Tuesday's Draft Scuttlebutt

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

The MLB draft is only two days away and the Cardinals have two picks in the first round. Let's take a look at the players linked to the Cardinals and other news and rumors around the draft.

From the P-D's Derrick Goold in an article about last year's number 1 pick, Michael Wacha:

The extra pick "offers some cap space for us to maneuver and get creative in some areas," said Kantrovitz, who held mock drafts with his staff as prep for the three-day draft. The Cardinals have been linked to college pitchers, as usual, with Gonzaga lefty Marco Gonzalez and Florida righty Jonathon Crawford potential picks, according to Baseball America. Outfielder Austin Wilson, the club’s 12th-round pick in 2010 who was wooed at Busch Stadium that summer, is eligible again after his junior year at Stanford. Also of interest to the club has been high school shortstop Oscar Mercado, of Tampa.

We looked at Gonzalez and Crawford in the initial look at mock drafts. I wrote about Austin Wilson in my second installment. Would be a buzz-worthy pick for certain. Notice that Goold doesn't say that he has heard that the Cardinals are interested, but instead he just indicates that Wilson is available in the draft. The last player is Oscar Mercado who is a high school shortstop out of Tampa, FL. Mercado is an athletic kid and an elite defender with a questionable bat, MLB Bonus Baby calls him, "He is one of the safer bets to be a major leaguer of this years' draft just because of his defense." but his offense has a long way to go, but could end up being average with very little power.

Speaking of athletic players, Keith Law's mock draft has the Cardinals selecting Tim Anderson, the JuCo shortstop who has been generating a lot of buzz as of late.

Analysis:Hearing them mostly on more athletic types than whom they went after with early picks last year, including [Tim] Anderson, Travis Demeritte and Ian Clarkin.

Tim Anderson is an intriguing name, but it is unclear how he came out of nowhere, as he was undrafted last year despite being eligible and you always have to question the one year pop-up guys. He's fast, athletic and currently plays shortstop, although it is unclear if he'll stay there long term.

Travis Demeritte would be another interesting name for the Cardinals, Lone Star Ball took a look at Demeritte as he is also linked to the Rangers who also have 2 picks around the same range as the Cardinals.

Demeritte is a righthanded hitting high school shortstop, listed at 6'1", 185 lbs. The first five words of the ESPN scouting report on him include the words "raw" and "projectable." He's described as athletic. He has a plus arm, plus raw power, and "excellent bat speed," but there are questions about his approach at the plate and his hit tool.

Ian Clarkin is a high school lefty with a very high ceiling, but a lot of risk involved, obviously. MLB Bonus Baby had a look at him earlier this year with some very tasty number including three projectable pitches including a fastball, changeup and curveball.

In his latest mock yesterday, Law gives the Cardinals local kid, Devin Williams at 19 and Ian Clarkin at 28. Williams is intriguing as a local kid from Hazelwood West, who is already sitting at 91 with a projectable frame. He's probably got a lot of development time ahead of him, similar to Tyrell Jenkins when the Cardinals drafted him, but he is very raw.

Jennifer Langosh of MLB.com, has her own notes column on the draft and it is full of nuggets from the Cardinals.

...the Cardinals are likely to use at least one of those first two picks on an advanced [college] pitcher. ... the Cards are intrigued by several standout college and high school pitchers, as well as a few college bats. ... The Cardinals like the idea of taking college pitchers with their early picks, so don't be surprised if the organization does go that direction. ... the organization has seen recently how imperative it is to have a farm system stocked with pitching. The Cardinals would like to add some additional high-impact arms through this Draft class. ...

You get the idea. They will take at least 1 pitcher, maybe 2.

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