Watching the Cardinals splat back to earth has been a rather revolting development, but if there is a positive, it is that they are moving up the draft board. I know the draft is months away from happening, but with the conclusion of college summer leagues and some high school showcase games, the draft picture has got a little clearer. Keith Law already has posted his Top 60 draft prospects to hold us over until the spring.
Right now, if I have things figured out right the Cards will pick 19th overall if the season were to end today. Judging by the looks of things given injuries and the general poopy play we are seeing lately, they may even get a higher pick.
Here is Law’s top players, 15-22, for what it is worth. Who knows how the general consensus will shake out, and obviously a lot can change between now and June:
15. Tyler Matzek LHP Capistrano Valley H.S., Mission Viejo, Calif.
16. Kentrail Davis LF Univ. of Tennessee
17. Beau Wright LHP Los Alamitos H.S., Los Alamitos, Calif.
18. Jake Marisnick OF Riverside Poly H.S., Riverside, Calif.
19. Ryan Wheeler 1B/3B Loyola Marymount
20. Jason Stoffel RHP Univ. of Arizona
21. Randal Grichuk OF Lamar Consolidated H.S., Rosenberg, Texas
22. Josh Phegley C Indiana Univ.
And here’s my quick-n-dirty take on the seven:
- I would absolutely LOVE Matzek, but I think chances are slim he will be available. He throws 91-94 MPH fastball, has a plus curveball, a slider with good potential and a change. Baseball America named him the best prospect of the Aflac Game and many consider him to be the best high school player in this draft.
- I would not have minded seeing the Cardinals draft Davis a couple of years ago. He was Team USA’s best position player. He could be a tough sign as a draft-eligible sophomore. He’s drawn some comparisons to Kirby Puckett physically, which is to say he is short and has a rather large um, …posterior. BA says “He is an electric offensive player with explosive bat speed and running ability.” Scouts praise his makeup.
- Beau Wright is another projectable high school lefty with a three pitch mix. Throws 89-91 fastball and a big yakker with advanced command.
- Marisnick has physicality that scouts “can dream on”, and has some raw power, good speed and a throwing arm that can handle RF.
- We already have Wallace, so I don’t see the point in drafting Wheeler.
- I think it says something that Stoffel was Arizona’s closer last year, even in the presence of two first round pitchers Daniel Schlereth and Ryan Perry. Throws 91-95 with a very nice curveball. The question is will he be starting this spring, or closing?
- Randal Grichuk is another high school right fielder. He’s described as “wiry strong” with great bat speed and plenty of arm.
- Living in Big Ten country, Josh Phegley is someone I am hoping to see in person this upcoming spring. He’s a catcher that absolutely mashed last season, hitting .438/.507/.746. I’m not interested in seeing if he can hit, however. Obviously, he can. I want to see if he can catch at the next level, and not everyone is certain that he will be able.
Law also ranks St. Charles county’s Jake Turner at # 30. Another name to keep on eye on is Brad Boxberger, who seems to fit the Cards M.O. He was throwing 94-95 up in the Cape and has the makings of a plus slider. He’s expected to be USC’s #1 starter. Here is a video of him in action.