Plummer, Woodford sign with Cardinals

Plummer, Woodford sign with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- On Monday, one week after their selection in the 2015 Draft, first-round picks Nick Plummer and Jake Woodford signed contracts and then joined the Cardinals on the field during batting practice.

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Right-hander Jordan Hicks, whom the Cardinals selected with their compensation pick between the third and fourth rounds, appeared with Plummer and Woodford after signing his contract as well.

Woodford, a right-hander out of Florida, and Hicks threw bullpen sessions in front of Cardinals coaches and front-office members. Outfielder Plummer took batting practice with a group of position players.

"It's been a lot of fun being able to be here and be here with my family and kind of experience that," Plummer said after taking his swings. "This kind of goes back to all the work [my parents] put in and all the money they put in for me to travel [to showcases] and everything. It's great for them to be here and for me to be here. I'm really excited."

Cardinals draft Plummer No. 23

The three recent high school graduates are among 16 Cardinals draftees to sign, a list that includes six of the first 12 picks. All are now headed to various Minor League affiliates to begin their professional careers. Plummer, Woodford and Hicks are reporting to the organization's Gulf Coast League team in Florida on Tuesday.

MLB.com has confirmed that Plummer received a $2.1244 million bonus, which is equivalent to the slot value for the 23rd overall pick. The Cardinals went over slot to sign Woodford, who had a commitment to the University of Florida. MLB.com confirmed that Woodford has been given a bonus of $1.8 million. The slot value for the 39th overall pick, one the Cardinals received through the Competitive Balance Lottery, is $1.5854 million.

"Just the winning environment and how supportive the entire organization is," Woodford said when asked what influenced his decision to forgo his college scholarship. "It's every baseball player's dream to play pro ball. I couldn't pass up on the opportunity."

Cards draft RHP Woodford No. 39

Hicks had been slated to play at Tulane University. Not only did he pass on that opportunity, he missed a family cruise to be at Busch Stadium on Monday. His father skipped the vacation to join him.

"I would much rather be here," Hicks joked.

The other draftees who have signed include outfielder Paul DeJong (fourth round), right-hander Ryan Helsley (fifth), infielder Andrew Brodbeck (ninth), outfielder Craig Aikin (12th), catcher Ryan McCarvel (19th), infielder Luke Doyle (20th), infielder Hunter Newman (22nd), right-hander Ben Yokley (29th), left-hander Chandler Hawkins (33rd), infielder Dylan Tice (36th), catcher Stephen Zavala (37th), outfielder Orlando Olivera (38th) and infielder Joey Hawkins (40th).

The Cardinals also announced that they have signed three non-drafted free agents: infielder Josh Swirchak, out of Wilmington (Del.) University; catcher Riley Drongesen, out of Menlo (Calif.) College; and left-hander Brady Bowen out of Friends (Kan.) University.

The deadline to sign players taken in the Draft is 4 p.m. CT on July 17.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.