After relatively quiet classes in 2010 and 2011, the Cardinals’ 2012 draft selection has produced a few players who have made big-league impacts. Today, we’ll meet some those players.
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St. Louis’s first selection in the 2012 MLB Draft was right-handed hurler Michael Wacha out of Texas A&M University. Wacha rocketed through the farm system, reaching the big leagues by 2013; he did not look back.
Wacha appeared in 15 games in the 2013 regular season and had a performance for the ages in the postseason. Wacha, then just 22 years old, started five games in October and posted a 2.64 ERA in 30 2⁄3 innings. Opponents batted just .151 off Wacha, who posted a 33:12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Wacha was named the National League Championship Series MVP for his 13 2⁄3 scoreless frames against the Dodgers.
With a shoulder injury affecting his 2014 and 2016 seasons, Wacha started 30 games for the Cardinals in 2017. In his age 26 season, Wacha pitched to a 3.63 FIP and whiffed 158 batters in 165 2⁄3 innings. He recently signed a contract with the Cardinals to avoid arbitration.
Outfielder Stephen Piscotty was taken 36th overall in the draft out of Stanford University. Wacha and Piscotty were both compensation picks from the club losing free-agent slugger Albert Pujols to the Angels following the 2011 season.
Piscotty matured in the Minors until being promoted in 2015, where the years of waiting seemed to pay off. In 63 games in his freshman season, Piscotty hit to a 134 wRC+ with 15 doubles, four triples, and seven homers. He followed up with 22 long balls and a .273/.343/.457 line in 2016.
The 26-year-old Piscotty’s 2017 season featured quite a decline, fueled by a hamstring injury in early May, a groin injury in mid-July in to August, and some difficult family news. Piscotty played in 107 games in ‘17 with a 21.7 strikeout percentage in 401 plate appearances. He did hit nine homers but batted just .235 overall.
Infielder Patrick Wisdom was drafted 52nd overall as a compensation pick for the Cardinals losing reliever Octavio Dotel to the Tigers in free agency in the 2011-12 offseason.
Wisdom reached Double-A by 2014 and Triple-A by 2016. He spent the entire 2017 season with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, where he appeared in 127 games for the PCL Champions.
In 2017, Wisdom blasted a career-high 31 home runs, shattering his previous best mark of 14 long balls set in 2015. Along with the power surge came wide changes in other statistical categories, with a 29.4 strikeout percentage - 149 whiffs in 506 plate appearances, up nearly five percent from the year before.
Wisdom was recently added to the team’s 40-man roster to protect him from Rule 5 Draft eligibility during the Winter Meetings.
The final player we’ll check out from the 2012 draft class is catcher Carson Kelly. Kelly, drafted in the second round out of Westview High School in Oregon, made his big-league debut as a September call-up in 2016.
In 2017, Kelly appeared in 34 games with the Cardinals. The team’s backup backstop from late July on for Yadier Molina had three doubles and scored five runs with six RBIs during his big-league time in ‘17. Before his promotion after the All-Star break, Kelly batted .283 with 10 big flies in 68 games for the Memphis Redbirds.
Known best for his fieldwork, the 23-year-old Kelly flashed a glimpse of what he has to offer this summer.
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