And Stavinoha Makes Nine

With Nick Stavinoha set to arrive in the Major Leagues on Sunday, we look at the draft classes of the nine players who have had their Major League introduction this season with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Nick Stavinoha is set to make his Major League arrival on Sunday, and when he officially takes the field, the outfielder will become the ninth player to make his big league debut this season for the Cardinals. 


Long criticized for their draft efforts, the Cardinals drafted seven of the nine making their initial MLB appearances this season.  The other two, Rico Washington and Brian Barton, came from other organizations. 


Following is a look at the year each player was drafted, including other players from their draft class to debut before this season. (The first number is the 2008 count, followed by the total number of St. Louis introductions from that draft class.)


Class of 2001 (1/3)


When Joe Mather was called up last month, he became the third player from the 2001 First-Year Player draft to make their big league debut with the Cardinals. Mather was a third round selection who had become bogged down in the low minors before a breakout season in 2007 that was capped with a spot on the forty-man roster. 


Like Mather, the first two who made their debuts were top five picks as well.  Second round pick Dan Haren had his introduction in 2003, starting fourteen games for the Cardinals. In 2004, Haren made five starts before serving as a crucial piece of the bullpen for the pennant winners.   Fifth round selection Skip Schumaker saw his first big league action with 24 at bats in 2005.  Schumaker bounced back and forth from the majors to the minors over the next two seasons before settling in as the team's primary leadoff hitter in 2008.


Class of 2002 (1/2)


Drafted in 2002 in the 25th round, local boy Kyle McClellan came out of nowhere to earn a roster spot on the 2008 ballclub.  A starter most of his minor league career, McClellan was switched to the bullpen after repeated arm injuries. The 24-year-old flourished in his new role and was put on the 40-man roster after his breakout season in 2007. Scheduled to return to starting in 2008, he instead remained in the pen due to an opportunity at the major league level. 


Brad Thompson was the first and only player from that draft to previously make his debut for the Cardinals.  The 16th round choice made 40 appearances out of the bullpen in 2005. 


Class of 2003 (0/2)


Though no player taken in the 2003 First-Year Player draft has made their debut for St. Louis this season, two arrived in previous years.  15th round selection Anthony Reyes made his debut in 2005, pitching in four games including one start for the big league team.  Seventh round choice Brendan Ryan first appeared in 2007, providing a spark for a team coming off a World Championship. 


Class of 2004 (2/2)


The much-maligned 2004 draft has seen two selections make their debut.  Ninth round pick Mike Parisi made his beginning in the bullpen and has also made two starts for the team.   Mark Worrell, their 12th round selection, provided solid middle relief and also became the eighth Cardinal in history to hit a home run in first major league at bat. 


Class of 2005 (3/3)


As much as the 2004 draft has been slammed, the 2005 draft has been praised.  Many of the organization's top prospects were selected during this draft and two made their debut this season.  Fifth round pick Mitchell Boggs has made four appearances including three starts. 


College closer Chris Perez was selected in the supplemental first round with the purpose of being fast tracked through the team's minor league system.  That has been the case as Perez spent only one full season in the minors before making his debut after being called up from Triple-A Memphis. 


Seventh round pick Nick Stavinoha is set to arrive in the bigs on Sunday and will be the third.


The Others (2)


Rico Washington took advantage of a Brendan Ryan injury to make the big league roster out of spring training after 11 years as a professional.  Drafted by the Pirates in the 10th round in 1997, Washington signed as a minor league free agent with the Cardinals before the 2006 season.  


Brian Barton went undrafted out of the University of Miami as most teams apparently thought he would make a career in the aerospace industry.  The Cleveland Indians decided to kick the tires and signed Barton for $100,000 as an undrafted free agent.  The Cardinals selected him in the Rule 5 draft at this past winter meetings held in Nashville. 



Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at


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