2008 MLB Draft: A Look at the 13th Pick

With the 13th overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals have their highest position since 2000. Dustin Mattison looks backward at past #13's as well as to several players the Cardinals might take this week.

As we approach the 2008 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals hold the 13th selection, their highest pick since 2000.  With an up and coming farm system that has produced seven first-time major leaguers this season, the team will look to add to its plethora of talented players to put into their minor league pipeline.  

We'll look at some of the other notables selected with the 13th selection since the first year of the MLB draft, 1965. Cardinal fans and draft watchers will hope the team does better this year with the pick than in 2000. 


Cards picks at 13


In 2000, the selection was Shaun Boyd, a high school outfielder from Vista, California. Boyd would never make it to the big leagues, reaching Triple-A Memphis in 2006 where he hit .188 in 49 games.  The team let Boyd go after that season and he latched on with the Philadelphia Phillies then played independent league baseball.  In 2008, Boyd is apparently out of affiliated ball after being released by the Bridgeport Bluefish. 


The Cardinals also picked 13th in 1990 when the team selected Donovan Osborne. Selected out of UNLV, he made a fast rise through the system, making his big league debut in 1992 with a record of 11-9 and a 3.77 ERA.  The southpaw would labor through seven more injury-riddled seasons before last appearing in St. Louis during the 1999 season.  His best year was the division-winning season of 1996 when he went 13-9 with a 3.53 ERA.  He was out of baseball until 2002 when he was in the Chicago Cubs organization and made a few appearances for the New York Yankees in 2004.  Since that time, Osborne has pitched in the independent leagues. 


In 1974, with the pick, the Cardinals selected embattled shortstop Garry Templeton (pictured).  With a boatload of talent and attitude, it was the latter that most Redbirds fans remember and is what got him a ticket out of town.  Templeton made his debut in the majors in 1976 and would become a fixture in the lineup for the next five seasons before a "Lady's Day" incident forced the Cardinals' hand.  Then General Manager Whitey Herzog found a trading partner in the San Diego Padres and the rest, as they say, is history.  Ozzie Smith helped lead the Cardinals to three National League pennants and a World Championship on his way to the Hall-of-Fame. 


MLB picks at 13


Across MLB since 1965, the most successful 13th pick has been current Boston Red Sox slugger, Manny Ramirez.  Over the weekend, the much-maligned Ramirez hit his 500th home run.  Drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1991, he was selected out of a New York City high school. 


Some other current players of note that were drafted with the thirteenth selection ae the Chicago White Sox' Paul Konerko (Dodgers 1994), the Los Angeles Angels' Casey Kotchman (2001), and the San Diego Padres' Khalil Greene (2002).


Of the former players, the oft-traveled Frank Tanana put together the most successful major league career.   Drafted by the Angels in 1971, the left-hander finished with a record of 240-236 over 21 years. 


The 2008 draft


The 2008 draft appears to have around eight to ten players assured of being picked at the top of the draft.  After that, the draft could fall a number of different ways.  As in other drafts, a surprise selection can cause a domino affect in how the rest of the round falls into place.  Another factor is signability.  Rick Porcello was the consensus top high school pitcher in 2007 but fell all the way to the Detroit Tigers at the 27th choice. 


Signability is something that could work to the advantage of the Cardinals. (Even though it did not last year!) Though the top players on the board are assumed to be gone by the time the Cardinals pick, you never know. After all, perhaps the Tigers never thought they would have had a shot at Porcello.


After the flack that the Cardinals' front office caught after not drafting Porcello, I just do not believe the team would do it again.  Two possible candidates to fall due to signability are Vanderbilt's Pedro Alvarez (pictured) and Missouri's Aaron Crow. 


The consensus top pick before the 2008 season, Alvarez broke his hamate bone in the first game of the season.  He is still considered by most to be the top player on the board but his affiliation with the Boras Corporation as well as his rumored bonus demand of $8 million could cause him to slide past the teams at the top. 


Missouri's Crow entered the season as one of the top college pitchers after a stellar campaign in the Cape Cod League.  The 6-foot-3 right-hander led the storied summer league with an ERA of 0.67.  He put together a 43 inning scoreless streak but was not nearly as sharp in his next couple outings. 


During NCAA Regional play, Crow pitched his fourth shutout of the year and struck out ten in the Tigers victory over Mississippi.  Crow is also a Boras client so his bonus demands may allow the first team All-American to slip out of the top ten as well. 


Join in!


Be sure to take a look at our message board for the latest buzz surrounding the 2008 MLB draft.  Also, make your prediction on which player the Cardinals will choose and possibly win $100.


Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at dustin@whiteyball.com



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