Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cardinals select two pitchers in first round of 2014 draft

One year after selecting lefties Marco Gonzales and Rob Kaminsky in the first round of the 2013 draft, the Cardinals flipped sides and selected two righthanders in the first round of the 2014 draft.  With the 27th and 34th picks in the draft, the Cards selected Florda State RHP Luke Weaver and Harvard Westlake RHP Jack Flaherty.

Weaver is a polished pitcher who could move through the farm system fast.  Per Baseball America, his best pitches are his fastball, which sits in the 88-92 mph and peaks at 96 mph, and his changeup, which has good deception and sinking action.  He needs to work on his slider, which is currently a fringe pitch, but he shows good control and poise on the mound.  He was ranked #38 by Baseball America in their top 500 draft prospects list.

Flaherty ranked right behind Weaver at #39 in Baseball America's list.  BA's scouting report on Flaherty says that his fastball currently sits in the 88-92 mph, but that he will likely add velocity as he matures.  His changeup projects to be a plus pitch and slider has the potential to be a plus pitch, potentially giving him 3 plus pitches, and he has advanced command and control for his age. 

With many of their top pitching prospects graduating to the majors the last few years, the Cardinals have restocked their farm system by selecting a pair of college (Gonzales and Weaver) and HS (Kaminsky and Flaherty) pitchers the last two years.

While pitching prospects are always unpredictable, the Cardinals have fared well with their picks lately and, as they say, you can never have enough pitching.

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