The Cardinals, armed with five of the first 59 selections, selected right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha out of Texas A & M University with the 19th pick overall and outfielder James Ramsey out of Florida State University with the 23rd overall selection in tonight’s 1st round.
“We are thrilled with our five picks tonight,” stated Cardinals’ Director of Scouting Dan Kantrovitz. “We feel there is a tremendous amount of versatility in this group.”
Wacha, 20, went 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 16 games for the Aggies this season, striking out 116 batters in his 113.1 innings pitched while walking just 20. The 6-6, 200-pound Texarkana, TX native has a fastball that has reached 96 MPH and is considered to have one of the top changeups among pitchers in this year’s draft. His ERA ranked 3rd in the Big 12 Conference this season and he was 4th in strikeouts. His 336 career strikeouts are tops in Aggies history.
“Michael Wacha offers an excellent four-pitch mix and profiles as a future Major League starting pitcher,” stated Kantrovitz. “He is a terrific competitor and we were excited that he fell to us at the 19th pick overall.”
The left-handed hitting Ramsey was the 2012 Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year after batting .385 (2nd in ACC) with 13 home runs and 55 RBI in 61 games. Ramsey, 22, drew 57 walks and had a .520 on-base pct. and 1.203 on-base + slugging mark (OPS). The 6-1, 190-pound “Captain” of the Seminoles helped FSU advance in NCAA postseason play this past weekend and they will now play Stanford in a Super Regional.
“Michael Ramsey is an excellent kid,” stated Kantrovitz. “He is among the top performers in the country and we had him targeted as someone we did not to miss. His makeup is off the charts.”
Piscotty, 21, is currently batting .318 with 5 home runs and 55 RBI this season for the Cardinal who are hosting a NCAA Super Regional. The 6-3, 215-pound right-handed batter is a two-time First Team PAC-12 selection and he led the Cape Cod Summer League with a .349 batting mark in 2011.
Wisdom, 20, is a right-handed hitting third baseman who twice led the Alaska Summer League in home runs. He batted .262 with 9 homers and 24 RBI for the Gaels this year. The 6-2, 210-pound junior has hit 29 career homers, ranking 3rd all-time in school history.
Bean, 18, is a left-handed hitting catcher who stands 6-2 and weighs 190 pounds. He has received an offer to play collegiately at the University of Texas. Bean batted .427 with 4 home runs and 32 RBI this year.
The Cardinals 19th and 36th picks tonight were compensatory selections for Type A free-agent Albert Pujols, the 52nd pick was for the loss of Type B free-agent Octavio Dotel and the 59th pick was for the loss of Type B free-agent Edwin Jackson.
The five combined 1st round and supplemental picks are the most the Cardinals have had since 1991 when they had three 1st round selections and two supplemental picks. That year, the Cardinals took infielder Dmitri Young (4th overall), pitcher Allen Watson (21st), pitcher Brian Barber (22nd), pitcher Tom McKinnon (28th ) and infielder Dan Cholowsky (39th) with their first five picks.
This is the first time since 2005 (Colby Rasmus and Tyler Greene) that the Cardinals have received multiple 1st round picks, and only the sixth time (1988, 1990, 1991, 2000, 2005, 2012) in team history that the Redbirds have selected more then one player in the opening round since the draft’s inception in 1965.
The Cardinals have selected 27 pitchers, 3 catchers, 17 infielders and 7 outfielders with their first round selections. The team’s highest overall selection was pitcher Braden Looper (3rd pick overall) in 1996. The Cardinals have had just 11 top-10 selections, the last being outfielder J.D. Drew (5th overall) in 1998. Wacha is the team’s highest selection since pitcher Shelby Miller (19th overall) in 2009.
Major League Baseball’s 2012 First Year Player Draft continues both Tuesday and Wednesday when it will reach its conclusion after 40 rounds.