Thought I would try something a little different this week. Instead of giving a stats update, I decided to go ahead and update the rankings. There have been some big changes since the beginnning of the draft season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to still see a lot of changes in this last month. The way it is shaping up, I believe the best pick for the Cardinals is going to be a pitcher, and maybe even a college lefty. We all know the Cardinals could use some potential starters as the relief corps in the minors is stacked and the position player depth is actually pretty good. You have probably also realized that we could use some help from the left side. Check out the names that are rising and falling and the players that should be in the Cardinals range all inside.
1. Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego St.
Best prospect by far in this draft, some say the best pitching prospect ever. Tossed a no-no on Friday in which he struck out 17.
2. Dustin Ackley, OF/1B, North Carolina
Best position player in the draft holds the #2 spot for now until we see a little more from the 2 independent league pitchers.
3. Aaron Crow, RHP, Fort Worth
Arguably the best pitcher in last year’s loaded draft is back and sitting near the top of the board in this year’s weaker draft. Touched 97 mph in his first outing of the season, but showed some expected rust.
4. Tyler Matzek, LHP, California HS
High school lefty with polish and great stuff.
5. Tanner Scheppers, RHP, St. Paul
Some teams may be scared off by last year’s injury, but he has unbelievable stuff and a prototypical frame. Think Matt Garza.
6. Alex White, RHP, North Carolina
Has the stuff and the size of a top of the rotation starter, but has not dominated like some would like.
7. Donovan Tate, OF, Georgia HS
Super toolsy outfielder sits atop the prep position player prospects.
8. Kyle Gibson, RHP, Missouri
Dominating righty still has room to fill out and add even more to already impressive stuff.
9. Shelby Miller, RHP, Texas HS
Top prep righty has mid-90′s heat and a bulldog mentality.
10. Matthew Purke, LHP, Texas HS
Has better stuff than Matzek, but there is more effort in his delivery and some worry about his control and mechanics.
11. Zack Wheeler, RHP, Georgia HS
95 mph fastball, nasty breaking ball, and projectable 6’4″ frame make Wheeler a hot commodity.
12. Grant Green, SS, USC
Once considered the top college position player in the draft, Green has had a down year and scouts now question his power and ability to stay at short.
13. Mike Leake, RHP, Arizona St.
Suffers from the small righty stigma, but he has good stuff, great control, and has done nothing but win with the Sun Devils.
14. Jacob Turner, RHP, Missouri HS
Built like a horse at 6’5″ 220 pounds, he also has impressive stuff headlined by a 92-94 mph fastball. You may have heard them talking about him during the Cardinals game yesterday when they mentioned that Mo and Jocketty were in the stands at one of his starts.
15. Rex Brothers, LHP, Lipscomb
Top college southpaw possesses a 97 mph heater and a plus slider. The questions with him center around control and his lack of a third pitch.
16. Andrew Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma St.
Lefty is finally starting to rebound from long layoff due to eligibility issues. Oliver may have the most complete arsenal of any collegiate lefty.
17. Rich Poythress, 1B, Georgia
Poythress has done nothing but mash, and he will go as soon as someone is ready to take a player with only one tool. However, it is the most important tool.
18. Jared Mitchell, OF, LSU
Mitchell isn’t lacking for tools, but he has the opposite problem from Poythress. He can fly and has some pop, but will he hit for enough average?
19. James Paxton, LHP, Kentucky
Paxton throws 97 mph from the left side and throws strikes. He has been a little too hittable and the ERA doesn’t look great, but somebody will be intriqued by what he does offer. He reminds me a lot of former first rounder Aaron Poreda.
20. Tyler Skaggs, LHP, California HS
Projectable high school lefty with 3 pitches. He is nowhere close to a finished product, but you can dream on the upside.
21. Luke Bailey, C, Georgia HS
Takes a hit due to recent Tommy John surgery, but still has impressive bat and receiving skills. Look for a big market franchise to jump on Bailey and try to convince him it is better to rehab as a professional.
22. Mike Minor, LHP, Vanderbilt
Has had a somewhat down year, but he has a young team behind him. Still getting a lot of strikeouts and keeping the walks low. He won’t ever be a top of the rotation starter, but he has 4 major league pitches and throws strikes.
23. Tim Wheeler, OF, Sacramento St.
Toolsy college star has power and speed from the left side.
24. Kendal Volz, RHP, Baylor
The big righty has power stuff, but his max effort style and shaky control lead many to believe he is destined for the bullpen.
25. Max Stassi, C, California HS
Another member of the talented prep catching crop in this year’s draft, Stassi is known for his smooth stroke at the plate.
26. Matt Hobgood, RHP, California HS
Monster high school righty has 2 plus pitches in his fastball and arguably the best curve in the prep ranks.
27. Alex Wilson, RHP, Texas A&M
Another smallish righty, Wilson is a Tommy John survivor with big time stuff and surprisingly good control.
28. Mychal Givens, SS/RHP, Florida HS
Right up there with Tate as the best athlete in the draft, Givens is a smooth shortstop with plus speed. However, some teams may prefer him on the mound because of his 97 mph fastball.
29. Jason Stoffel, RHP, Arizona
Its not a great year for college relievers, but Stoffel is the best pure reliever in the draft. The stuff is down from the past, but some believe he has been overworked and will benefit from a little time off.
30. Tony Sanchez, C, Boston College
The top collegiate catcher in the draft is putting up great numbers this year for the Eagles. Teams love catchers that produce, and Sanchez won’t have to wait long to hear his name called on draft day.