Though the St. Louis Cardinals did not enjoy five selections in the first round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft as they did in 2012, they did have three in the first two rounds among those taken Monday night.
To go with their own selection at 23rd overall, the 39th overall pick was awarded to the Cardinals in the competitive balance round A. Their second-round selection was at number 66 overall.
The Cardinals chose Michigan high school outfielder Nick Plummer with their first pick and followed with a Florida prep star in pitcher Jake Woodford.
St. Louis had two first-round draft picks for four consecutive years, selecting RHPs Luke Weaver (27th) and Jack Flaherty (34th) last season, LHP’s Marco Gonzales and Rob Kaminsky #19 and #28 overall in 2013, and RHP Michael Wacha #19 and OF James Ramsey #23 in 2012.
The second-rounder chosen by the Cardinals is Tennessee high school standout third baseman Bryce Denton, making day one an entire group of prep selections for St. Louis.
In the first segment of the 2015 Draft on Monday evening, the 30 MLB clubs made their first and second round picks plus two competitive balance rounds, 75 selections in total.
The draft will resume at 1 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday with rounds 3-10 to be chosen. The final group of players in rounds 11 through 40 will be named in lightning-round fashion starting at noon ET on Wednesday.
Link to the Scout.com 2015 Draft Coverage, where an extensive library of draft materials, including scouting reports, mock drafts, interviews and much more awaits.
Remember that by clicking on any highlighted player name, you will be taken to his individual player profile page. There, a wealth of past information about him is available – articles, injury news, photos, videos, interviews and more - all in one place.
With the 23rd overall selection, the Cardinals selected Nick Plummer, a 5-foot-11, 200-pound outfielder from Brother Rice High School in Bloomfield, Michigan. The 18-year-old has committed to play college ball at Kentucky.
Cardinals Scouting Director Chris Correa provided the organization’s view of their new recruit. "Plummer is a centerfielder with speed and a good chance to hit for average and the ability to grow into some power…" he said.
Impressive on the showcase circuit, Plummer is considered one of the more advanced high school hitters with good bat speed and plate selectivity to go with plus pull power. Because the stocky outfielder is only an average runner with a below-average arm, many talent evaluators think he will eventually end up in left field.
With Brother Rice having been eliminated in the Michigan State high school playoffs, the left-handed thrower and hitter batted .520, with 68 runs scored, 32 stolen bases, 23 RBI and 22 doubles in 41 games in his very busy senior season.
“This winter I had I think 30 teams in my house, so it was a busy winter,” Plummer told Scout.com’s Chris Brown in a late May interview. “I was going through workouts and hitting, and then having in-home meetings with scouts. But it’s all been awesome, and I’m thankful for being able to be a part of the process. It’s fun, and it’s busy, but that’s why you play for it.”
National draft analyst Jeff Ellis had Plummer ranked as the #11 player in the draft in Scout.com’s final overall rankings.
Said Ellis, “Last summer I saw the videos on Nick Plummer and got a lot of reports on him. Everything was glowing, as he exploded on the scene. He looked like a guy with potential plus hit and power tools and an eye that was also plus. Then he went back to Michigan and didn’t face top-level competition. In other words, everything about this season made it hard to scout him, so he dropped like a rock on most boards.
“I know Plummer has a small track record but it’s no smaller than Tyler Stephenson’s track record. Stephenson just had his stock rise at the right time (taken 11th overall by Cincinnati). Plummer is undersized and more than likely a left fielder, but I am going to stick to my gut and leave him about where he has been the whole time.”
The pool amount for this pick is $2,124,400.
For more, check out our exclusive interview with Plummer. Also click on Plummer’s highlighted name above. This is our eighth article in his Scout.com player profile.
At 39th overall, the Cardinals picked a high school right-handed pitcher from Tampa, Florida, Jake Woodford. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is 18 years old and had committed to attend the University of Florida.
In his 28-game prep career with H.B. Plant High School, Woodford went 22-2 with a 0.88 ERA. He struck out 190 and walked 49 in 175 2/3 innings. He sports a fastball in the 91-92 mph range, along with a developing change up and very good slider, according to Prep Baseball Report. Baseball America reports that his fastball has been clocked at up to 94 mph and he can hold his velocity deep into games due to his arm strength.
“Jacob Woodford is a starting pitcher prospect with advanced control of a sinking fastball, breaking ball and change-up,” the Cards’ Correa said.
A workhorse major league starter seems to be Woodford’s ceiling. I recall similar assessments of Lance Lynn back in 2008 and he has turned out pretty well.
Jeff Ellis, Scout.com’s national draft analyst, had Woodford being selected 56th overall in his final mock draft, posted over the weekend.
The pool amount for this pick is $1,585,400.
With the 66th overall pick, the Cardinals selected Bryce Denton, a third baseman from Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee. The 17-year-old has committed to Vanderbilt and might appear to be a challenging sign, perhaps mitigated by the fact that he grew up a Cardinals fan.
Denton was clearly drafted for his offensive capability. He offers a good combination of strength and plus bat speed that translates into raw power potential. Denton will likely begin at third base as a professional but some believe he will end up as a corner outfielder with above-average arm strength but below-average speed.
As a senior, the 6-foot-0, 191-pound right-hander batted .478 with 11 doubles and four home runs. He was a two-way player, posting a 6-0 record on the mound with a 1.75 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 40 innings.
“We are excited for the opportunity to select Bryce Denton; he’s an advanced hitter with excellent power potential,” Correa said.
Scout.com’s national draft analyst Jeff Ellis had Denton ranked as the #50 player in the draft in his final overall rankings.
The pool amount for this pick is $935,400.
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