One thing that the St. Louis organization has been able to do better than any other team is produce homegrown talent. They have done so well in fact that the cupboard has become a little bare, especially from the standpoint of right-handed starting pitchers. After adding a pair of top-ranked lefties in the first round last year, the Cardinals impressively were able to duplicate the feat from the other side.
Luke Weaver and Jack Flaherty could not have landed in a better situation, as no franchise has graduated more current talent to the major league level. Where else can a pitcher look to see what the future may hold in a very short amount of time. It is also no coincidence that in a deep draft, St. Louis added from both of baseball’s hotbeds — Florida and California. Here is a quick rundown on just a few of the stories on both first-round selections.
With his Florida State season already over, Weaver can sign as soon as possible and likely go directly to Peoria. It is a path taken by other advanced hurlers, and the Cards have a proven track record for the fast movers. He keeps the mood light, definitely a trait shared by a number of other talented RHP’s in the system. Weaver is no stranger to the draft process as well, taken in the 19th round back in 2011, but that can not be close to what he is experiencing tonight.
On the complete opposite side of the spectrum is the second selection for the Birds on the Bat. Flaherty can claim baseball royalty, as his high school routinely produces highly-touted arms. Look for the next couple of selections to be easier players to sign, as Flaherty has a strong college commitment in the University of North Carolina as well as the ability to pick the field or the mound.