Cards' Top Pick Kozma in the Fold

The St. Louis Cardinals have come to terms with their first-round pick from last month's draft, high school shortstop Peter Kozma.

On Saturday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they have agreed on contract terms with their top selection in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, shortstop Peter Kozma. Financial terms were not announced. He was the 18th overall selection in the first round.

The 19-year old starred at Owasso High School in Owasso, Oklahoma where he finished his senior season with team-bests in batting average (.522), runs (56), RBI (55) and home runs (11) while leading his team to a state title.

Kozma was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Oklahoma and was voted the Rawlings High School Gold Glove shortstop for 2007. He was named to the Louisville Slugger High School All American team and is a second-team All-American.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Kozma posted a .491 career batting average at Owasso (171-for-348) and scored 154 runs with 140 RBI and 30 home runs. His .553 batting average as a junior was a school record.

Kozma will report to the Cardinals minor league facility in Jupiter, FL and undergo a physical next Tuesday. Once he is officially signed, he will likely report to short-season Johnson City of the Appalachian League.

With the signing, the Cardinals will have 39 of their 52 2007 draftees under contract, including nine of their first ten selections. The lone hold-out among that group is fourth-rounder Kyle Russell, a junior-to-be outfielder from the University of Texas. In 13 games this summer with the Santa Barbara Foresters of the California Collegiate League, Russell has posted a nifty .310/.482/.548 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line. subscribers: Don't forget to check out our June interview with Kozma.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at

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