That total included nine of their top ten picks and 22 of the top 25. However, the three highest-drafted players that remained unsigned 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 third baseman/outfielder Nick Peoples (19th round), also from the Texas Longhorns.
While Russell and Stutes ultimately decided to return to school, Peoples' situation was different. As a college senior whose eligibility had expired, he was not bound by the August 15 signing deadline.
That was a good thing. Just a few days prior to the draft, on June 3, the 22-year-old had suffered a broken collarbone while competing for UT in the NCAA Regionals in front of his home crowd in Austin.
The injury clearly caused Peoples' draft stock to drop as he was unable to play for the remainder of the summer. The Cardinals retained his rights even past August 15 and apparently once Peoples was healed enough to sign, he did just that.
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 for the Longhorns but was listed as a second baseman on draft day.
With Peoples' decision, the books are officially closed on the 2007 St. Louis Cardinals draft class with 44 of the 52 selected players signed. Though the quantities are set, fully appreciating the quality will require more time to develop.
Cardinals 2007 Draft by Position
Cardinals 2007 Draft by Class
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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