With the NFL Draft approaching tonight and a huge MLB draft for the Cardinals this year with a bounty of picks, I’ve got MLB Draft on the mind. Yesterday, I took a look at the 2005 MLB draft for the Cardinals. Today, let’s take a look at 2006.
The 2006 MLB Draft was marked by solid contributions, but no stars and a two bullpen arms that were traded away for nearly nothing.
In the first round, the Cardinals selected RHP Adam Ottavino. Here’s what the MLB Draft site had to say about Ottavino: “Aggressive on the mound, he often has the stuff to match with a plus fastball, a slider that is an out pitch at times and a less consistent curve.” Alas, Ottavino never matched his potential despite a few cups of coffee in the majors. In the end, the Cardinals and Ottavino agreed on one thing, that Ottavino needed a fresh start. He is currently pitching as a reliever in AAA for Colorado. The Cardinals picked Ottavino with the last selection of the 1st round and the only pitcher of note before the Cardinals next selection in the Supplemental 1st round is Joba Chamberlain, who was oft-injured at the time of the draft and has proved himself to continue to be oft-injured.
In the Supplemental round, the Cardinals selected, RHP Chris Perez. Perez was moved to reliever in college and was a fast-moving reliever with the Cardinals, eventually he was unwisely traded for a few months of an injured Mark DeRosa in 2009. (Who did end up giving the Cardinals Seth Blair in the 2010 MLB Draft as compensation, but that’s a story for another “A Look Back”.) Perez has eventually found his potential as a closer at the major league level, however with the Cleveland Indians. Solid pick for the Cardinals, but a bad idea to trade him away for so little.
The Cardinals selected LHP Thomas Furnish aka Brad Furnish, who was described thusly: “A no-hitter at the beginning of the season ensured that scouts would follow him. He’s got a good fastball (92-94 mph) and a hard curve.”. Furnish had a lot of trouble with the walk in his Cardinals career, and went to Indy ball and then to the White Sox organization. Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Justin Masterson were major leaguers picked later in the round.
The Cardinals selected OF Jon Jay next in the 2nd round and by all accounts, he has been a success by defying the odds and staying in center field and improving his play in the field from year to year. He is still a hitter too reliant on batting average and BABIP, but getting a solid major league starter is always a win for a draft selection.
Next, the Cardinals went with 1B Mark Hamilton, who has been a slugging first baseman in the minors, but has been unable to turn that success into solid playing time in the majors, especially with a certain slugging #5 at the top of the depth chart. Now that #5 is gone, Hamilton is injured and may be getting passed by Matt Adams as a 1st base prospect. 2012 is his age 27 season, so the time is running out on Hamilton.
If you thought Brad Furnish had trouble with the walk, don’t look now because the Cardinals next selection in the 3rd round was RHP Gary Daley, who is now playing for Oakland’s system and has reached as high as AAA last year. For his minor league career, he has walked almost 6 batters per 9 innings.
The Cardinals were able to find some shiny objects panning for gold in the later rounds including OF Shane Robinson in the 5th, INF Allen Craig in the 8th and RHP Luke Gregerson (28th round), who was the PTBNL in the another ill-advised trade, this one to San Diego for Khalil Greene.