St. Louis Cardinals complete 2016 First-Year Player Draft

Cardinals draft 19 pitchers, 9 infielders, 10 outfielders and 4 catchers

The St. Louis Cardinals concluded the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, selecting 42 players including 19 pitchers (16 RHP, 3 LHP), nine infielders, 10 outfielders and four catchers.   The breakdown has the Cardinals drafting 34 college and eight high school players.  

Five of the players are still playing in the College World Series: pitchers Dakota Hudson and Austin Sexton of Mississippi State, catcher Andrew Knizner of North Carolina State, outfielder J.R. Davis with Oklahoma State and pitcher Pat Krall (KRAHL) with Clemson.

Players came from hometowns covering 24 different states, Puerto Rico and Canada. The top producing states had seven players from California and three from Alabama, Florida and Missouri.

The Cardinals drafted one St. Louis-area player and three players total from the state of Missouri. Right-handed pitcher Robbie Gordon (36th round) from Maryville University, is a St. Louis native who went to Ladue High School and threw the first perfect game in Maryville history on March 13. Infielder J.D. Murders (31st round), a high school draftee with a letter of intent to Texas Tech University, is a Missouri native hailing from Bolivar, a community north of Springfield. Right-handed pitcher Robert Calvano (38th round), a Kansas City native, played college baseball at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

Three players had been previously drafted. Right-handed pitcher John Kilichowski (kill-a-CHOW-ski, 11th round), a 39th round pick by the Cubs in 2013; outfielder Vincent Jackson (14th round), a 23rd  round pick by the Yankees in 2012; and right-handed pitcher Jackson Lamb (35th round), a 20th round pick by the Texas Rangers in 2013.

 Several draftees have family members with either a Major League Baseball lineage or athletic backgrounds. Infielder Brady Whalen's (WAY-len, 12th round) father, Shawn, is a Milwaukee Brewers area scout who played four seasons in the San Diego Padres organization and his brother Caleb was also drafted today, by the Brewers, in the 38th round. Pitcher Daniel Castano's (KASS-tah-no, 19th round) father Alex was a linebacker at Rice University. Outfielder Cade Cabbiness (KAB-uh-niss, 21st round) was a two-sport athlete gaining high school accolades as a wide receiver in football. His father, Chris, and uncle Carl, played football at the University of Oklahoma in the late-1980s. Outfielder Mick Fennell's (FENN-uhl, 22nd round) brother, Jason, was an outfielder in the Chicago White Sox minor league system. Outfielder J.D. Crowe's (23rd round) father, John David, played baseball and football at Mississippi College.

Matt Ellis (17th round) was converted from a catcher to pitcher at the University of California-Riverside, the same college which converted former Cardinals, and current Red Sox pitcher, Joe Kelly from an outfielder to pitcher.

The Cardinals drafted three pairs of college teammates: pitchers Dakota Hudson (1st round) and Austin Sexton (18th round) at Mississippi State; first baseman Stefan Trosclair (STEFF-en TROSS-clair, 20th round) and right-handed pitcher Eric Carter (26th round) were teammates at the University of Louisiana, helping lead the Ragin' Cajuns to a Sun Belt Conference Championship in 2016; and in a unique college/high school teammate tandem, pitcher Spencer Trayner (25th round) was a college teammate of Zac Gallen (3rd round) at North Carolina and a high school teammate of 11th round pick John Kilichowski (11th round) at Tampa Jesuit High School, the same high school which produced former Cardinals outfielder Shane Robinson.

Several draftees came with exemplary athletic accolades. Outfielder Shane Billings (12th round) was an NCBWA 2nd-Team All-American in 2016, batting .444 with an 1.141 on-base+slugging and stole 56-of-59 bases over two seasons at Wingate College. J.R. Davis (15th round) was a First Team Big XII All-Conference infielder at Oklahoma State batting .360, leading in hits in conference play (37) and hit for the cycle against West Virginia on April 3, the first Cowboy to pull off the feat since 2011. Stefan Trosclair ranked 12th in NCAA Division 1 with 16 home runs in 2015 and hit 23 home runs over the past two seasons. Pitcher Pat Krall (28th round) leads Clemson in wins (10), ERA (1.67), appearances (29) and saves (5) this season, ranking among the NCAA Division 1 leaders in wins (T-15th) and ERA (8th). Noel Gonzalez (29th round) ranked 18th in NAIA with eight saves helping Lewis-Clark State College to their 18th NAIA National Championship.