Now that the 2008 MLB First- Year Player Draft is in the books, here is a look back at how the St. Louis Cardinals' draft breaks down. As with most teams, the draft was college heavy but with some interesting high school players selected in the later rounds.
First we will break down the draft for the organization, tallying from where the players were sourced: universities, junior colleges, or high schools. Also, we will look at the draftees' positions played. As we review the 2008 draft, we will compare it to the 2007 draft as well.
Of note, after the P.R. blowback as a result of not selecting high school right-hander Rick Porcello in 2007, the Cardinals did not pick a single high school right-hander in 2008.
Their 51 selections were highly-weighted in favor of players from four-year universities, as has been the Cardinals' trend. Thirty-four players from these institutions were selected. Of their first 10 ten draft picks, seven came from this level. In 2007, the Cardinals selected 37 of their 52 picks from universities. Of the top ten, eight of the ten were selected from four-year schools last year.
The Cardinals went to the prep ranks for nine of their selections, compared to only seven last year. Two of their first 10 selections were high schoolers in 2008 just as was the case in 2007. Of interest, four of the nine prep selections were left-handed pitchers this year.
This year, eight selections came from the Junior College ranks, the same as 2007.
Of those 51 players drafted this past Thursday and Friday, 27 were pitchers and 24 were position players. Eighteen of the pitchers drafted were right-handed while the other nine were southpaws. Six of the right-handers came from the Junior College level while 12 of the selections are university seasoned. The Cardinals did not select a single high school right-hander.
In 2007, 24 of the 52 picks were pitchers. Fourteen came from the university level while two were from the junior college ranks. Again, there were none picked in 2008, while 2007 brought high upside high school right-handers Deryk Hooker, Brett Zawacki, Mike Blazek, and Zach Russell.
Before the draft, the organization had made it known that it planned to add left-handed arms to the mix. They did just that by drafting twice as many southpaws in 2008 as in 2007. As mentioned above, four of the nine prep picks were southpaws. The Cardinals did not pick any prep lefties in 2007. One left-hander was taken out of the Junior College ranks while four came from universities. Last year, the organization picked three from universities and, as was the case this season, one from the juco ranks. The selection from junior college, Samuel Freeman, was one of the lefties selected on Friday.
The Cardinals drafted four catchers (they will be needed with possibly 27 new pitchers in camp). Of the infielders drafted, five were announced as corner infielders. I will change that to four as Jermaine Curtis mentioned in Brian Walton's interview that he will be moving to second. All of these four players attended four-year universities. Last year, the Cardinals selected three catchers, two from universities and one from junior college.
The Cardinals drafted four middle infielders in 2008 compared to eight in 2007. All four came from the university level. Last year seven of the eight came from the university level while one came from a junior college. No high school corner infielders have been drafted the past two years.
Including Curtis, the organization drafted nine players capable of manning the middle infield. Also entered in this category is Aaron Luna from Rice. He played the position in 2007 and has much more value at second than he does as a corner outfielder. The Cardinals selected six infielders from the university level and three from the prep level.
As the team drafted half as many corner infielders than it did the previous year, it drafted almost twice as many middle infielders this year. Of the nine middle infielders drafted, six came from four-year schools while three are from the prep level. In 2007, five were drafted, four from universities to go along with a high school shortstop. No junior college middle infielders have been chosen the past two drafts.
That leaves seven players drafted in 2008 that look to be outfielders. Two are from the high school ranks while one player was tabbed out of the Junior Colleges. Four more outfielders were selected from the university level.
The 2007 draft class included 12 outfielders. Of those seven were from universities, three from junior colleges, and two were from the prep ranks.
37 Junior College
8 High School
14 Junior College
2 High School
3 Junior College
1 High School
4 Corner Infielders
7 Junior College
1 High School
8 Middle Infielders
4 Junior College
0 High School
7 Junior College
3 High School
Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at email@example.com
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