The 2003 draft has produced just one-major leaguer (Anthony Reyes) for the Cardinals so far, but six more of the 47 players drafted by the team that year still remain in the organization: Stuart Pomeranz, Dennis Dove, Brandon Yarbrough, Brendan Ryan, Matt Pagnozzi and Jason Motte.
Following, we will take a look at some of the more notable players selected by the Cardinals in the 2003. Don't forget to click on the links to the players names to learn even more.
Daric Barton (1st round)
Barton signed with the Cardinals for a reported $975,000 after being drafted out of high school, and was probably the top prospect (Anthony Reyes being the only competition at the time) in the Cardinals system when they dealt him to the Oakland A's in the Mark Mulder deal prior to the 2005 season. Moved from catcher to first base shortly after the trade, Barton has established himself as one of the top prospects in the A's system and was ranked as the No. 48 prospect in the game in the 2007 Scout.com Prospect Guide.
Still just 21, Barton would have been named the Cardinals' Minor League Player of the Year in 2004, when he hit .313/.445/.511 with 13 home runs and 77 RBI while drawing a ridiculous 69 walks in 90 games for low Class A Peoria, had it not been for the trade. He represented the A's in the 2005 Futures Game, but his progress was derailed a bit in 2006 when he was limited to just 43 games after breaking his left elbow in a first-base collision with Tony Womack in a Triple-A game. He is still highly regarded however, and after being invited to big league camp each of the past two seasons, it would not be a surprise to see Barton in the majors at some point this season.
Stuart Pomeranz (2nd round)
Pomeranz will begin the 2007 season the same place he ended the 2006 season; on the Double-A Springfield disabled list with shoulder troubles. He was shut down in mid-August last season because of shoulder tendinitis, and he has apparently experienced a reoccurrence of the problem because he was limited for most of spring training because of a sore shoulder.
Given a $450,000 signing bonus by the Cardinals, the 6-foot-7 right-hander's best season to date was 2004 when he led the organization with 12 wins and posted a 3.55 ERA in 17 starts for Low-A Peoria. He was ranked by the Birdhouse as the Cardinals' No. 7 prospect over the offseason.
Dennis Dove (3rd round)
If Dennis Dove didn't catch your attention last season, then he most certainly did in spring training when he was throwing 95-mile-per two-seam fastballs in a game that was televised on KSDK back in St. Louis. Despite possessing a two-seamer that consistently sits in the mid-90s and sometimes even approaches 100 mph, Dove flew under most people's radar until recently. He was finally converted to relief for 2006, and posted a 2.81 ERA while striking out 56 and walking 13 in 51.1 innings for High-A Palm Beach before being promoted to Double-A Springfield in July. He faltered a bit after the promotion, but came back strong in the Arizona Fall League and was added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster over the offseason.
We ranked Dove as the Cardinals' No. 33 prospect here at the Birdhouse. However, he would not have even made the list if it wasn't for my personal ranking of 11. Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan was impressed with what he saw this spring, sarcastically saying, "That's too good. We don't like those guys that throw 95, 96." Look for Dove to be in St. Louis at some point in 2007 if he can remain healthy.
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Mark Michael (4th round)
Michael, who received a $220,500 signing bonus, was just recently released by the organization. Ranked as the No. 26 prospect in the system by the Birdhouse prior to the 2006 season, Michael has been plagued by arm problems each of the past three seasons; rotator cuff surgery in 2004, shoulder tendinitis in 2005 and nerve irritation in his elbow in 2006. The right-hander has a mid-90s heater, and was ranked as the Cardinals' No. 26 prospect by the Birdhouse prior to the 2006 season. Moved to the bullpen this spring, he had a 3.98 ERA to go along with 303 strikeouts in 380 innings in the Cardinals' organization prior to his release. He spent the past two seasons with High-A Palm Beach. He is currently considering signing with the Camden Riversharks of the independent Atlantic League.
Brendan Ryan (7th round)
Ranked by the Birdhouse as the Cardinals' No. 19 prospect and added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster over the offseason, Ryan will begin the 2007 season at Triple-A Memphis after missing most of last season due to a torn ligament in his left wrist. Entering the season, Ryan is a career .303 hitter with 59 steals in 278 career minor league games. In 2004, he won the Midwest League batting title. He was impressive in spring training and could see time in St. Louis this season.
Anthony Reyes (15th round)
Selected in the 13th round by the Tigers in 2002, Reyes fell in both drafts due to nagging elbow injuries. If he would have been healthy, it was thought that he would have went in the first round. He chose to sign with the Cardinals, but did not begin his career until 2004 when he was named the opening day starter for High-A Palm Beach. However, he made just two starts before going on the disabled list for two months because of shoulder tendinitis. He came back and made five more starts before being promoted to Double-A Tennessee. For the Smokies, Reyes made 12 starts, posting 2.91 ERA, striking out 102 and walking only 13 in 74-1/3 innings, while opponents hit .230 against him.
Reyes put up another good season for Triple-A Memphis in 2005, despite spending two weeks on the disabled list with a sprained right AC (acromioclavicular) joint in his right shoulder. He made his major league debut with an impressive spot start in Milwaukee and returned when the rosters expanded in September. The right-hander began the 2006 season with Memphis, but made a 17 starts for the Cardinals. He struggled due to a decline in velocity, going 5-8 with a 5.06 ERA while opponents hit .262 against him. However, Reyes was the game one starter for the Cardinals in the World Series and was very impressive, pitching into the ninth inning for the first time in his career and allowing just two runs on two hits while walking only one on his way to picking up the win. He will begin the 2007 season in the Cardinals rotation, and in his most recent exhibition start, his velocity was back up to 92-94 mph.
