For the first chunk of the offseason, I went pick-by-pick checking out the 2017 draft class. And since then, over the last five weeks, I’ve studied the Cardinals’ draft classes dating back to 2007. Today, that study ends as we’ll look at what the 2016 class has produced thus far.
If you wish to catch up on any of the nine years already covered, followed the links below:
The Cardinals’ first pick in 2016 was shortstop Delvin Perez, a high-school player from Puerto Rico. Perez was rated among many outlets as the best shortstop in the class and was expected to go early in the draft - until it was reported that Perez tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. And so, instead of being taken within in the first 10 picks, Perez was taken 23rd overall by St. Louis.
Perez, who turned 19 years old this offseason, batted .203 in 34 games between the Johnson City Cardinals and GCL Cardinals in 2017. In the 34 games, the right-handed-hitting Perez stole five bases, scored 14 runs, and drove in nine.
Taken second overall by the Cardinals - and 33rd overall in the draft - was switch-hitting outfielder Dylan Carlson from Elk Grove High School in California. Carlson spent the entire 2017 with the Class-A Peoria Chiefs.
In 115 games with the Chiefs, Carlson slashed .240/.342/.347 with a 101 wRC+ in 451 plate appearances. Carlson, who turned 19 in late October, hit seven home runs and scored 63 in 2017.
The team’s third pick of the first round, the 34th overall selection, was right-hander Dakota Hudson. A Mississippi State alumni, Hudson pitched his way all the to Triple-A in the 2017 season.
On his way to Triple-A, the 23-year-old Hudson went 9-4 in 18 starts with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. In 114 innings at Springfield, Hudson maintained a 3.64 FIP.
In seven games and as many starts at Triple-A Memphis, Hudson logged a 4.42 ERA in 38 2⁄3 frames.
The final player we’ll look at from the 2016 draft class is right-hander Connor Jones, who was taken in the second round - 70th overall.
Jones, who turned 23 years old early in the offseason, spent all but one start of his 2017 season with the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals. A University of Virginia alumni, Jones was 8-4 in 24 games (21 starts), pitching to a 3.77 FIP. In 113 1⁄3 innings of work, Jones whiffed 76 and allowed only three home runs.
Jones made a spot start for Springfield, earning a victory for 6 2⁄3 frames of two-run ball.
Both videos are credited to the official Minor League Baseball YouTube channel.
I’d like to thank the VEB community for following along this year. Your comments and compliments do not go unnoticed and are always appreciated. I’m flattered that you continue to read my work.
Happy Holidays to all of you; I’ll see you in 2018.