One of the great things about following the minors as closely as I do is watching the draft picks move up the ranks. It seems like it has been awhile since St. Louis took a high upside guy early so let’s see what a little scan of previous selections says about the newest Cardinal, Nick Plummer.
Pitchers have highlighted the last two draft classes but in 2012 college senior James Ramsey was taken in the first round. Except for both batting from the left side, however, there appears to be very little in common given Ramsey was used to save money and was later dealt. With Plummer in the mix, the Birds on the Bat are restocking for the future which is exactly what was missing according to Bernie.
Where the comparisons will start for St. Louis is the 2011 Draft, even though the Cards did not have any extra selections like they do this year. Charlie Tilson was nabbed in the second round back in 2011 after exploding on the scene during the Area Code games. He currently patrols CF for Springfield and offers many of the same skills that made Plummer attractive.
Tilson came out of a ‘cold-weather’ state as well, since Illinois doesn’t get the attention that Georgia, Florida, and California generally do. Plummer had to fight that trend even more, as he played outside of Detroit and just concluded his season. In the case of both Plummer and Tilson, that leaves the showcase circuit to garner attention, something that typically gets more press in college.
While much has been written about how St. Louis likes Cape Cod League performance for college players, it is time to pay some props to the scouts who made the Plummer pick happen for two main reasons. The Cardinals had to make a choice of sticking to their board when three top college arms fell to their pick tonight. Instead of taking a shot at a fast-rising RHP, Plummer could sign soon enough to make a short-season debut later this month for Johnson City or maybe even State College. Looking back at Tilson’s start provides a template that also shows how well the Gulf Coast League could factor in as well.
While all that will be decided down the road, there is no doubting the talent that was just added to the organization. Plummer projects as a five-tool player, and that has been lacking since the days of Colby Rasmus to come up the ranks. The sweet-swinging lefty destroyed high school pitching this year, and his performance at the Area Code games last summer came on the heels of his breakout at the East Coast Pro Showcase.
Just check out the names in this article and see why Plummer announced his presence quite well by overpowering top competition. The ECPS performance opened the door for more attention, and the Cardinals swooped in before other teams at the end of the first round could grab the potential future center fielder.