Cardinals Sign First 16 from 2015 Draft Class

The St. Louis Cardinals have announced the first batch of signings from their 2015 draft class, including their first two selections.

On Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced the signing of 16 draftees and three free agents. The group includes both of the organization’s top selections, outfielder Nick Plummer (23rd overall) and right-handed pitcher Jake Woodford (39th overall).

Along with Plummer and Woodford, the signees are RHP Jordan Hicks (3rd supplemental), 3B Paul DeJong (4th), RHP Ryan Helsley (5th), IF Andrew Brodbeck (9th), OF Craig Aikin (13th), C Ryan McCarvel (19th), IF Luke Doyle (20th), 1B Hunter Newman (22nd), RHP Ben Yokley (29th), LHP Chandler Hawkins (33rd), IF Dylan Tice (36th), C Stephen Zavala (37th), OF Orlando Olivera (38th) and IF Joey Hawkins (40th).

The newest Cardinals include six of the Cardinals’ 12 picks in the first 10 rounds, which are governed by their $7,387,600 bonus pool allocation assigned by MLB.

Earlier, Plummer announced he was signing at slot value, $2,124,400. According to MLB.com, Woodford received $1.8 million, almost $215,000 above slot. Hicks received $600,000, over $56,000 above slot value.

Other signees’ bonus amounts have not yet been disclosed. As a policy, the team does not provide financial details.

The three free agents are left-handed pitcher Brady Bowen from Friends University in Kansas, catcher Riley Drongesen from University of the Pacific in California and second baseman Josh Swirchak from Wilmington (Del.) University.

In two seasons at Friends, an NAIA school, Bowen went 9-6 in 16 starts with a 2.70 ERA (27 earned runs in 90.0 innings pitched). He struck out 93 and walked 26.

The Cardinals show Drongesen as being from Menlo College in California, but records indicate he played baseball during the 2011-14 seasons at the University of the Pacific. His standout season was as a sophomore in 2012, when he posted a line of .321/.407/.415/.822. Drongesen missed most of 2013 due to injury and slumped badly in 2014 (.393 OPS).

Swirchak, a senior, had a line of .383/.471/.531, including 12 doubles, four triples, and two home runs. He scored 53 runs and plated 39 in 45 games this year.

All 19 players will likely be assigned to one of the Cardinals short-season affiliates in State College, Johnson City and the Gulf Coast League. Their seasons get underway over the next 10 days.

The Cardinals have yet to sign 26 of their 42 selections from the draft and have until July 17 to do so.

Special thanks to The Cardinal Nation friend Brian Stull of StLBaseballWeekly.com for sharing the above photo.

Check the Roster Matrix

Until draftees are officially signed and assigned to teams, they will not appear as active on The Cardinal Nation’s minor league team rosters. However, the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog indicates which draftees are rumored to have signing agreements in place, so keep an eye there to get the most current news.

Join the draft discussion with other Cardinals fans here

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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