For those of you that weren't paying attention, Major League Baseball had a draft this week - June 10th (first round and competitive balance round A) and June 11th (all subsequent rounds). The MLB Draft was shortened from 40 rounds to 5 rounds in this COVID-19 sponsored "season." The St. Louis Cardinals were blessed to have 7 picks in a five-round draft due to having a competitive balance pick and a pick for Marcell Ozuna leaving for the Atlanta Braves after declining a qualifying offer in the offseason.
Prior to the draft, Kyle Reis and I did a 2020 Draft Preview Podcast for Birds On The Black and Prospects After Dark. You should check it out if you want to know about these players who were just selected. Now, it was about a lot of players, not just the ones the Cardinals took. Kyle also did an hour and twenty-eight minute Periscope the night of round 1 and did a follow up two hour and eighteen minute Periscope the next night during rounds 2-5. He covers not only the Cardinals picks but (as you can probably guess by the length) a lot more.
Not only did Kyle do all of that, but he will give his written two-cents in the next week or two I would imagine, although the dude really probably needs to take a break from draft stuff because he's put in ridiculous time recently because he's awesome like that. In any case, I'm just going to be giving the quick low-down as well as I can. I'll try to cover each guy in a unique way, if possible. Come back when Kyle gives his in-depth report on all of them because it will be much better I'm sure.
Round 1 - Pick #21
Jordan Walker, a prep 3B from Georgia, was taken #21 by the St. Louis Cardinals with their first pick in this year's MLB Draft. He is known to have oodles of power and has not yet played a single game of baseball at the age of 18. Our friends over at Prospects Live had some really awesome information on quite a few prospects this year, here's their information on Walker:
Not only did Prospects Live have those two write ups on their two diffferent draft boards, they also had their own video up on YouTube.
MLB Pipeline had more information on Jordan Walker. Here is what they had to say.
While here is what Keith Law over at The Athletic had to say:
Meanwhile, Rapsodo - the new new pitch tracking technology that has swept the nation - had this information on the high schooler:
One of the things you can't find in the analytics that I typically use can be found in this video clip from Perfect Game. Jordan Walker, a smart kiddo who was committed to Duke (who we hope was formerly committed to Duke soon) with smart parents, one of whom graduated from MIT and the other who graduated from Harvard and Wash U in STL, is not only a heady player but also talks about what baseball is all about to him here. What a leader to be!
Lastly, here's a video of Walker's highlights.
Round 2 - Pick #54
Cardinals take Masyn Winn with the #54 pick in the draft. He's a two-way player, SS and pitcher. He is another prep kid, this time from Texas. He is known to have hit 98 mph on the radar gun while still throwing strikes fairly consistently. He also has a bit of power and good speed. He was barely 18 when this seasons started in March. Here are the two write ups from Prospects Live again:
MLB Pipeline also had good information regarding the Texas righty.
Jordan Walker isn't the only one that Perfect Game had in their system to talk to. Here's part of an interview with Masyn Winn as well. Love to hear about the potential leadership here as well, from another high school kiddo!
Also, here's a video of Winn doing his thing.
Competitive Balance Round B - Pick #63
What I wrote at the time: "At #63, the St. Louis Cardinals take Markevian "Tink" Hence. He's ANOTHER high school kid. I'm kinda in shock." Tink Hence is actually the youngest of the entire group. He won't turn 18 until August. He's a right-handed pitcher from the Little Rock, Arkansas area.
Looks like he's going to be a fastball/slider guy - with two very good pitches it seems. The change up could come on...we shall see. The Cardinals have been fairly good in the past at developing change ups, I feel. What'd Prospects Live have to say?
That marked the end of three rounds in which the Cardinals shocked me by taking 3 of the first 63 picks and all of them being high school players. Three of the forty-seven high schoolers taken in the 160-pick draft. Three of the 21 high schoolers taken that early in the draft. And the Cardinals are just one of thirty teams. This was, as Kyle Reis put it: ballsy. Video:
Compensation Round - Pick #70
At #70 overall, the St. Louis Cardinals took OF/1B/LHP Alec Burleson (announced as a 1B) out of East Carolina University. I am (as others were the night of) thinking this might be a "saving cash" type of pick in order to sign all 3 high school picks already made. Still was on our draft board over at Birds On The Black...but quite a bit lower down it.
Seems that Burleson is made a bit in the Matt Adams mold, that you thought he might be able to put up 25+ HR just looking at him but that he may just be a 15 homer left-handed first baseman with decent defense at first base. You can see here, he even kinda looks a little like Adams. Kinda strange. I do love what this guy has to say here, though, in a pregame interview from the Cape Cod League after last school season in 2019.
Round 3 - Pick #93
At the #93 pick, the St. Louis Cardinals go with Levi Prater. He's a LHP from Oklahoma. 4 year Junior. Slider and Change are his best pitches. Fastball is a third. At least that's what Kyle brought up in his Perisocpe. I knew nothing about him at all. Luckily, MLB Pipeline was all over him, too.
Here's a video of Prather against Mizzou:
Round 4 - Pick #122
Ian Bedell, a RHP out of the University of Missouri (MIZ!!!) was the #122 pick in the draft by our Cardinals. Ian Bedell did some great things in the Cape Cod League last year before lighting things up this spring - although they didn't really get to the thick of SEC play. Here's what MLB Pipeline has on BEdell:
Another one where "youth" was the theme of the write up. And here's a video:
Round 5 - Pick #152
LJ Jones IV is a junior outfielder from Long Beach State. He was injured last season after being hit by a pitch. He was smoking the ball this spring before life was shut down. Here's a prospect video of him.
Overall, despite it being just 5 rounds and 7 picks, this was a wonderful class of prospects for the Cardinals, I feel. That seems to be the praises being thrown around the internet as well. That's all I I've heard. From everyone.