Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cardinals 2014 Draft Preview

The MLB Draft is coming up on Thursday and its always interesting to try to figure out who the Cardinals might pick.  This year the Cards have the 27th overall pick in the draft and there are various mock drafts out there with their predictions as to who the Redbirds might take.

Here's some of their predictions and a little bit about each:

Baseball America:  Michael Chavis, 3B/2B, Sprayberry HS, Marietta, GA 

Ranked as the #26 Draft Prospect by Baseball America.  Here is their take on Chavis:
Chavis is one of the better bats of the class. Chavis has tremendous strength through his hands and wrists and produces plus bat speed from a short, compact stroke.  He has plus raw power that translates to game action. Currently a high school shortstop, Chavis will likely move off the position as a pro. Third base remains his most likely destination because of his first-step quickness, body control and above-average arm.

MLB.com:  Jacob Gatewood, SS, Clovis HS, California

Ranked # 21 by Baseball America, here is their take on Gatewood:
At least 70-grade raw power is Gatewood’s best tool and he hit home runs into the third deck of Citi Field and out of Wrigley Field. He has arguably the most raw power in the high school class. His ability to get to that power remains a question for scouts.  He is likely going to be a below-average hitter for average but has special hands, looseness, bat speed and leverage in his stroke.  A prep shortstop, Gatewood’s 6-foot-4 frame will likely push him to a corner.
CNNSI.com:  Marcus Wilson, OF, Sierra HS, California

Ranked #44 by Baseball America, here is what they say about Wilson:
Wilson is a classic high-risk, high-reward prospect, because his baseball instincts and fundamentals remain raw. His best tool is his plus speed, but it doesn’t always play on the basepaths, where he is aggressive but not always at the right times. Some scouts say they have seen plus arm strength from Wilson as well, but others call it average. He has improved in center field, where he has a chance to be a good defender in time.
MinorLeagueBall.com:  Luis Ortiz, RHP, Sanger HS, California

Ranked #26 by Baseball America, here is their take on Ortiz:
Ortiz was a hard-throwing, soft-bodied hurler entering his junior year. Then he lost 30 pounds over the course of the next year and was one of the most consistent pitchers on the showcase circuit last summer. He worked exclusively out of the stretch, sitting 92-94 mph, touching 95 with regularity and late riding life through the zone. Ortiz was named the World Cup MVP for his role as the closer on the gold medal-winning 18-and-under USA Baseball national team.
Sportingnews.com:  Kodi Medeiros, LHP, Waiakea HS, Hilo, Hawaii

Ranked #32 by Baseball America, he is what they say about Kodi:
His fastball sat 90-92 mph over extended innings this spring and has touched 95. He throws from a low arm slot that is just above sidearm, giving his fastball plus-plus life with heavy arm-side run and sink. His heavy, groundball-inducing fastball was a constant discussion point for hitters on the showcase circuit. Medeiros' slider is at least a plus offering and one of the best breaking balls in the high school ranks. Controlling his stuff in the zone will be key for his ability to remain in a rotation.
My Sleeper Pick:  Erick Fedde, RHP, UNLV

Generally considered one of the top draft prospects this spring, Fedde ranked as high as #8 on Baseball America's top draft prospects list as late as May 14th.  However, he had Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter and his stock has dropped considerably.  Baseball America still ranks him as the 24th best draft prospect and he could potentially fall to the Cardinals at #27.

In my opinion, it may be worth taking a chance on Fedde.  He situation reminds me of Lucas Giolito from the 2012 draft.  Many predicted Giolito to go number 1 overall, but elbow issues raised concerns and he dropped to #16 before being taken by the Washington Nationals.  Despite undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2012, Giolito has bounced back and ranked as the #21 prospect by Baseball America heading into the 2014 season.

Tommy John surgery has become pretty routine for pitchers and should not scare teams off from drafting a player, so if Fedde drops down to the Cardinals at #27, I hope the team grabs him.

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