34 former first-round draft picks are on AFL rosters this season, including two Cardinals, Kolten Wong (22nd overall in 2011) and Seth Blair (46th in 2010). Others include former Mizzou hurler Kyle Gibson (22nd by Minnesota in 2009) and Cory Rasmus, younger brother of Colby, taken 38th by Atlanta in 2006.
The only first overall pick assigned to the AFL this year is Tampa Bay's Tim Beckham, drafted in 2008. Since the AFL began in 1992, 13 of the 21 no. 1 overall selections have played in the league.
12 current St. Louis Cardinals once played in the AFL.
The offense, led by 2012 Quad Cities hitting coach Joe Kruzel, is second in the six-team league with a .283 batting average. Surprise leads the AFL with 73 runs scored and a .369 on-base percentage. They are second in the league with 60 RBI. Saguaros hitters have drawn 50 walks, most in the league.
Surprise's pitching staff leads the AFL with a 3.31 ERA. They have allowed 36 earned runs, lowest in the league, and 40 walks, tied for second fewest in the AFL.
Cardinals AFL hitting leaders
Cardinals AFL pitching leaders
Blair has made two starts, striking out five in each. To-date, only two AFL hurlers have logged more than five strikeouts in a game. Kevin Siegrist is right behind with nine total.
About the only failure for Wong in the early going is his 1-for-4 success rate in stolen bases. Walsh has struck out in 1/3 of his at-bats. Catcher Cody Stanley played in just four of 10 games.
Blair and Boone Whiting are the designated starters, but Siegrist also made one spot start. Sam Freeman's usage pattern is clear – one inning to close out games. Despite six wins, the Saguaros as a team are yet to have a save.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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