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Pick #166: Walker Robbins, 1B/OF, George County HS

A second bat-heavy high schooler for the Cardinals in the first five rounds of the draft. No, you're not the only one really surprised at the moment.

Okay, yes, this is Larry Walker instead of Walker Robbins. But hey, I like Larry Walker.
Okay, yes, this is Larry Walker instead of Walker Robbins. But hey, I like Larry Walker.
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Curiouser and curiouser.

The Cardinals, in the fifth round of the draft, went for a somewhat unusual play, as they pulled Walker Robbins, a hit-tool monster with questionable athleticism, out of a Mississippi high school.

It's an unorthodox pick for the Cardinals, but perhaps even moreso because their second pick of the draft, 33rd overall, was a kid named Dylan Carlson, who has a fairly similar profile. Obviously, there's enough playing opportunities in a minor league system to have two bat-first non-premium position types, but you expect a club to diversify a bit more in terms of the players they select. Then again, Robbins should have been off the board much, much earlier than 166, so in all likelihood the Cards just drafted what they saw as the most undervalued player left.

I covered Walker Robbins already; here's my scouting report. Short version: not a great athlete, but man can he ever hit.

Between Robbins and Dylan Carlson, I think Carlson is the better athlete, with a better chance to stick as an outfielder, rather than a first base-only type. Even if he's relegated to first, though, Robbins give the Cardinals a second premium high school bat in this year's draft.

I am a little concerned about signability here; the fifth round is a far cry from the third-ish round area most expected Robbins to go. If he's still looking for the kind of payday a second- or third-round guy would get, it might be tough for the Cardinals to move around their bonus pool enough to pay that. I assume they have a good feel for his demands, though.