2011 Draft Report Card: St. Louis Cardinals
BEST PURE HITTER:
|St. Louis targeted up-the-middle athletes and speed, kicking off with Wong, Tilson, McElroy and SS Kenny Peoples (4). The Cardinals found two late-rounders who fit that profile in Jeffries and Williams.
Bonus Spending: $4.6 million
2B Kolten Wong (1) batted .335 at low Class A Quad Cities. He has a short, quick lefthanded swing with a line-drive approach and tremendous control of the strike zone. BEST POWER HITTER:
OF Lance Jeffries (10) has bat speed, an uppercut stroke and a strong, compact frame that prompts comparisons to Ron Gant. FASTEST RUNNER:
OF C.J. McElroy (3) runs the 60-yard dash in under 6.4 seconds, giving him 75-80 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale. OF Charlie Tilson (2) is a 65 runner. BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
Tilson is an instinctive center fielder with a slightly above-average arm. Wong also made an impression with his glovework, and managers rated him the best defensive second baseman in the Midwest League.
RHP Tyler Mills (9) worked at 94-96 mph in his first outing for Michigan last spring, but he wore down and sat at 88-92 by the end of the season. RHP Kevin Jacob (31) showed a 97-99 mph fastball in the Alaska League two summers ago but has worked in the low 90s since a shoulder injury that didn't require surgery. RHP Brandon Creath (44) maintained a 90-95 mph fastball all year. BEST SECONDARY PITCH:
LHP Daniel Miranda (8) may get to the big leagues on the strength of his changeup alone.
ODDS AND ENDSBEST PRO DEBUT:
Wong, who led Quad Cities to the MWL championship. Miranda led the New York-Penn League with 15 saves, while RHP Todd McInnis (25) rode his curveball to top the short-season circuit in WHIP (0.94). 2B Tyler Rahmatulla (34) hit .314 and led the Rookie-level Appalachian League with 27 doubles. He made the Appy all-star team, as did LHP Kyle Hald (18), whose feel for pitching enabled him to post a 1.84 ERA and 63-12 K-BB ratio in 54 innings. BEST ATHLETE:
McElroy would have played wide receiver at Houston if he hadn't turned pro. He rushed for 1,523 yards and accounted for 28 touchdowns as a high school senior, and he finished seventh at the Texas 5-A track meet in the long jump. MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:
A month after selecting C Casey Rasmus (36), St. Louis sent his older brother Colby (their 2005 first-round pick) to the Blue Jays in a trade that paid off with a playoff berth. McElroy's father Chuck and unsigned C Kyle Arnsberg's (40) dad Brad pitched in the big leagues. CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS:
Wong might not need much more than a full season in the minors before he's ready. Among the pitchers, it's Miranda or Sam Gaviglio (5), who gets a lot of grounders with his sinker and changeup. BEST LATE-ROUND PICK:
With power, speed and arm strength, Jeffries has more tools than a typical 10th-rounder. SS Matt Williams (15) has solid offensive and defensive ability. THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:
Power-hitting C Aramis Garcia (20) is a Cardinals fan, but that wasn't enough to sway him from going to Florida International.