Cards select RHP Luke Weaver with 27th overall Draft pick

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

For the third consecutive year, the Cardinals used their top pick in the First-Year Player Draft to nab an advanced college player, this time Luke Weaver out of Florida State University.

Weaver, a junior right-hander, was taken with the No. 27 overall pick and marks the first of four players that the Cardinals will choose on Day 1 of the three-day Draft. The Cardinals also own the No. 34 (compensation for Carlos Beltran), No. 68 and No. 71 (awarded through the competitive balance lottery) picks on Thursday.

The 6-foot, 170-pound Weaver went 8-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 16 starts for the Seminoles this season. He struck out 85 and walked 23 in 106 1/3 innings. According to MLB.com’s scouting reports, Weaver’s fastball sits at 92-93 mph while topping out at 97 mph. He also features an above-average changeup, though his breaking ball still needs polishing.

After making six starts as a freshman at Florida State, Weaver had a breakout year for the Seminoles as a sophomore in 2013. Weaver made 15 starts (17 appearances) for the Seminoles that season, posting a 7-2 record and 2.28 ERA in 98 1/3 innings. His 10.89 strikeout-per-nine innings ranked 11th-best in the nation.

Weaver closed that season by earning Most Outstanding Player honors in the Tallahassee Regional after pitching Florida State to a shutout win over Troy (Ala.) while striking out 14 and allowing four hits in eight innings.

His final collegiate appearance this season came on Saturday, when Weaver suffered a loss to the University of Alabama. Weaver allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk in five innings as the Seminoles were knocked out of their regional.

Weaver had previously been selected by the Blue Jays in the 19th round of the 2011 Draft. He opted to attend college instead of signing with Toronto, and that decision will pay off financially. The 27th overall pick comes with a bonus slot value of $1.843 million.

This was the latest the Cardinals have had to wait for their first Draft selection since 2006, when the Cardinals chose Adam Ottavino with the 30th overall selection.

After the Cardinals make their four selections on Thursday, the Draft will continue on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 12:30p ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1p ET. The final 30 rounds will then take place on Saturday.

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