St. Louis Cardinals Take Mississippi State RHP Dakota Hudson with 34th Pick in MLB Draft


After taking high school position players with their first two picks, the Cardinals added to their wealth of collegiate pitching talent with their third first-rounder on Thursday.

The St. Louis Cardinals have selected Mississippi State righthanded pitcher Dakota Hudson with the 34th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft. The Cardinals got the pick, their third first-rounder and the final pick of the round, after the Cubs signed outfielder Jason Heyward this past winter. Heyward had previously received a qualifying offer from the Cardinals and thus had a draft pick attached to him as he navigated the free agent market.

The selection of Hudson followed the picks of shortstop Delvin Perez at 23 and outfielder Dylan Carson at 33. With Perez and Carlson both having been prep talents, Hudson was the Cardinals’ first collegiate pick of 2016.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder throws one of the most imposing fastballs of any starter in this year’s draft class, as he sits in the mid-90s and touches up to 97. He also throws a slider, curveball, and changeup, and his slider is considered to be his best pitch as things stand now. Hudson, who was taken in the 36th round out of high school by the Texas Rangers but didn’t sign, went 9-4 with a 2.62 ERA, .246 opponent batting average, 109 strikeouts, and 34 walks for the Bulldogs this season.

The 24th pick is valued at $1,878,000. The Cardinals will likely pay over slot for Hudson, especially with a below-slot payment possible for Perez and probable for Carlson.