St. Louis goes pitching-heavy in Draft

St. Louis goes pitching-heavy in Draft

St. Louis goes pitching-heavy in Draft
ST.LOUIS -- Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said on Tuesday the organization would likely draft a good number of pitchers on Day 3 of the First-Year Player Draft to add to St. Louis' depth at the position. The club used its No. 1 pick on Texas A&M right-hander Michael Wacha (No. 19), and also picked up five more pitchers on Day 2. The Cardinals followed through on Mozeliak's prediction on Wednesday.

St. Louis selected 15 pitchers on Wednesday -- nine of them right-handers - to make it 21 pitchers total taken in the 2012 Draft. Joseph Scanio, a right-hander out of Northwestern State and a St. Louis native, was the first player chosen by the Cardinals on Wednesday with the 510th overall pick in the 16th round.

"The game plan going in was to continue to try and get the better players on our board that fell in the context of our budget," Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz said. "As the day unfolded, we also had to think about need in a sense that, as I'm sure you can see, we drafted a lot of pitchers. And being mindful of filling three or four Minor League teams with players. We had to start filling our roster spots, while also trying to fit in the higher ceiling player that may or may not be signed."

The Cardinals also stocked up on catchers by selecting three on Day 3, as well as outfielders, who made up four of the 25 picks on Wednesday.

2012 Draft Central

In total in the Draft, the Cardinals selected five catchers, two first basemen, one second baseman, six shortstops, three third basemen and six outfielders. Jacob Wilson (No. 330), the Conference USA Player of the Year out of Memphis, was the lone second baseman chosen. The Cardinals chose 38 players from the college ranks, and eight prep players.

"Big picture, I think it was a diverse Draft class willing to complement what the Cardinals did in 2011," Kantrovitz said.

The Cardinals had 25 picks on the third and final day of the Draft, and four of those selections were used on players with direct ties to the organization.

Center fielder Tate Matheny, son of manager Mike Matheny, shortstop Eduardo Olquendo, son of third-base coach Jose Olquendo, outfielder Derrick May, son of Minor League hitting coach Derrick May, and right-handed pitcher Michael Aldrete, son of bench coach Mike Aldrete, each were chosen by their fathers' organization on Wednesday.

Still, it's unclear how many of those players will eventually sign with the Cardinals, as each still have college scholarship offers or college eligibility left. The same goes for many other players drafted over the last three days.

Kantrovitz said negotiations with players have already begun.

"That's started happening simultaneously," Kantrovitz said. "I would imagine very shortly you'll start to hear about some players agreeing to terms, and hopefully we can get a lot of these guys on quick."

One highly drafted player still weighing his options is third baseman Carson Kelly. The second-round pick out of Westview High School in Oregon has signed on to play the University of Oregon next year.

"Right now, I'm still up in the air," Kelly said on Wednesday. "I've been talking to both the Cardinals and Oregon, and we're going to decide what the best possible way to go for me is."

The Cardinals used back-to-back picks on third basemen on Day 1 of the Draft, taking Stanford's Stephen Piscotty (No. 36) and Patrick Wisdom (No. 52) out of St. Mary's College.

Assuming they're able to get their selections on board for the long haul, the Cardinals are excited with the group of players they picked this year.

"I think there's a combination of some high performers ... definitely wanted to inject the organization with some pitching," Kantrovitz said. "We feel really good about the last three days and that we accomplished these goals. Now the next step, a really important step, is getting these guys signed and on a plane."

Mike Still is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.