The Cardinals believe they have plenty of arms, at least if the first ten rounds of the 2018 Draft are any indication. Rounds 8-10 saw St. Louis add more power to the system and each one comes from a strong baseball program.
Lars Nootbaar may very well end up a fan favorite simply due to his name. It also helps that the University of Southern California standout has a family tradition to uphold. His brother also went to USC and is currently in the minors, so the power-hitting outfielder already has a connection to the pro game. He was also teammates with Jeremy Martinez in college, so the Cards may have gotten some inside info.
With the last pick of Day 2, the Birds on the Bat went back to the Coastal Carolina pipeline after snagging Wood Myers last year. This time they went much bigger, taking the massive 6’7″ first baseman Kevin Woodall Jr. The senior slugger was on the National Championship team for CCU in 2016 and never missed a beat the last two years. And with Luken Baker recovering from an injury, Woody may have a chance at joining his former teammate in Palm Beach before the summer is over.
Not to be outdone, the 9th round selection from Dallas Baptist is no stranger to the Draft process. Matt Duce caught the attention of the Mets last year from behind the plate as New York selected him in the 14th round. He senior year wasn’t as productive overall, but St. Louis snagged him as the first backstop taken in this years’ draft.
Tomorrow the main event will most likely be right away as the 11th round traditionally is where teams try to sway those that may be on the fence about whether or not to go to college or potentially back for another year. The Cardinals stayed away from the Junior College ranks thus far but look for a few to hear their names called before all 40 rounds are concluded.
All told it has been a fascinating two days already, as the pitching rich franchise selected only two healthy pitchers and three total thru 11 picks. They also kept mainly to the college ranks and specifically juniors who have already finished out their seasons. It is the first time in recent memory that St. Louis didn’t grab at least one player still actively fighting for a berth in the CWS.
Both of the high school bats selected could partner up on the left side of the infield as now the process of getting everyone signed begins. The two seniors snagged will help offset the money needed to potentially go over the 100k slot starting tomorrow as well as guaranteeing that everyone taken today becomes Cardinals this summer. Long gone are the days of being able to draft and then wait out the process especially as State College and Johnson City open up right around the corner.
There won’t be as many updates tomorrow, but I will provide as much info as possible on signings as well as any surprises that pop up along the way. Happy Yadi and Carlos day as well, what a perfect ending to a great two days!