Ottavino was ranked as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Massachussets and No. 53 overall in the country by Baseball America. He went 4-5 with a 2.98 ERA for the Huskies, pitching 93-2/3 innings over 14 games (13 starts). He struck out 120 and walked 33 while allowing only four home runs.
"He's very projectable," Cardinals scout Kobe Perez, who followed the right-hander all year, told MLB.com "He's 6-5, 225, wide shoulders, strong legs, fastball anywhere from 90 to 96 [miles per hour]. He's got classic mechanics and he's very deceptive."
According to Baseball America, Ottavino's best pitch is his fastball, but "he complements it with a power slider that could become a plus offering. He also throws a slurvy breaking ball that projects as an average pitch if he can clean it up, and a changeup that is just a show pitch."
"He's the type of guy that has the ability to touch 96 [mph], but we don't expect him to pitch there," Cardinals' vice president of player procurement, Jeff Luhnow told MLB.com. "We expect him to pitch with an average [velocity] fastball, but the fact that there's a little bit more in there and that he has durable mechanics, for us, is exciting. We think he has the potential to be a 200-inning guy with multiple pitches."
Ottavino was a 30th round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2003.
2. (1a,42) Chris Perez, RHP, University of Miami
Perez bounced between the starting rotation and bullpen during his first two seasons as a Hurricane, and sat out the final two months of his freshman year due to a fatigued shoulder. He was suspended in 2005 after being arrested for drunk driving. When he returned he permanently inherited the closer job.
Baseball America believes that Perez best profiles in a set-up role in the major leagues. They said that his fastball can hit 95 mph, but he lacks command with the pitch and too often pitches behind in the count (sound familiar?). He also has "a wipeout slider at 83-87 mph, giving him two potentially plus pitches and the ingredients to be an effective reliever if he can improve his overall control."
Scouts worry about his weight, as he was heavy in high school and appeared to gain some weight this season.
3. (2,54) Brad Furnish, LHP, Texas Christian University
Furnish was rated as the No. 17 prospect in the state of Texas by Baseball America and 126th overall.
The 21-year-old transferred to TCU in the fall of 2004 after a season at Nebraska. This season he was 8-6 with with a 4.32 ERA in 20 appearances. He made 16 starts and completed two games. He tossed 100 innings and led the team with 125 strikeouts. Opponents hit just .249 against him.
Baseball America had this to say about him:
"He's a lefty with two solid pitches, an 88-92 mph fastball and a solid overhand curveball. Furnish likes to change hitters' eye levels by throwing high fastballs to set up his curveball. He probably will have to pitch more down in the zone with his fastball as a pro, and refining a changeup would improve his chances against righthanders."
4. (2,74) Jon Jay, OF, University of Miami
Jay was ranked as the No. 15 prospect in the state of Florida and No. 102 overall by Baseball America. They say that he doesn't profile as an everyday player on a championship club and that his range is just decent in center field and he doesn't hit for power.
Following is a scouting report by Baseball America:
His set-up and swing are unorthodox. He has a wide stance and pumps his hands as a trigger. He makes consistent contact when pitches are down in the zone and uses the whole field, but lacks leverage and loft. He's a 50 runner on the 20-80 scale, although his speed plays up on the basepaths. He's got good feel for the game, makes good reads and takes good routes in the outfield. His arm is accurate but his throws lack carry.
5. (2a,76) Mark Hamilton, 1B, Tulane University
Hamilton was rated No. 2 in the state of Louisiana and No. 57 overall by Baseball America. Will Kimmey had this to say about him in his draft-day blog:
"The Cardinals drafted Tulane's Mark Hamilton in the supplemental second round and might have gotten the best power bat from the college ranks. He reached 20 home runs this season despite playing his home games at Zephyr Field. Had Hurricane Katrina not derailed the Turchin Stadium renovation, Hamilton may well have passed national homer leader Kellen Kulbacki, who hit 24 homers for James Madison."
Of all his tools, however, only his hitting is graded as average and everything else below.
Hamilton's grandfather, Ralph, was an All-American basketball player at Indiana before moving on to the NBA's Fort Wayne Pistons and Indianapolis Jets, and is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Mark is represented by Scott Boras.
6. (3,106) Gary Daley, RHP, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Baseball America had the following to say about Daley, who they rated as the No. 37 prospect in the state of California:
"Righthander Gary Daley, the No. 2 prospect in the Alaska League last summer, never got going. Daley throws 92-93 mph all day with his fastball and has a solid curveball but had significant command issues this spring. When behind in the count, he's been hit hard (opponents were hitting .299), and Daley doesn't change speeds well enough to pitch backward. Daley will have to find the right fit of a club that doesn't care if his adviser is Scott Boras and saw him good in Alaska."
7. (4,136) Eddie Degerman, RHP, Rice University
Degerman worked his way into becoming the ace of the top-ranked college team in the country with one of the nation's best collegiate pitching staffs. Degerman ranked among the NCAA leaders in ERA (1.67), wins (12) and strikeouts per nine innings (with 11.9 per game). The senior from Granada Hills, Calif., is among the best in Conference USA in innings pitched (113) and opponents' batting average (second, .171). He was named the most outstanding player of the Houston regional after striking out a season-high 14 Baylor hitters in 8.0 innings of work.
