The Cardinals' "cost certainty" strategy of Day 2 paid off with Saturday's first selection: Steven Farinaro, a right-handed pitcher from Head-Royce School (Calif.) at No. 335 overall.
With flexible cap room heading into Day 3 of the First-Year Player Draft, the Cardinals selected the prep pitcher whom scouting director Dan Kantrovitz estimates it may take significant resources to lure away from his college commitment to UCLA.
Kantrovitz said Farinaro, one of 20 players to attend the Cardinals' pre-draft workout last Tuesday at Busch Stadium, has first- and second-round talent, but likely slipped in the Draft due to signabiliy concerns.
"We were crossing our fingers that he got to us in the 11th round," Kantrovitz said. "I think our guys just out-scouted some of the other teams in assessing and evaluating his stuff. That's a pretty neat story if it's able to come to fruition and if we're able to strike a deal."
Farinaro totaled 12 wins with a 0.82 ERA at Head-Royce School (Calif.) this season, holding his opponents to a .107 batting average and striking out 157 through 77 innings, according to MaxPreps.
The Hayward, Calif., native tossed a two-hitter in his final high school game last week as Head-Royce won the North Coast Section Division V Championship.
At 6-foot, 170 pounds, Farinaro doesn't have much projection left, but makes up for it with his stuff and pitchability. His fastball sits in the high 80s and occasionally has good cutting action. He has shown a good feel for his changeup, which he throws with good arm speed and has a solid fade to it. He combines that with a hard curveball which could be big league average down the road. Farinaro has a good feel for pitching that allows all of his pitches to play up.
"Just a really mature kid that has his sights set on being a Major Leaguer," Kantrovitz said. "He came onto the scene a little bit later than some of the other more famous high school pitchers, but he's somebody that we've had our sights on for a while."
Chad Thornburg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.