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Cardinals Draft Report Card

Best Pro Debut: OF Reid Gorecki (13) hit .281-8-52 with 22 steals and led the short-season New York-Penn League with 55 runs and 13 triples. 2B Mike McCoy (34) was a Rookie-level Appalachian League all-star after hitting .312-4-22 with 18 steals. OFs Matt Lemanczyk (10) and Joey Vandever (43) couldn’t manage to hit .240 but each was able to steal 31 bases to lead the Appy League and NY-P.

Best Athlete: SS Calvin Hayes (3), St. Louis’ top pick, is compared to Ray Durham and was a star tailback for his high school football team. SS Kyle Boyer (4) shows glimpses of all five tools and quickly re-established himself after playing little in the previous three years. He sat on Kansas State’s bench in 1999, then went on a two-year Mormon mission.

Best Pure Hitter: Hayes or 3B Travis Hanson (9), who batted .294-4-40 in the NY-P.

Best Raw Power: C Tyler Parker (8), though he may have to shorten his swing to make more contact.

Fastest Runner: Hayes and Lemanczyk are both 6.5-second runners in the 60-yard dash. Lemanczyk is more of a long strider, while Hayes is more compact.

Best Defensive Player: Gorecki or McCoy.

Best Fastball: Draft-and-follow RHP Shane Reedy has the best fastball in the organization, throwing 95-97 mph before being shut down with a strained oblique muscle. Another draft-and-follow, RHP Blake Hawksworth, showed a 93-94 mph fastball after signing for $1.475 million. The best arm the Cardinals got from the 2002 draft was RHP David Brockman (11), who has a 90-91 mph heater.

Best Breaking Ball: LHP David Williamson’s (7) curveball.

Most Intriguing Background: Unsigned 1B/OF Chris Gibson’s (47) father Bob had a Hall of Fame career with the Cardinals. Lemanczyk’s father Dave was an all-star pitcher for the Blue Jays. 2B Melvin Falu (28) is a cousin of Royals second baseman Luis Alicea, who was originally signed by St. Louis scouting director Marty Maier.

Closest To The Majors: Williamson or Gorecki, though neither is on the fast track.

Best Late-Round Pick: Gorecki was solid in all phases of the game and could be an enticing leadoff man if he tightens his strike zone.

The One Who Got Away: C Josh Bell (5) has a powerful bat and arm. Several schools recruited him as a pitcher, but he’ll focus on catching at Auburn. RHP Chad Clark (17), who transferred from Southern California to Fresno State, has a live arm but little command. He could be a first-round pick next year if he can find the plate, but that may be asking too much.

Assessment: The Cardinals didn’t have picks in the first two rounds, reached a little to take Hayes in the third and didn’t sign their fifth-rounder. Landing Hawksworth and Reedy helps make up for failing to sign a high-ceiling pitcher from the draft.

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