With their first pick in the 2014 amateur draft, the Cardinals selected Luke Weaver, right-handed pitcher out of Florida State.
I...am not pleased.
I don't want to be overly negative about this pick, because there have been plenty of times in the past when I didn't like picks the Cardinals made, and they've turned out quite well. (See also Wacha, Michael.) But, in this case, there is a very specific reason I don't like Weaver, and it has nothing to do with the quality of the stuff.
Weaver throws hard, touching 97 with his fastball and working in the 92-95 range consistently. He backs it up with an outstanding changeup and a slider that needs work. He isn't big, but his arm is crazy fast, which contributes not only the obvious velocity, but helps his change be just that much more effective. He drives toward the plate beautifully as well, using his legs as well as just about any pitcher in the draft.
That's the good stuff. The bad?
His arm action is terrible. TERRIBLE. He's a pure inverted W guy, very similar to Jarrod Parker, the Oakland hurler now undergoing his second Tommy John surgery.
I have to admit, this pick really shakes my confidence in the plan the Cardinals have in the draft. The last couple years, they seemed to have eschewed some of the riskier arm actions, and I thought that was a clear trend. With this, though, they've picked a guy I'm almost certain is going to get hurt, and sooner rather than later.
Couple this selection with Foster Griffin, a pitcher I absolutely love, going one selection after this to the Kansas City Royals, and I couldn't be much more disappointed with this selection. It's incredibly frustrating, and I'm a little heartbroken I waited all year to see the team make what I feel is such an obvious mistake.
All of that is nothing against the pitcher, mind you. I think he seems like a really great guy, and the talent is undeniable. But I see injuries in Weaver's future, and not way down the road, either. Oh, well. Maybe he miraculously stays healthy and turns out to be brilliant. I'm not holding my breath, though. I'll wait and just do that every time he takes the mound.
I really wonder what the impetus behind this was. If Weaver was the pick only because he was a college player, I would be incredibly disappointed.
Ugh. Well, another pick for El Birdos in four slots. Maybe this time they'll trade their pick to Bud Selig in exchange for him saying on television that Aaron Schafer is an asshole. That would be pretty crappy.