* Fifth round draft pick Brandon Yarbrough will begin the season with High-A Palm Beach. In addition to catcher, the 22-year-old will see time in the outfield this season as well.
* Ninth round pick Justin Garza and 20th rounder Jordan Pals were just recently released by the organization. Click here for the full story.
* Three of the Cardinals draft picks (all pitchers) that did not sign moved up to the first round in 2006: 14th round draft pick Ian Kennedy, 38th rounder Brent Sinkbeil and 43rd rounder Max Scherzer. Scherzer went 11th overall to the Diamondbacks, Sinkbeil went 19th to the Marlins and Kennedy went 21st to the Yankees. Sinkbeil and Kennedy both signed and were ranked No. 4 and No. 6 respectively in their organizations in the 2007 Scout.com Prospect Guide. Scherzer, meanwhile, has yet to reach an agreement with the D-Backs. With a 97 mph fastball, he would likely remain a first round pick if he were to re-enter the draft in 2007.
* Eighth round pick Matt Pagnozzi, who is still in the organization, is a nephew of former Cardinals' catcher Tom Pagnozzi.
* 16th round draft pick Omar Pena's brother, Carlos, is a first baseman for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
* 30th round pick Matt Lane did not sign in 2003, but was selected by the Cardinals again in 2005 (16th round) and did. He is on the Low-A Quad Cities opening day roster.
* 21st round pick Jason Burch was part of the trade that brought Larry Walker to St. Louis in 2005. He has yet to advance past Double-A in the Rockies' system.
* 37th round pick Sal Frisella was among 38 minor leaguers suspended for steroid use in 2005 and was released by the Cardinals when he was allowed to come back. When doing research for this article, I discovered that four of those 38 players are currently in the Cardinals organization: Troy Cate, Ryan Christianson, Omar Falcon and Chris Russ.
* 40th round pick Peter Soteropoulos was selected to represent Greece in the 2004 Olympics. He was eligible because his grandparents were born in Greece. He was released by the Cardinals shortly after he returned. It should be noted that the Cardinals allowed Soteropoulos to participate, but declined a request by Cody McKay, who wanted to represent Canada, his native country. Soteropoulos pitched just 2/3 of an inning after returning to Low-A Peoria before being let go by the Cardinals.
2003 Draft Picks
|1.||Daric Barton, c, Marina HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.|
|2.||Stuart Pomeranz, rhp, Houston HS, Collierville Tenn.|
|3.||Dennis Dove, rhp, Georgia Southern University.|
|4.||Mark Michael, rhp, University of Delaware.|
|5.||Brandon Yarbrough, c, Richmond HS, Ellerbe, N.C.|
|6.||Matt Weagle, rhp, Franklin Peirce (N.H.) College.|
|7.||Brendan Ryan, ss, Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) College.|
|8.||Matt Pagnozzi, c, Central Arizona JC.|
|9.||Justin Garza, rhp, Seminole State (Okla.) JC.|
|10.||Buddy Blair, lhp, University of Oklahoma.|
|11.||Nathan Kopszywa, rhp, Chriton (Tenn.) College.|
|12.||Calvin Beamon, of, CC of Southern Nevada.|
|13.||Kainoa Obrey, 3b, Brigham Young University.|
|14.||Ian Kennedy, rhp, La Quinta HS, Huntington Beach, Calif.|
|15.||Anthony Reyes, rhp, University of Southern California.|
|16.||Omar Pena, ss, Northeastern University.|
|17.||Kevin House, of, University of Memphis.|
|18.||Jose Virgil, of, Oklahoma State University.|
|19.||Jason Motte, c, Iona College.|
|20.||Jordan Pals, rhp, Eastern Illinois University.|
|21.||Jason Burch, rhp, University of Nebraska.|
|22.||Derik Drewett, rhp, Watson Chapel HS, Sherrill, Ark.|
|23.||Matt Blanton, lhp, Hendrix (Ark.) College.|
|24.||Temetric Thomas, 2b, Mississippi Valley State University.|
|25.||Tavaris Gary, of, Cumberland (Tenn.) University.|
|26.||Levi Webber, of, Oregon State University.|
|27.||Jason John, rhp, Grayson County (Texas) JC.|
|28.||Tanner Wootan, 2b, Chandler-Gilbert (Ariz.) JC.|
|29.||Brantley Jordan, lhp, University of Texas.|
|30.||Matt Lane, rhp, Iowa Western CC.|
|31.||Mike Tamulionis, rhp, St. John's University.|
|32.||Derek Roper, rhp, University of Missouri.|
|33.||Casey Grimm, of, Seton Hall University.|
|34.||Kevin Mulvey, rhp, Bishop Ahr HS, Edison, N.J.|
|35.||Peter Eberhardt, rhp, Cerritos (Calif.) JC.|
|36.||John Powell, rhp, Carl Albert State (Okla.) JC.|
|37.||Sal Frisella, of, Southern Illinois University.|
|38.||Brent Sinkbeil, rhp, Charles Page HS, Sand Springs, Okla.|
|39.||Thomas Brewer, rhp, Bloomington South HS, Bloomington, Ind.|
|40.||Peter Soteropoulos, lhp, University of Connecticut.|
|41.||Ryan Castellanos, 3b, Silverado HS, Las Vegas, Nev.|
|42.||Roydrick Merritt, of, Nimitz HS, Houston.|
|43.||Max Scherzer, rhp, Parkway Central HS, St. Louis, Mo.|
|44.||Ryan Reichelderfer, 1b, Arkansas-Fort Smith, JC.|
|45.||Joshua Markham, lhp, Riverdale HS, Murfreesboro, Tenn.|
|46.||Kameron Micholio, rhp, Eastern Utah CC.|
|47.||Tobirus Bell, of, John Wood (Ill.) CC.|
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.