Baseball America ranked him as the No. 22 prospect in the state of Texas and No. 153 overall. Following is what they had to say about him:
"Degerman has a stiff, over-the-top delivery that, while unorthodox, also allows him to stay on top of his pitches and drive them to the bottom of the strike zone. His best offering is a high-70s curveball, and his fastball has improved from 87-90 to 89-92 mph during the last year. He can subtract velocity from his breaking ball, using the slower version of his curveball as a changeup. He repeats his mechanics well, and the different look is tough on batters."
The 22-year-old was a 41st round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox last season.
8. (5,166) Shane Robinson, OF, Florida State University
Robinson was rated as the No. 25 prospect in the state of Florida and No. 169 overall by Baseball America.
As a sophomore, Robinson had a school-record 40-game hitting streak and became the only college player with 100 hits and 40 stolen bases in the same season. He finished that season with 122 hits, a .427 average and .532 on-base percentage.
9. (6,196) Tyler Norrick, LHP, Southern Illinois University
Norrick was rated as the No. 10 best prospect in Illinois. He turned down $150,000 after the Blue Jays took him in the 17th round last season. He missed a month with shoulder inflammation this spring and got so down on himself that he announced he would retire from baseball at the end of the season. He since, however, has changed his mind. He has an 88-93 mph fastball and a good slider.
10. (7,226) Luke Gorsett, OF, University of Nebraska
Gorsett came to Nebraska and replaced Alex Gordon as the most dangerous hitter in the Cornhuskers lineup. He hit 5 home runs while slugging .643 this season.
11. (8,256) Allen Craig, SS, University of California/Berkeley
Rated as the No. 96 prospect in California, Craig hit 11 home runs in 54 games as a senior this season.
12. (9,286) Matt North, RHP, Deer Valley HS, Antioch, Calif.
Rated as the No. 116 prospect in California, North is the son of Cardinals scout Jay North. He has signed to play at Long Beach State.
"Great body, good mechanics, he's got a slightly below average fastball right now, but he's a projectable guy," Luhnow told MLB.com. "He's going to need time to develop."
13. (10,316) Blair Erickson, RHP, University of California/Irvine
Erickson was rated as the No. 23 best prospect in California and No. 130 overall, but an inconsistent fastball that was 94 mph in the past has dipped considerably.
14. (11,346) P.J. Walters, RHP, University of South Alabama
Luhnow to MLB.com: "According to our analysis, he's an elite pitcher from a performance standpoint. ... He's 6-4, 200 pounds, has absolutely dominated at the college level. [He] doesn't show the tools that get scouts excited to take him early and give him a lot of money, but for us he fits great."
15. (12,376) David Carpenter, C, West Virginia University
"He came to our workout in New Jersey, and he hit five balls out of the park in a row. ... He definitely has a good arm."
16. (13,406) Travis Mitchell, OF, Parkway Central HS, Chesterfield, Mo.
Luhnow to MLB.com: "The University of Missouri is probably going to be pretty upset that he's with the Cardinals. I know it was a lifelong dream of his to become a Cardinal. He could be playing at Busch Stadium in four, five, six years."
17. (14,436) Jon Edwards, OF, Keller (Texas) HS
Rated as the No. 69 prospect in the state of Texas, Edwards is listed at 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds.
Luhnow to MLB.com: "He actually runs pretty well for a big guy. He throws well. He hits the ball. ... This guy's got some power. He's an exciting guy."
18. (15,466) Lance Zawadzki, SS, San Diego State University
According to Baseball America, Zawadzki has a 70 arm on the 20-80 scouting scale. He had an off year at the plate in 2006, hitting .243-3-26.
Luhnow to MLB.com: "We had some area scouts who know him pretty well. I saw him. He was injured a little bit, didn't play the whole year. We think he's the kind of guy who's due for a rebound and he's going to have a rebound in pro ball, that's why we took him."
19. (16,496) Tommy Pham, SS, Durango HS, Las Vegas
Commited to play baseball at Cal State-Fullerton, Pham has showed promise at shortstop and on the mound.
"We like him as an infielder," Luhnow told MLB.com. "We were excited to get him where we got him in the draft. ... He sort of reminds you and looks a little bit like Derek Jeter in the field. Plus arm and a good bat."
20. (17,526) Nathan Southard, OF, Tulane University
Rated as the No. 7 best prospect in Louisiana, Southard has been compared to Eric Byrnes.
21. (18,556) Amaury Cazana Marti, OF, (No school)
The Cardinals invited Marti to their spring training camp earlier this year, but then realized that Marti would have to go through the draft before he could be signed. He had defected from Cuba to Miami.
"He's got some pretty extraordinary tools," Luhnow told MLB.com. "He's got a type of bat that can contribute immediately.
"I think he's one of the strongest baseball players I've ever seen. You look at his arms, you look at his legs, this guy is incredibly strong. He has bat speed that you can't teach."
It is possible that the Cardinals will start the 27-year-old out at Double-A Springfield.