2012 Draft Report Cards: St. Louis Cardinals

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See also: Draft Report Card Index

Saving money on several of their early picks allowed the Cardinals to find enough cash to sign Kelly. They found plenty of premium defenders and potential impact bats, and several had strong debuts.
Bonus Spending: $9.9 million
Best Pure Hitter: 3B Stephen Piscotty's (1s) pitch recognition and approach are ahead of the curve, his swing is efficient and he has the strength to drive the ball from gap to gap. Best Power Hitter: 3B Carson Kelly's (2) power gives him the highest ceiling in this draft class and earned him a $1.6 million bonus. Just 17 when he signed, he hit nine homers in the Rookie-level Appalachian League, more than any other 2012 prep draftee. Fastest Runner: OF Yoenny Gonzalez (8) ran a 6.3-second 60-yard dash in a predraft workout, but he's raw and his speed doesn't play at that level. OF James Ramsey (1) turns in plus-plus times down the line, with sub-4.0-second times from the left side. Best Defensive Player: Ramsey, 3B Patrick Wisdom (1s) and SS Alex Mejia (4) are all polished college defenders. A torn left ACL cut Mejia's debut short. C Steve Bean (1s) has a cannon arm and projects as an above-average defender.


Best Fastball: RHP Michael Wacha (1) mowed his way to Double-A pitching off his fastball, touching 97 and sitting at 94-95 in short stints. He pitched at 90-93 in the spring. RHP Kyle Barraclough (7) reached 97 mph this summer as a reliever and will remain in that role. RHP Cory Jones (5) sits in the mid-90s when he's at his best. Best Secondary Pitch: Wacha had the best changeup in the entire draft. RHP Dixon Llorens (25) owns a wipeout slider.


Best Pro Debut: Wacha gave up just two runs in 24 innings (counting the Texas League playoffs) and rolled up a 45-4 K-BB ratio. Llorens went 2-1, 2.25 with 62 strikeouts in just 36 innings while reaching low Class A. LHP Lee Stoppelman (24) had a 0.79 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 34 innings at short-season Batavia. Best Athlete: Ramsey has present strength, speed and all-around skills. Most Intriguing Background: Ramsey was president of Florida State's student-athlete advisory council, won an award for his community service and charity work, and was a Rhodes Scholar nominee. LHP Max Foody (12) lost the tip of his left middle finger in a childhood accident. Unsigned OF Tate Matheny's (23) father Mike manages the Cardinals and won four Gold Gloves as a catcher. Unsigned 3B Trey Williams' (11) dad Eddie and unsigned OF Derrick May Jr.'s (37) father were top 10 overall picks who played in the majors. Unsigned SS Eduardo Oquendo's (32) dad Jose (who is St. Louis' third-base coach) and RHP Mike Aldrete Jr.'s (39) father also played in the big leagues. 1B Joe Almaraz's (21) father Joe scouts for St. Louis, and his uncle Johnny is the Braves' international scouting director. Closest To The Majors: Wacha. Best Late-Round Pick: Stoppelman throws three pitches for strikes, including a 90-92 mph fastball. The One Who Got Away: The Cardinals drafted Williams as insurance in case one of their top picks didn't sign. He wound up at JC of the Canyons (Calif.).