In the minor league portion of the draft the Cardinals selected Shooter Hunt from Minnesota and Barrett Browning from Anaheim.
Shooter Hunt, RHP
The story on Shooter Hunt is a rather straight forward one. Once a first round draft pick, his command went to hell in a hurry in the minors. He was selected 31st overall by the Twins in 2008 and was once a well regarded right handed pitching prospect. He played for the Twins rookie league team Elizabethton (Johnson City’s primary Appalachian League rivals) and low-A team Beloit in 2008 after signing. That offseason, Kevin Goldstein ranked him the 6th best prospect in the Twins system with the following prescient words:
Perfect World Projection: He’ll be a solid mid-rotation starter.
Glass Half Empty: It’s all going to come down to his control.
From 2009-2011, Hunt maintained double digit BB/9 rates. (For frame of reference, here are some control hampered career walk rates from recent Cardinal prospects: Seth Blair – 6.8 BB/9; Gary Daley – 5.8 BB/9; Eddie Degerman – 5.9 BB/9) Whether it is mechanical in nature or full on Steve Blass/Rick Ankiel syndrome, the Cardinals have a tall order in front of them to try and fix Hunt’s control. As it stands now, he’s walked 236 batters in 193 professional innings. Heading into his fifth professional season, he’s failed to advance beyond High-A baseball. If he starts the season in Springfield, things could get ugly in a hurry given that parks propensity for homeruns.
Barret Browning, LHP
The 6′ 2″, 27 year old lefty Barret Browning (whose birthday is today, 12/28) appeared in 50 games last season for the Angels’ triple A affiliate in Salt Lake City. He posted mediocre numbers overall but has shown a typical platoon split with higher strikeout rates and lower walk rates against left handed hitters.
This pickup is in a similar vein to Raul Valdes in 2010. The St. Louis bullpen is currently slated to have Marc Rzepczynski and JC Romero acting as lefties with Browning, minor leaguers Nick Additon and Sam Freeman ready to be called up from Memphis.