So there's one slot left. Jordan Swagerty and Mark Hamilton are too close to call, so they'll go head to head. One gets the slot, the other gets to be the "just missed" guy. Andiamo!
Here's one of them MLB video scouting reports for draft prospects from last year. These are pretty good, actually, if you are looking for a quick rundown on a bunch of draft prospects. I hope they do them again this year.
Swagerty has an elite arm with a fastball that can touch 96 and uses it in the 92-94 range. His best pitch is his curveball that might have been the best in the 2010 draft class. His changeup is a work in progress but has the makings of a potential average big league pitch.
He is only 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds so he has the body type of a reliever. In that role, Swagerty could quickly work his way through the system and contribute to the big league bullpen. I would like to see the Cardinals work him as a starter. That way he can build up some innings and get regular work.
The Future Redbirds post on Swagerty has a bunch of quotes from various sources, but I'll steal the Baseball America one:
Swagerty was a highly touted high school player out of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas. He was a 2007 Aflac All-American and a member of Team USA’s junior national team. Now a draft-eligible sophomore, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound righthander has been dynamite at the back end of the Sun Devils’ bullpen. His fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range and can get up to 96 when he’s amped up. But, that’s not his best pitch. Swagerty also throws a 84-86 mph curveball that grades out as a legit 70 on the 20-80 scale. It’s a true 12-6 hammer. Swagerty’s size concerns some scouts, but he can hold his velocity in back-to-back outings. He doesn’t quite profile as a big league closer, but should move quickly to the big leagues and reminds scouts of Angels set-up man Scot Shields.
Not only has Swagerty’s performance stepped up from a year ago, when he went 4-1, 4.50 with four saves while being used in a variety of roles, but his stuff has taken a big leap forward. His fastball has been a steady 92-95 mph, up 2-3 mph, and he has complemented it with a nasty curve. He also has had an effective changeup with split-finger action. Though not overly physical in his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame, Swagerty’s take-charge attitude and mentally-tough demeanor make him ideal to close. In addition, he has a good feel for pitching and can pound the strike zone with his three-pitch mix.
Grade C+: Another future middle reliever with some closer potential.
From Future Redbirds frightening piece on 1B without Albert
At 26, Hamilton has had a hard time breaking into the big leagues. The near future doesn’t look any brighter for him with almost no shot at making the big club out of camp in ’11. From what we hear, he’s not very good defensively, and he lacks the versatility to make his best tool — his bat — an attribute that could benefit a bench role. He shows good plate discipline, and recognizing pitch types well with the ability to go the other way. Hamilton draws walks, and generates good leverage in his swing to produce plenty of doubles and long balls. He still hasn’t been able to figure out left-handed pitching, but does he ever rake against righties.
From The Cardinals Nation
Hamilton shows polish and maturity at the plate. The 26-year-old has good pitch recognition and is not afraid to go the other way. With a slight uppercut in his swing, he is able to get loft on the ball and drive it out of the ballpark.
Mark Hamilton isn't listed on Sickels.
Hamilton, a left-handed hitter, struggles against lefty pitching. In 2010, he managed an OPS of only .615 against them in 71 at-bats. And he’s stuck playing first base behind some guy named Pujols. The former second-round pick turned 26 in July. But my word, can Hamilton pound righty pitching! Last season, he posted an OBP of .420, SLG of .690 vs. right-handers in 187 at-bats. And his overall OPS improved after the all-star break to 1.046 from a solid .840 before the break.