Draft Report Cards: St. Louis Cardinals

Cox, who got a $2 million bonus and a major league contract, and Swagerty give this class two solid big league bets. Jenkins' athleticism makes him an excellent gamble, and Gast and Blair could make the class exceptional if they pan out.
Bonus spending: $6.7 million

BEST PURE HITTER: 3B Zack Cox (1) went 25th overall because of his hitting ability, including a .429 season in the Southeastern Conference in 2010. » BEST POWER HITTER: The Cardinals believe Cox will develop at least average major league power. Prep OFs Anthony Bryant (16) and Corderious Dodd (17) were drafted for their plus raw power, and 3B Phil Cerreto (40) surprised the Cardinals with his pop, slugging seven homers while hitting .425/.460/.758 for Rookie-level Appalachian League champion Johnson City. » FASTEST RUNNER: OF Reggie Williams Jr. (10) remains raw in some phases but has 70 speed on the 20-80 scouting scale. » BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: SS/2B Greg Garcia (7) has soft hands, lateral quickness and infield actions to stay in the middle infield, and his arm is playable at short. CF Steven Ramos (22) was a workout find who showed easy range and a potentially above-average glove in the Gulf Coast League.


BEST FASTBALL: RHP Jordan Swagerty (2) has terrific arm strength, sitting at 92-94 mph and reaching 96. RHP Seth Blair (1s) sits in the same range as a starter, with a bit less life. » BEST SECONDARY PITCH: The Cardinals considered Swagerty's curve the best in the draft, for its shape and break and for his feel for it. None of RHP Tyrell Jenkins' (1s) secondary stuff grades as plus now, but he throws strikes with four pitches: fastball, curve, slider and changeup.


BEST PRO DEBUT: LHP John Gast (6) went 6-0, 1.54 with 36 strikeouts in 35 innings at short-season Batavia, while OF Nick Longmire (5) batted .287/.372/.483 with seven triples and nine homers. Cerreto and C Cody Stanley (4) helped pace Johnson City's offense, as Stanley hit .321/.380/.498. » BEST ATHLETE: Jenkins was a Baylor quarterback recruit. The Cardinals saw him hit 94 mph off the mound on a day when he ran a track meet before the game. » MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Williams' father Reggie spent parts of four seasons in the majors from 1985-88, and his brother J.D. signed as the Twins' 10th-round pick this season. RHP Drew Benes (35) is the son of 1988 No. 1 overall pick and former Cardinals starter Andy Benes; he didn't sign out of high school but signed this year 1-0, 1.52 at Johnson City. » CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Cox got a major league deal and Arizona Fall League assignment. Swagerty, also bound for the AFL, should beat him if he remains a reliever. » BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Ramos is interesting, but the Redbirds also like RHP Chase Reid (41), a former Vanderbilt starter who's bound for the bullpen with command of an upper-80s fastball and a slider that helped him lead the NY-P with a .151 opponent average. He reminds them of former farmhand Luke Gregorsen, who set the holds record this season in San Diego. » THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: The Cardinals wanted OF Austin Wilson (12), one of the best athletes in the draft, but he had a firm Stanford commitment and they weren't able to sway him from it.