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MLB Draft Analysis: Cardinals Select Harrison Bader and Jordan Hicks in the Third Round

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The Cardinals had two third round picks -- well, sort of -- and they selected two players. That's kind of how this draft thing works, after all.

Much like Old Man River, the draft just keeps rolling along.

Round Three, Pick 100 -- Harrison Bader, OF, University of Florida

6'0", 190 lbs

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

So, what's so great about this pick?

Another pick, another bat for the Cardinals this year. After all the pre-draft talk of shopping by talent and not position and not looking to fill a need, the Redbirds certainly have gone heavy on hitting in the early rounds of the draft so far.

Harrison Bader features as his plus tool the same thing both of the previous Cardinal positional picks boasted: plus bat speed. Which, of course, makes me wonder if the Cards have focused in on bat speed or perhaps exit velocity specifically as a predictive, useful tool going forward.

Bader has hit for very good power at Florida this year, putting 15 balls over the wall and adding another 14 doubles to that number (also one triple), for the Gators. He has an extremely flat, fast swing, and I like what I've seen of his hitting ability. There's some real swing and miss to his game, however, and I question how much he's going to be able to hit for average in pro ball. He's not a three true outcomes guy, necessarily; the strikeouts aren't to that level. But this is a guy who worries about hitting the holy hell out of the ball, and the contact isn't exactly going to be his biggest strength. A little like Randal Grichuk, in fact, although a much more refined version of that approach.

Outside of the bat, Bader is an above-average runner, and shows solid defensive skills in the outfield. He might be a center fielder, or he might not. If not, he could probably play right with his arm strength.

This is a pretty good pick for the spot, in terms of value. As a third round selection, thus still protected, I probably would have shot for a tougher signability guy, probably in high school, but Harrison Bader is a better hitter than 100th overall in a weak draft.

via FanGraphs:

Round Three Supplemental, Pick 105 -- Jordan Hicks, RHP, Cypress Creek HS (TX)

6'2", 185 lbs

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

So, what's so great about this pick?

I'll be honest: I don't know a damned thing about Jordan Hicks.

He throws hard, apparently; he seems to sit in the 92-93 range and hit 96.

I don't like the delivery much at all from this one bit of video I can find.

I kind of hate this pick.

via Jheremy Brown: