In the MLB First-Year Player Draft, all that glitters is not gold because not every player will sign on the dotted line for the Cardinals and join the system. After the jump, lets take a look at a few of the diamond in the rough players signed later in the draft who have high upsides. Diamonds and gold! All after the jump!
Round 20: Aramis Garcia, C
The Cardinals aren’t optimistic that they’ll be able to come to a deal with the South Florida catcher. They have him sized at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, and his frame and ability projects increasing power as he matures. He’s committed to Florida International, though his fondness for the Cardinals is part of why they drafted him.
We will see that with most of the low round Cardinals picks. They will attempt to buy players out of their college commitments while smartly leveraging their franchise and the kids that have grown up rooting for the Birds on the Bat.
No word on Garcia signing or even any baseless rumors.
Round 22: Justin Kamplain, P
I wrote about Kamplain when he was drafted. He’s a strong commitment to Alabama, his “lifelong dream” school. Kamplain did visit Busch Stadium with other potential draftees, so he had to know the Cardinals were interested and I’m sure the Cardinals were trying to put the full court press on the kid to impress him enough to sign.
Round 26: Brett Graves, P
“It’s fun to think about playing at Busch someday,” Graves said. “Even if I wasn’t drafted by the Cardinals, I would still be really happy to be here, but the fact that I could be back here in a few years makes it that much more special. I’ve been to a million games since I was a little kid and this is definitely a dream come true.”
Graves is committed to Missouri, but from that quote it seems like he is interested in signing with the Cardinals. No word on what his plan is for making a decision.
Graves is listed by Baseball America as having the best arm in Missouri and throwing in the low to mid 90s.
Round 47: David Schmidt, P
Schmidt is another local kid, however, he is committed to Stanford. With Austin Wilson last year, we know how difficult it is to get a player to sign away from heading to Palo Alto to play for the Cardinal (no ‘s’). The Cardinals will have an advantage this year no one’s college commitment could have been as strong as Wilson’s and with Schmidt they will be able to offer the cap of the team he grew up rooting for when he signs.
Schmidt already tops out at 94 with a frame that’s pretty filled out. Could see him added a few MPH, but the key for Schmidt is that he already has mastered a sinker and slider and has a lot of late movement on his pitches.
Needless to say, all of these guys would be great signs for the Cardinals. I’m going to guess that the Cardinals sign the first 3 and not Schmidt.
Other players I’m keeping my eye on are in “Honorable Mention” below.
Who is your diamond in the rough in the Cardinals draft?