rDay 2 of the MLB Draft has concluded, which means we now know who the Cardinals drafted between Rounds 2 and 10. That’s 10 picks, which includes the CB-B pick, a compensation round following the 2nd. Yesterday, the Cardinals drafted Michael McGreevy with the 1st pick, 18th overall, and he sounds like a pretty exciting pick. I recommend reading what A.E. Schafer had to say about it.
Today, well I’ll be honest. It’s a bunch of guys who I hadn’t heard of prior to the Cards picking them. I have heard of Joshua Baez, because I follow the draft previews, but that’s it. This is not the post for you if you’re looking for some fresh draft analysis on who the Cards picked. I’m sure Schafer will provide that in the near future. This is just where you can see who the Cards drafted. I’m not going to pretend to know more about these draft picks than I do.
2nd Round, 54th overall
Joshua Baez, OF
Physically, Baez is huge, an already-hulking obliterator of baseball who nonetheless moves very well for his size and has a chance to be an above-average defender in a corner outfield spot. He also has a tremendous throwing arm, capable of touching 97 off the mound, so there could be some Jose Guillen/Vlad Guerrero throws from the right field corner in his future someday.
Long-term, it’s easy to see Baez tuning his swing down just a little, and hopefully learning a better plate approach in terms of waiting for pitches he can handle, then taking the big hack, giving him a high probability of three-true-outcomes sluggerdom. Something like Joey Gallo feels like a good outcome for Baez, and also shows all the potential pitfalls of a hitter with such an extreme profile.
He has more to say in that post, so read the whole thing if that intrigues you, which I’m sure it does.
CB-B, 70th Overall Pick
Ryan Holgate, OF
Near as I can tell, Holgate is a reach, but potentially one to help sign Baez. Couldn’t find much on him. What I could find indicates he’s a thoroughly uninteresting prospect, albeit the type that might actually do something in the majors. Why do I say that? Because he seems to do everything average. He’s a corner outfield guy who can hit but doesn’t have as much power as you’d like (or at least the homer numbers are lower than you’d like), and who isn’t a fast runner. Seems like a guy who will definitely reach AAA, but who might not carry a ton of upside.
3rd round, 90th Overall Pick
Austin Love, RHP
Love is 6’3, 232 pounds and well, guys just about every pick going forward is going to fit the same description and I’m not sure how many different ways I can say the same thing. Love pitched at UNC, appears to have become a starter in his junior season, solid 129/32 K/BB ratio in 102 innings - only two hit batters, but 20 wild pitches means he should fit in with the Cards. I actually have no idea if 20 wild pitches in 102 innings is normal or not for college. Anyway, big college righty.
4th round, 120th Overall Pick
Zane Mills, RHP
Mills is 6’4, 220 pounds - I was not kidding when I say that a lot of these picks are going to blend together because college righty with some size. Mills is interesting because he’s not ranked out of 250 players and as you can see, 120th pick here. But you know, doesn’t mean anything. Here’s what CBS Sports says about the pick:
After a dominant showing in the Northwoods League last summer, Mills wasn’t fully able to replicate that success during his third season at Washington State in 2021, but he still submitted a strong 83:22 K:BB across 80.1 innings. Though the right-handed Mills offers good size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) and commands his three-pitch arsenal well, he lacks a truly dominant pitch that can routinely generate swings and misses.
5th Round, 151st Overall Pick
Gordon Graceffo, RHP
A right-hander out of Villanova, Graceffo showcased a fastball that sits around 95 mph with solid sinking action. He mixes in adequate breaking stuff and has a changeup that works well off his heater. His workhorse mentality should help him remain as a starter as he begins his professional career.
6th Round, 181st Overall Pick
Alfredo Ruiz, LHP
We’re changing things up now. Instead of a 6’4 220 something pound right-handed pitcher, we now have a lefty. He’s evidently 6’0, 200 pounds. Also drafted out of college. He struck out 59 and walked 23 in 57 innings at Long Beach State, which does not sound particularly impressive. He did have a 1.80 ERA in four starts in the shortened season, so there’s that. Guys, I’m just reporting the facts, I know nothing about any of these players.
7th Round, 211st Overall Pick
Alec Wills, RHP
OKAY THIS IS AN EXCITING PICK. So Wills threw 92 mph in 2019, but kept pitching with pain since his freshman season. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong, but eventually found a nerve issue in his elbow. He got surgery in summer of 2020, and when he got healthy, he started throwing 93, then 94, then 95 and he got all the way to 97. All of a sudden, he was the #1 high school prospect in Colorado.
So he’s a 6’5, 230 pound high school pitcher who recently got healthy and started dominating. Struck 54 batters in 27 IP with a 0.77 ERA in high school. I’m getting a real “steal” feel out of this pick, like if he was healthy in high school and doing this more than one season... he’d be considerably higher of a pick. Yeah there’s risk, but 7th round so that’s not a pick likely to do anything anyway.
8th round, 241st Overall Pick
Mike Antico, OF
Apropos of nothing, I have no idea what to make of this, as written by a Texas Longhorns blog, where Antico went to school:
Center fielder Mike Antico likely profiles as a free agent signee, though his speed and power from the left side combined with proving himself at a higher level could help him sneak into the end of the draft.
That’s not exactly what happened. I do like speed and power though.
9th Round, 271st Overall Pick
Trent Baker, RHP
6’3, 240 pound right-handed pitcher out of college. He’s out of a Division II school, and though this was written during his season, some writer on NCAA dot com wrote a blurb about him:
Baker is the ace for a Rams team that is always in the hunt for Cary. Though he is coming off his roughest start of the season, Baker is still one of the premier pitchers in DII for a few years running. He’s big and he uses his frame to pump his fastball and litter the strike zone with tough pitches to hit.
10th Round, 301st Overall Pick
Osvaldo Tovalin, 3B
Don’t get too invested in Tovalin, as he’s destined for a future trade to the San Diego Padres. That is my only input on the man drafted out of Azusa Pacific University.
Tomorrow is Day 3, which should bring about a bunch of players I have never heard of. Unless you’re roughly a top 20 prospect in the system, I will only start paying attention to these guys if they have fun stats at Low A or higher. The higher level, the less my standard for how good you need to be doing. Joshua Baez may instantly becoming a top 20 prospect - I actually don’t know - but I will be paying attention to him and McGreevy and maybe even Alec Wills, but the rest are just going to have to distinguish themselves from the many other college right-handed pitchers.
Exciting first two picks, and there’s another exciting one later in the round, and the rest blend together.