With nine of their top ten picks and 22 of 25 previously signed, the three highest-drafted players in limbo were sophomore outfielder Kyle Russell of the University of Texas (fourth round), junior right-handed pitcher Mike Stutes of Oregon State University (ninth round) and senior second baseman Nick Peoples, also from the Texas Longhorns (19th round).
Russell, Stutes, six others gone
With remaining collegiate eligibility, both Russell (pictured) and Stutes had significant leverage. The top home run hitter in the NCAA this spring, Russell has struggled in wooden-bat leagues the last two summers and his reported contract demands seemed out of line with his results.
Neither Stutes nor Russell came to terms with the Cardinals by the midnight Wednesday evening signing deadline. As a result, they and six more of the remaining ten are no longer eligible to sign and will become draft-eligible again next spring.
Since organizations only receive compensatory picks for unsigned players in the top three rounds, the Cardinals have to consider the eight as lost picks.
That leaves two.
Peoples still possible
Russell's former teammate, Peoples, is an interesting case. Just a few days prior to the draft, on June 3, the 22-year-old suffered a broken collarbone while competing for UT in the NCAA Regionals in front of his home crowd.
Given the normal recovery period from a broken collarbone, Peoples is likely still not ready to suit up again. However, it is not universally understood that the new August 15 signing deadline applies only to underclassmen, not players whose eligibility has been exhausted.
As a result, while Peoples is not yet under contract, the Cardinals still retain the ability to sign him later if both sides can reach an agreement.
The 5-foot-9, 188 pound Round Rock, Texas native batted .329 and was successful in 18 of 23 stolen base attempts this past season. He played in centerfield and at third base at UT but was listed as a second baseman on draft day.
Maj to Batavia
The Cardinals did have one final signing in the hours leading up to the deadline. Their 45th round selection, right-handed pitcher Jameson Maj, a junior from Abilene Christian University of Texas, came to terms with the organization.
For the Wildcats, Maj tied the NCAA Division II record with 20 saves this spring on his way to first team All-America honors. The 6-foot-5, 210 pounder finished the season with a 5-3 record and 1.00 ERA to go along with 72 strikeouts in 54 innings of work.
This summer, Maj was impressive in his first season in the Texas Collegiate League, posting a 2-1 record and four saves and earning an All-Star berth. In 17 appearances (24 innings of work), Maj allowed just five earned runs while walking just three batters and striking out 26. He compiled a 1.88 ERA and opposing hitters batted only .172 against him.
Maj is expected to be on a plane to the Cardinals' short-season Class-A affiliate in Batavia, New York in the next day or two to begin his professional career.
For Jameson Maj, the suspense is over. For Nick Peoples, the door is still open. For eight others, including Kyle Russell and Mike Stutes, they are free to continue their career aspirations without regard for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Yet, for 42 other young men, their professional baseball careers have begun. All-in-all, it was a promising draft and sign season for the Cardinals in 2007.
For reference, here is a summary of players drafted and signed by position and class as well as a master list of all 52 drafted and where they are currently playing.
(Ensure you click on any player's name to be taken to his detailed Scout.com player page, where further information can be found.)
Cardinals 2007 Draft by Class
Cardinals 2007 Draft by Position
Cardinals 2007 Draft Summary
|1||Pete Kozma||SS||Owasso, HS (OK)||Johnson City|
|1a||Clayton Mortensen||RHP||Gonzaga Univ||Quad Cities|
|2||David Kopp||RHP||Clemson Univ||Batavia (DL)|
|2||Jess Todd||RHP||Univ of Arkansas||Batavia|
|3||Daniel Descalso||3B||Univ of California||Batavia|
|4||Kyle Russell||OF||Univ of Texas|
|5||Thomas Eager||RHP||Cal Poly||Batavia|
|6||Oliver Marmol||SS||College of Charleston||Quad Cities|
|7||Deryk Hooker||RHP||Mira Mesa HS (CA)||GCL Cards|
|8||Tyler Henley||OF||Rice University||Batavia|
|9||Mike Stutes||RHP||Oregon State Univ|
|10||Beau Riportella||OF||College of Sequoias||Johnson City|
|11||Adam Reifer||RHP||UC Riverside||Injured|
|12||Brett Zawacki||RHP||La Salle||To be assigned|
|13||Steven Hill||1B/C||Stephen F Austin Univ||Quad Cities|
|14||Josh Dew||RHP||Troy University||Batavia|
|15||Chuckie Fick||RHP||Cal State Northridge||Quad Cities|
|16||Antone DeJesus||OF||Univ of Kentucky||Quad Cities|
|17||Matt Arburr||3B||Pace University||Johnson City|
|18||Andrew Brown||OF||Univ of Nebraska||Batavia|
|19||Nick Peoples||2B||Univ of Texas|
|20||Brian Cartie||3B||McNeese State Univ||Batavia (DL)|
|21||Brian Broderick||RHP||Grand Canyon Univ||Batavia|
|22||Charlie Kingrey||OF||McNeese State Univ||GCL Cards|
|23||Joey Hage||OF||M Stoneman HS (FL)||Johnson City|
|24||Samuel Freeman||LHP||N Central Texas College|
|25||J.D. Stambaugh||LHP||Brigham Young Univ||Batavia|
|26||Tony Cruz||3B||Palm Beach CC||Quad Cities|
|27||Brian Buck||OF||Santa Barbara College||GCL Cards|
|28||Ross Oeder||2B||Wright State Univ||Batavia|
|29||Charlie Pelt||1B||Georgia State Univ||Batavia|
|30||Nick Derba||C||Manhattan College||Quad Cities|
|31||Dylan Gonzalez||RHP||Pepperdine Univ||Johnson City|
|32||Nick Vera||3B||Trinity University||Johnson City|
|33||Josh Fritsche||LHP||Oklahoma St Univ||Batavia|
|34||Steve Hill||RHP||Southeastern Univ||Johnson City|
|35||Mike Blazek||RHP||Arbor View HS (NV)||GCL Cards|
|36||Collin Fanning||OF||Brigham Young Univ||Batavia|
|37||Craig Ziegler||1B||Univ of Arizona|
|38||Adron Chambers||OF||Pensacola JC||Johnson City|
|39||Rigoberto Lugo||RHP||PR BB Academy HS||GCL Cards|
|40||Justin Dalles||C||St Petersburg JC|
|41||Ramon Delgado||RHP||Pima CC||GCL Cards|
|42||Mike Folli||2B||Univ of Buffalo||Johnson City|
|43||Davis Bilardello||LHP||Univ of South Florida||Batavia|
|44||Daniel Thomas||RHP||Univ of South Florida|
|45||Jameson Maj||RHP||Abilene Christian Univ||Batavia|
|46||Rob Sanzillo||C||Johns Hopkins Univ||Johnson City|
|47||Mateo Marquez||OF||Cal State Dominguez||Batavia|
|48||Jason King||OF||Dublin Jerome HS (OH)|
|49||Ronald Russell||RHP||Harmony Grove HS (AR)||GCL Cards|
|50||Stephen McCray||RHP||Young Harris College|
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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