Cardinals select Wacha with No. 19 overall pick
Kicking off a night in which they’ll make five of the first 59 selections in the First-Year Player Draft, the Cardinals selected right-hander Michael Wacha, a 20-year-old right-hander out of Texas A&M University.
St. Louis earned the 19th pick as part of compensation for losing Albert Pujols to the Angels last winter.
In 16 starts for the Aggies this season, Wacha went 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA. In his 113 1/3 innings, Wacha struck out 116 and walked just 20. A year earlier, Wacha was named to the Big 12 All-Second Team after finishing 9-4 with a 2.29 ERA.
The 6-foot-6, 200-pound Wacha is projected to rise through the Minors fairly quickly, meaning he could have an impact in St. Louis quicker than many others in the 2012 Draft class.
Scouting reports note that Wacha’s fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range, with potential for improvement. Baseball America listed Wacha as the 11th-best pitcher available in the Draft.
The Cardinals’ other first-round selection comes at No. 23. The organization will also choose three times in the compensation round, as it has the 36th, 52nd and 59th picks.
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB