The Cardinals owned three of the top 36 picks in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft. They would have had four if not for the signing of Type A free agent Eric Davis. Two of those three players never saw time in the majors and are no longer in the organization, while one just recently began showing the potential that got him drafted in the first round. However, this has turned out to be one of the Cardinals' most productive drafts, if only for the fact that it produced the best player in the game today: Albert Pujols.
Following we will take a closer look at each of the Cardinals' first round draft picks and the players that made it to the major leagues.
Chance Caple (1st round)
Selected 30th overall by the Cardinals, Caple was brought to Busch Stadium to sign his minor league contract that included a $1.2 million signing bonus on July 15, 1999, and was presented with his own official No. 99 jersey prior to the game that evening.
"It's unbelievable, and I hope to be here soon," Caple told the Associated Press that night after walking onto the field at Busch Stadium. "I'm looking forward to the challenge."Ultimately, the challenge proved too difficult for the hard-throwing right-hander. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2001 and was never the same again. He topped out at high Class A Palm Beach and the Cardinals released him during the 2004 season.
Nick Stocks (Supplemental 1st round)Like Caple, Stocks was also brought to Busch Stadium to sign his contract, but he was given a slightly larger bonus: $1.41 million. Possessing one of the best curveballs in the organization and a low-90s fastball, the right-hander fiddled around in the Cardinals system until he was released in 2005. He has played independent ball each of the past two seasons.
Chris Duncan (Supplemental 1st round)
It took him a while, but it looks like Chris Duncan has finally blossomed into the player that the Cardinals envisioned when they gave him a $900,000 as the 46th overall pick in 1999.
The son of Cardinals' pitching coach Dave Duncan, Chris had accrued just 25 at-bats above the Class A level through the 2003 season. He finally broke out in 2004, hitting .289/.393/.473 with 16 home runs and 65 RBI in 120 games for Double-A Tennessee. He followed that up with a very good season in 2005 that saw him called up to St. Louis in September where he made his major league debut and hit the last regular season home run in the old Busch Stadium.In 2006, after beginning the season at Triple-A Memphis, Duncan had two short stints in St. Louis before finally being called up for good on July 3. He finished the season hitting .293/.363/.589. His 22 home runs, 19 of which came after the All-Star break, ranked fourth among National League rookies. In August, he was named NL Rookie of the Month after hitting .361 with nine home runs and 14 RBIs. He is the frontrunner to be the Cardinals starting left-fielder in 2007.
Josh Pearce (2nd round)Pearce had three stints with the Cardinals over three seasons (2002-04) and made a total of 13 appearances for the club, but was never able to stick. He underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in 2002, but came back to make seven appearances for the Cardinals in 2003. However, the labrum tore again in 2004, requiring a repeat of the operation. He came back to put up decent numbers for Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis in 2005, but was let-go as a free agent following the season. He did not play in 2006.
Ben Johnson (4th round)
Johnson was in the Cardinals' system for just one season before being shipped to San Diego as part of the deal that brought catcher Carlos Hernandez to the club in 2000. He had a break-out season for Double-A Mobile in 2004, and followed it up with an even better season in 2005, earning a promotion to San Diego. Considered one of the Padres' top prospects, Johnson played in 58 games with the club in 2006, and following the season was dealt to the New York Mets.
"Ben Johnson is a versatile outfielder who can play all three spots, has speed and shown some power," Mets general manager Omar Minaya told the Associated Press at the time of the trade. "He is just 25 years old, and we feel he has yet to reach his potential."
Jimmy Journell (4th round)Journell did not pitch at all in 1999 after being drafted, instead having to undergo Tommy John surgery. He developed into one of the Cardinals' top prospects and made his major league debut in 2003. He underwent rotator-cuff surgery in 2004 and had another stint with the Cardinals in 2005. The Cardinals let him go following the season and he hooked up with the Cincinnati Reds, who released him in spring training. He spent the 2006 season in the independent Atlantic League.
Coco Crisp (7th round)Crisp was the player-to-be-named-later in the deal that brought Chuck Finley to St. Louis in 2002. He made his major league debut that season and by 2004 was a regular, hitting .297 with 15 home runs and 71 RBI for the Indians. In January, 2006, the Indians dealt the outfielder to the Boston Red Sox in a six-player trade. He filled the vacancy in centerfield left by Johnny Damon after he signed with the Yankees.
Albert Pujols (13th round)
Pujols fell all the way to the 13th round before finally being picked by the Cardinals with the 402nd overall pick. He received a $60,000 signing bonus.I don't think I need to go into great detail with the story of Pujols. Basically, he really hasn't done much besides being selected to five All-Star Games; and winning a batting title, three Silver Slugger Awards and a Gold Glove. Oh yeah…and he also has won an MVP and led his team to two World Series.
