time he retired, and he once led the league in hits (199 in 1992) during his career. While the bulk of Slyke's success came in Pittsburgh-compliments of the 1987 trade from St. Louis-he did still have some decent years donning the Birds on the Bat.

Cardinal fans may look back at Slyke as the one who got away, but it is fun to look back on his career and celebrate the success he had on both sides of the game.