With 30 of their 44 total draftees having signed contracts, the Cardinals have three weeks to close the others. In the meantime, they have been aggressive in signing additional players.
Mitchem, a big man at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, played his college ball for the Dayton Flyers. There, he was Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference in 2011 and A-10's Championship Most Outstanding Player as a senior in 2012.
In 17 relief appearances this spring, the 23-year-old posted an ERA of 1.18 with seven saves, but his overall ERA was 4.00, including his nine starts. In the Dayton record books, Mitchem ranks second in career wins (24), first in career strikeouts (320), first in career appearances (88), second in career saves (14) and third in single-season saves (7 in 2012).
Focusing on hitting as a senior, he batted just .276 with 18 RBI in 181 at-bats. Popkins was an All-Big West Conference first team selection in both 2010 and 2011, but did not repeat as a senior. As a junior, he was also a member of the All-West Region second team.
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