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Cards' Draft Day 2 belongs to pitchers

Cards' Draft Day 2 belongs to pitchers

ST. LOUIS -- A low 90s fastball with good sinking action. A true 12-6 curveball. A plus changeup. He commands all three pitches and has no medical problems

This is the scouting report on the Cardinals' second-round pick, Arizona State right-hander Jordan Swagerty. After St. Louis grabbed one of the best bats in the Draft with their first pick on Monday in Zach Cox, it snagged one of the top college pitchers on Tuesday.

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Draft Central

Not quite.

Despite the three strong pitches, Swagerty is considered a bullpen prospect, not someone who will take the mound every fifth day. With a violent delivery and average body type, scouts don't see Swagerty as an innings-eater whose stuff will hold up deep into games.

Still, the results from the bullpen have been impressive. In 30 2/3 innings pitched, Swagerty has racked up a 2.05 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 14 saves for the No. 1 ranked Sun Devils. Assuming the Cardinals don't try him out as a starter, Swagerty figures to be set on a fast-track to the Major Leagues once he signs. If all goes according to plan, Redbird fans won't have to follow his box scores in the Minors for very long.

After Swagerty, Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft was about trying to shore up a weakness in St. Louis' farm system: a lack of left-handed pitching. The Cardinals took three college southpaws in the first 10 rounds and came away with five lefties in of the first 30 rounds.

The topic pick among them was Florida State junior John Gast, while their ninth-round selection, senior Tyler Lyons, was chosen by the Yankees in 2009 but did not sign.

The Cardinals also took a couple of chances on high school prospects in the late rounds. While there is always a chance for prep prospects to enroll in college and reenter the Draft down the road, St. Louis rolled the dice with eight high schoolers in the first 30 rounds, though with just two in the first 10.

The most notable of the prep picks was 12th-round selection Austin Wilson, who most experts agreed was a first-round talent. With Wilson committed to Stanford on a baseball scholarship, however, most clubs were unwilling to make Wilson a high-round pick.

A rundown of the Cards' Day 2 selections:

Round 2, Matthew Swagerty, RHP, Arizona State: A draft-eligible sophomore, Swagerty possesses three above-average pitches with a fastball that routinely sits 90-93 mph, a hard breaking 12-6 curve and plus-changeup.

Round 3, Samuel Tuivailala, SS, Aragon (Calif.) High: A three-sport athlete, Tuivailala pitched and took the field at shortstop for California's Aragon High School. His hitting stats -- .324 batting average, .468 on-base percentage and .581 slugging -- may not jump off the charts for a high school hitter, but the long, rangy shortstop projects well. He is currently committed to Fresno State.

Round 4, Cody Stanley, C, UNC-Wilmington: A strong summer in the Cape Cod League using a wood bat likely boosted Stanley's stock. Solid defensively, above-average lefty hitter with power potential. Stanley may not "wow" as a prospect, but he is solid in all areas.

Round 5, Nicholas Longmire, RF, University of the Pacific: An outfielder with all the tools, Longmire shows promise but has yet to produce at his potential. Rated among Baseball America's top 200 prospects, he will need to be developed and his swing reworked in order to reach the Majors.

Round 6, John Gast, LHP, Florida State: A scout must have really liked Gast because the statistics do not support taking him. Gast has posted a 5.61 ERA in 19 appearances this season, including 12 starts and 67 1/3 innings pitched.

Round 7, Greg Garcia, SS, University of Hawaii: The junior shortstop has had a strong year offensively, batting .358, with a .450 on-base percentage and .505 slugging percentage. He has made 16 errors in 62 games, however, and is doubtful to continue at shortstop unless his defense improves.

Round 8, Daniel Bibona, LHP, University of California-Irvine: Though he is on the smaller side -- listed at 6-foot, 170 pounds -- Bibona has been consistently good for UC-Irvine this season. Through 13 games started, Bibona has racked up a 102 K's to 15 walks in 94 1/3 innings pitched and he has posted a 2.48 ERA and 9-2 record.

Round 9, Tyler Lyons, LHP, Oklahoma State: Lyons was drafted by the Yankees in 2009, but the All-Big 12 honorable mention pitcher decided to return for his senior season. While it certainly didn't hurt his Draft stock, Lyons numbers dropped for his final college season. In 2010, Lyons has gone 84 2/3 innings with a 6.06 ERA and given up 10 home runs in 11 starts.

Round 10, Reginald Williams, CF, Middle Georgia College: A burner out of the fertile Georgia recruiting area, Williams adds much-needed speed to the Cardinals' Minor League system. The center fielder has grabbed 33 bags in 40 games and is getting on base at a .433 clip.

