Cardinals Sign Top Draft Pick, Colby Rasmus

Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals top pick is considered a five-tool player. Rasmus broke Bo Jackson's Alabama state record for home runs in a season by a high school player.

Just two days after being selected 28th overall in the 2005 Amateur Draft, Colby Rasmus has signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Baseball America. He will get a $1,000,000 signing bonus.

Rasmus,18, batted .484 and led the state of Alabama with 24 home runs as a senior at Russell County (Ala.) High School, scoring 69 runs and driving in 66 in 39 games. In a workout before the draft at Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox, Rasmus was clocked at 94 mph throwing from centerfield. He also covers 60 yards in 6.7 seconds.

"Rasmus is an exciting outfielder," Jeff Luhnow, St. Louis' vice president of player procurement and the man heading up the draft effort, told on Tuesday. "He's what scouts call a five-tool outfielder. He has a tremendously strong arm. He's a good fielder, plays center field and profiles at center field. He swings the bat well. He swings the bat with power. He runs well. There's really nothing this kid can't do."

The Cardinals' 6th pick, who went 78th overall in the 2nd round, Nick Webber, also appears close to signing. Webber told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he hoped to have a deal in place by Friday or Saturday.

Webber was the closer for the Mules and had a 1.06 ERA in 42-1/3 innings while striking out 45 and walking 12. He allowed only 20 hits while opponents hit only .139 against him. He has been told by the Cardinals that he will be converted to a starter and will begin his career at Johnson City.

"I don't have a lot of innings under me," Webber told the Post-Dispatch, "so they want me to start for now and then they'll take it from there."

According to Baseball America, Webber had one of the best fastballs in the draft. It sits at 91-94 mph and touches 96, and it stands out even more with its outstanding life. One observer said it had "Wiffle ball movement" last summer in the Cape Cod League. Webber's second pitch is a decent slider, which he commands well but lacks a sharp break.

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