In the 2017 First-Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals will not make their first pick until the third round due to penalties assessed from the Houston hacking investigation.
That will require the organization’s scouting department to be very diligent in their talent search. They can only hope they are as successful as they were with their third rounder last June, Zac Gallen.
The former North Carolina star began his professional career in the Gulf Coast League, as Cardinals college-drafted pitchers do. However, instead of stepping up to a higher level in mid-August to finish his first summer as did peer Connor Jones, for example, Gallen instead returned to UNC for the fall term.
Gallen pitched well in spring training and was joined by Jones in the high-A Palm Beach rotation to open the season. The former is off to a very strong start with 36 strikeouts against just six walks and 2.17 ERA over 29 innings. In his May 3 outing, the right-hander’s fastball was in the 92-95 mph range. He has three other pitches, but I only clocked a curve at 79.
In the exclusive interview that follows, the 21-year old talks about growing up a Big Mac and Cardinals fan, recaps his last year, discusses his repertoire on the mound and much more.
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