Mike Crudale (24th round)Crudale made his major league debut with the Cardinals in 2002 and posted a perfect 3-0 record with a 1.88 ERA in 49 appearances, allowing 43 hits, striking out 47 and walking 14 in 52.2 innings. The Cardinals dealt the right-hander to the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2003 deal that brought Mike DeJean to St. Louis. He appeared in nine games for Milwaukee that season and hasn't returned to the majors since. He has since made stops in the Pittsburgh and San Francisco organizations and has spent the past two seasons in the independent Atlantic league.
Bo Hart (33rd round)Hart played in a total of just 88 games over two seasons (2003-04) with the Cardinals, but he still seems to be one of the team's most popular players. You will often hear fans asking, "What happened to Bo Hart?" Well, he got off to a hot start in 2003 after a late-season call-up to help out a club that had been decimated by injuries. He finished that season with a .277 batting average in 77 games, filling in exceptionally at second base. He spent most of the 2004 season at Triple-A Memphis, playing in just 11 games with the Cardinals. The Cardinals let him go following the 2005 season and he signed with the Rockies. He was released in June, however, and returned to finish the season with Triple-A Memphis. He has apparently not signed with a team for the 2007 season.
1999 Draft Picks
|1.||(Choice to Orioles as compensation for Type A free agent Eric Davis).|
|1.||Chance Caple, rhp, Texas A&M University (Choice from Braves as compensation for Type A free agent Brian Jordan).|
|1a.||Nick Stocks, rhp, Florida State University (Supplemental pick for loss of Jordan).|
|1a.||Chris Duncan, 1b, Canyon del Oro HS, Tucson (Supplemental pick for loss of Type A free agent Delino DeShields).|
|2.||(Choice to Dodgers as compensation for Type A free agent Scott Radinsky).|
|2a.||Josh Pearce, rhp, University of Arizona (Supplemental pick for loss of Type C free agent Tom Lampkin).|
|3.||B.R. Cook, rhp, Oregon State University.|
|4.||Ben Johnson, of, Germantown (Tenn.) HS (Choice from Orioles as compensation for DeShields).|
|4.||Jim Journell, rhp, University of Illinois.|
|5.||Charles Williams, of, Rice University.|
|6.||Josh Teekel, rhp, Belaire HS, Greenwell Springs, La.|
|7.||Covelli Crisp, 2b, Los Angeles Pierce JC.|
|8.||Shawn Schumacher, c/3b, Texas A&M University.|
|9.||Damon Thames, ss, Rice University.|
|10.||Kevin Sprague, lhp, McNeese State University.|
|11.||Aaron Davidson, 2b, Cuesta (Calif.) CC.|
|12.||Brent Spooner, c, University of Central Florida.|
|13.||Albert Pujols, 3b, Maple Woods (Mo.) CC.|
|14.||Matt Vincent, lhp, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College.|
|15.||Travis Bailey, 3b, Florida Atlantic University.|
|16.||Cheyenne Janke, rhp, Nicholls State University.|
|17.||Mike Perkins, rhp, Manatee JC.|
|18.||Paul Fahs, rhp, Briar Cliff (N.Y.) JC.|
|19.||Chris Beck, of, Cal State Fullerton.|
|20.||Michael Layfield, rhp, Valdesta State (Ga.) University.|
|21.||Jeremy Cummings, rhp, West Virginia University.|
|22.||Mike Floyd, of, University of Florida.|
|23.||Chris Fiora, rhp, Towson State University.|
|24.||Mike Crudale, rhp, Santa Clara University.|
|25.||Mark Penberthy, c, The Master's (Calif.) College.|
|26.||Justin Berg, c, Rice University.|
|27.||Donavan Graves, rhp, Booneville (Mo.) HS.|
|28.||Brandon Peck, lhp, Kansas State University.|
|29.||Jusint Albertsen, of, El Camino (Calif.) JC.|
|30.||Mark Butler, rhp, Bellevue (NEB.) University.|
|31.||Matt Parker, rhp, Mercer University.|
|32.||Trevor Sansom, rhp, West Virginia State College.|
|33.||Bo Hart, ss/2b, Gonzaga University.|
|34.||Jake Moon, rhp, Cypress (Calif.) JC.|
|35.||Aaron Dinkel, rhp, JC of Eastern Utah.|
|36.||Jeff Cruz, lhp, Fullerton (Calif.) CC.|
|37.||Robert Yates, rhp, University of Arkansas.|
|38.||Chris Buckley, of, North Arkansas CC.|
|39.||Monte Lee, of, College of Charleston.|
|40.||Ron Corona, rhp, Cypress (Calif.) JC.|
Jason Scott can be reached via email at email@example.com.© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.