Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Cardinals select third baseman as top draft choice

(From the St. Louis Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals, armed with three selections during the first night of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, selected a high school infielder, college pitcher, and college first baseman.

St. Louis selected third baseman Nolan Gorman out of Sandra Day O'Connor High School in Phoenix, Ariz., with the 19th overall pick in the opening round. The Cardinals selected right-handed pitcher Griffin Roberts with Competitive Balance Round A pick (43rd overall). Due to the offseason signing of Lance Lynn, St. Louis was awarded a Second Round Compensatory pick (75th overall) and selected first baseman Luken Baker as the club’s final pick of the night.

Gorman, 18, stands 6-foot-1, 210 lbs. and hails from Phoenix, Ariz. The left handed-hitting third baseman batted .419 (116-for-277) with 32 home runs, 118 RBI and 115 runs scored in his high school career. As a senior, he helped lead the Eagles to their first 6A State Championship, hitting .421 with 10 home runs, 46 walks, a .640 on-base percentage and .896 slugging percentage in 32 games. Gorman was showcased on all-star teams and for USA Baseball last summer, and won multiple home run derbies, including the 2017 MLB High School Home Run Derby during All-Star Week in Miami. He also took part in home run hitting contests at Wrigley Field and Petco Park. Gorman is good friends with left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore, who was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 16th overall selection earlier in the night. Both players committed to the University of Arizona.

Roberts, 21, the Cardinals Competitive Balance Round A selection out of Wake Forest University, is a 6-foot-3, 210 lb. right-handed pitcher, who broke the Demon Deacons’ career (12.39 K/9 IP) and single-season (13.50 K/9 IP in 2017) records for strikeouts per nine innings.

Baker, 21, the Cardinals Second Round Compensatory Pick out of Texas Christian University, is a 6-foot-4, 265 lb. first baseman who hit .347 (181-for-572) with 28 home runs and 129 RBI in 145 career games for the Horned Frogs. A prolific home run hitter, Baker hit a home run every 12.6 at-bats his junior year and once every 18 at-bats in 145 games throughout his college career. He reached base safely in 134 of his 145 career games.

Rounds 3-10 of the 2018 draft will be held today, beginning at 12:05 p.m. CDT. St. Louis has the 17th pick in the third round (95th overall), then the 19th pick in each of the following rounds.

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