Round 11, Benjamin Freeman, LHP, Lake Gibson HS: At 6-foot-2, 150 lbs, Freeman projects a decent frame to grow into. Freeman's fastball doesn't light up the gun -- 90 mph was the highest reported speed -- but the lefty did strikeout 100 in 56 innings pitched. After turning down offers from Clemson and Texas Tech to attend junior college, he seems likely to sign.

Round 12, Austin Wilson, OF, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) High: A first-round talent with a college brain, Wilson could be the gamble of the Draft for the Cardinals if they somehow persuade him to skip Stanford and sign. Known for plus outfield arm and plus power.

Round 13, Colin Walsh, 2B, Stanford: A .319 career hitter, Walsh developed some power in his junior season, leading the team in homers and slugging percentage. Committed 12 errors in 56 games last year.

Round 14, Cesar Aguilar, RHP, AB Miller HS: Showing solid command for a high school pitcher, Aguilar struck out 81 batters over 60 1/3 innings and only walked 18. He posted a 1.62 ERA in 10 games started.

Round 15, Geoffrey Klein, C, Santa Clara University: Starting all 54 games, Klein hit .346 last season, and more impressively, walked 29 times to only 25 strikeouts.

Round 16, Anthony Bryant, CF, Connally HS: Recruited for both baseball and basketball, Bryant represents the typical skilled but unpolished high school prospect. He got on base at an impressive .623 clip, but he finished the year with a .778 fielding percentage, suggesting he needs to refine his game.

Round 17, Corderius Dodd, RF, North Side HS: A power hitting high school prospect, Dodd finished the year with a .472 batting average to go with eight home runs. According to a report from the Jackson Sun, Dodd said he will sign if he is offered a bonus of $150,000 or more.

Round 18, Boone Whiting, RHP, Centenary College: Decent size for a right-hander in the 18th round at 6-foot-2, Whiting struck out 120 batters in 84 innings pitched during the 2010 season.

Round 19, Chad Oberacker, CF, Tennessee Tech: Oberacker enjoyed a fine offensive season in 2010, hitting .452 with a .527 on-base percentage and .690 slugging percentage. He started all 56 games and took more walks then strikeouts.

Round 20, Trevor Martin, SS, West Seattle HS: A right-handed pitcher and infielder, the Cardinals project Trevor Martin to succeed at shortstop. Strong offensive numbers all the way around, Martin is committed to Western Nevada College.

Round 21, Joshua Lucas, RHP, State College of Florida Manatee-Saraso Florida: Listed at 6-foot-7, Lucas as the body to pitch even if he doesn't have the numbers to back it up. Through 69 2/3 innings this year, Lucas had a 4.26 ERA and struck out 57.

Round 22, Steven Ramos, RF, Ohlone College: Only a sophomore, Ramos made First Team All-Coast Conference this past season and has signed a letter of intent to play at Cal State Fullerton.

Round 23, Dyllon Nuernberg, RHP, Western Nevada Community College: Used as a middle reliever this season, Nuernberg threw 15 2/3 innings and punched out 21 batters.

Round 24, Patrick Biserta, LF, Rutgers University-New Brunswick: The rare power bat to be found in the later rounds, Biserta belted 18 home runs in 56 games and slugged .688 for the season.

Round 25, Richard Mendoza, RHP, Isabel Flores HS: A native of Puerto Rico, Mendoza reportedly has a decent fastball (89-91 mph), but his off-speed stuff still needs work. A lanky body, he projects to build upon that.

Round 26, Victor Sanchez, 1B, University of San Diego: Drafted in the 25th round of the 2007 draft by the Chicago Cubs, Sanchez struggled at the plate this season, hitting .248 with six home runs.

Round 27, Aiden Lucas, RHP, Denison University: A well rounded baseball player, Lucas led Denison University in all relevant pitching statistics and was second on the team in batting average. He posted a 3.08 ERA and didn't give up a home run in 49 2/3 innings pitched.

Round 28, John Black, SS, University of Kentucky: Considered a strong defensive infielder, Black hit .296 his junior year and played in every game but one.

Round 29, Christopher Patterson, RHP, Appalachian State University: A closer in college, Patterson struck out 60 hitters in 43 innings pitched and posted a 1.67 ERA in 2010.

Round 30, Iden Nazario, LHP, Miami: Drafted by the Nationals in the 41st round of the 2007 Draft, Nazario has struggled this season after a strong sophomore year. He throws hard for a lefty and projects as a specialist from that side.

Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }