Around this time last year we were lamenting the Cardinals not signing 4th round pick Kyle Russell. You all know the story by now: Russell demanded a first round type of bonus. The Cardinals wouldn’t pay it. Russell went back to Texas and was unable to duplicate his insanely successful 2007 season, a season where he hit .336/.456/.807. This year he ended up being drafted by the Dodgers just one round higher and settled for a $410,000 bonus. I’m sure he has to be kicking himself because while the Cards were unwilling to give him a seven-figure bonus, I would at least hope that they would’ve paid him more than $400K. But so far, so good for Russell and the Dodgers, he’s hitting .302/.402/.537 for in the Pioneer league in 153 at bats. He’s also still the Russell we know with 53 punch-outs.
Mike Stutes was another one that got away. Stutes was drafted in the 9th round but opted to go back to Oregon State. Like Russell he regressed the following year and probably regretted his decision to go back to school. OSU had a rough season and Stutes had his worst season by far as a Beaver. He fell to the 11th round and was taken by the Phillies. Stutes has been dominant so far in the Phillies organization. He’s been pitched at two levels of A ball, and in his last two Sally League starts he has gone 7 full innings and has 18 K’s and no earned runs. In 53 total pro innings, Stutes has 61 K’s in 53 innings and has allowed only 5 earned runs.
So that brings me to this. The signing deadline is less then two days away and the Cardinals still have some unsigned picks out there. The Cardinals have done an excellent job this year getting their players signed and on the field. None of their top 10 picks have gone unsigned. The highest unsigned pick is senior Mitch Harris, who unfortunately for the Cardinals at least will have to continue on active duty with the Navy. Reading Derrick Goold’s latest blog entry, it sounds like the Cardinals still hope to work something out. As a senior, the deadline doesn’t apply to him.
Here’s a listing of the remaining unsigned picks:
13 395 Mitch Harris RHP
30 905 Brett Bruening RHP
31 935 Justin Leith LHP
35 1055 Shane Boras 2B
37 1115 Danny Jimenez LHP
45 1354 Chris Taylor C
46 1382 Brandon Sizemore 2B
47 1409 Ray Asaro OF
50 1490 Danny Miranda LHP
- 19 year old Brett Bruening had a rough season for Grand Junction CC but has a lot of characteristics scouts look for. He has a nice projectable frame at 6-6. He throws a fastball, sinker, changeup and a slider and uses a high leg kick which creates some deception. He fell to the 30th round because of some questions about his signability and probably because he just didn’t perform all that well against JUCO competition. I would not expect that he will sign but haven’t heard either way what his plans are.
- Justin Leith has elected to go to Florida International. He’s a high school lefty who throws in the high eighties and has a good changeup.
- Shane Boras is uber-agent Scott Boras’s son. And I’m sure dad “advised” his son to go to college. He’ll be a USC Trojan.
- LHP Danny Jimenez is from St. Charles North in IL. BA considered him to be the 2nd best high school pitching prospect in the state. He’s a big guy at 6-4, 205 lbs. and also played basketball. He was considered to be signable but apparently he’ll be attending Logan Junior College.
- C Chris Taylor. A senior who is taking his sweet time to sign. He hit .349/.439/.660 with 19 homers for the season and was the Atlantic 10 co-player of the year.
- IF Brandon Sizemore is another senior. He was an excellent hitter in college, posting a .325/.388/.675 line his senior season, showing he has some raw power but his strike zone judgment isn’t great. I’m not sure what is keeping the two seniors from signing; maybe they have some job offers that were too good to pass up. I dunno. Last year Nick Peoples signed late, so you never know.
- OF Tony Asaro was a teammate of Scott Gorgen’s at UC Irvine. He hit .314/.374/.539 for the Anteaters but struggled to hit with wood in the Alaskan League. Looks like he’ll be back for his senior year.
- Danny Miranda is another HS lefty. He committed to U of Miami.
All in all, bravo to the Luhnow and the Cards for the job they have done in getting their signed relatively quickly. There’s always going to be a few that get away in every draft but it’s great that we’re not having to deal with some of the drama that other teams are going through right now.
There is one deadline that I am anxiously awaiting-Top Venezuelan prospect Yorman Rodriguez turns 16 tomorrow. What team he signed with could be announced around midnight tonight, and last we heard the Cards are in the running.