Breaking Down the St. Louis Cardinals’ Second Day MLB Draft Selections

Jun 4, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Fans celebrate as the sun sets after a solo home run by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (not pictured) against San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 4, 2016; St. Louis, MO, USA; Fans celebrate as the sun sets after a solo home run by St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams (not pictured) against San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (not pictured) during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Cardinals drafted eight players on Friday. We’ll take a look at what kind of skills those players could potentially bring to the organization.

The St. Louis Cardinals continued to add organizational depth on Friday, participating in the second day of the MLB Draft. The Cardinals took eight players as Rounds 3-10 were conducted, and though none of the players left by these rounds can really be considered surefire major-leaguers, they’re still intriguing talents that have a chance to make an impact. We’ll take a quick look at the eight players that the Cardinals selected on Friday:

Round 3, Pick 106: Zac Gallen, RHP, University of North Carolina

Gallen, a junior righthander, seems to be quite similar to a lot of pitchers drafted by the Cardinals in the early rounds recently, as he’s a well-developed college pitcher that doesn’t have ace potential, but could rise quickly and looks like he could be a back-end member of a rotation. Though he’s slightly undersized at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, he throws a fastball that usually sits in the mid-90s, complemented by a cutter, curveball, and changeup.  He was the most effective member of UNC’s regular rotation in 2016, going 4-3 with a 2.79 ERA, .231 opponent batting average, 74 strikeouts, and 19 walks in 14 appearances (12 starts).

Round 4, Pick 136: Jeremy Martinez, C, University of Southern California

The Cardinals’ biggest organizational weakness prior to the draft was arguably behind the plate, where Double-A prospect Carson Kelly is the only player that even seems to have a chance of catching in the big leagues long-term. While Martinez might not be a future Gold Glover, he does appear to be a solid enough defender to continue catching as a pro. Martinez hit .296/.395/.367 with a homer and 45 RBI this season, so he’s obviously got some potential at the plate as well.

Martinez was the first college catcher that the Cardinals had drafted before the seventh round since Cody Stanley was taken in 2010, and with his relatively advanced skill set, he looks like a player that has a chance to come in and start at High-A next year if he shows enough in his professional debut later this summer.

Round 5, Pick 166: Walker Robbins, OF, George County HS (Lucedale, Mississippi)

Robbins, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound high schooler who reportedly plans on signing with the Cardinals rather than honoring a commitment to Mississippi State according to’s Jenifer Langosch, could be a major steal for the Cardinals in the fifth round. The lefty hitter plays both first base and the outfield, and considering the fact that the 18-year-old’s frame will probably fill out more as he ages, he might be best suited for first base long-term. He’s definitely more of a projectable talent than a known quantity, but if the Cardinals can nurture and develop him as he ages, he could be a very intriguing prospect in several years.

Round 6, Pick 196: Tommy Edman, SS, Stanford University

Edman, a switch-hitting shortstop with a smooth swing from both sides of the plate, could be a guy who quickly develops into a solid bench bat if the Cardinals can convince him to skip his senior season at Stanford. He’s considered a strong defensive shortstop, and he’s a solid enough contact hitter, having hit .296/.383/.377 with a homer and 29 RBI during his junior season at Stanford. Edman has almost no chance of ever developing into a starting shortstop with the Cardinals, considering that current starter Aledmys Diaz is just 25, while the organization already had four shortstops among its Top 30 prospects and drafted shortstop Delvin Perez with its first pick on Thursday. With that said, he could be an Aaron Miles-like switch-hitting utility infielder if he keeps hitting as he works his way up the minor-league ladder.

Round 7, Pick 226: Andrew Knizner, C, North Carolina State University

Knizner was the second catcher that the Cardinals selected on Friday, and he’s the third catcher that they’ve selected in the seventh round in the past three years, following Jesse Jenner and Brian O’Keefe before him. A converted third baseman, Knizner has fallen off a bit since moving behind the plate, but he’s still shown solid-enough skill with the bat, having hit .292/.359/.388 with six homers in 2016. It seems that he’ll be an offense-first catcher as long as he sticks behind the plate, but he’s got enough of an ability to develop defensively that his bat could carry him places if he hits well as a pro.

Round 8, Pick 256: Sam Tewes, RHP, Wichita State University

Tewes, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound righthander, probably won’t debut as a pro until at least the summer of 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. The Cardinals will likely have to treat Tewes with kid gloves as he begins his pro career, as Tewes also missed most of the 2015 season and hasn’t been at full health since his freshman year. If he ends up signing with the Cardinals–which isn’t a given considering the nature of his injury–Tewes will have an opportunity to define himself as a pitcher post-operation. Prior to the injury, Tewes was throwing his fastball in the mid-90s, along with a slider and changeup.

Round 9, Pick 286: Matt Fiedler, OF, University of Minnesota

At 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, Fiedler is a gritty performer who does a little bit of everything. He had a spectacular 2016 campaign with the Golden Gophers, hitting .366/.411/.525 with eight homers and 39 RBI, while also stealing a team-best 14 bases in 15 chances. Fiedler was the Gophers’ DH for most of the 2016 season, but he probably projects as a corner outfielder at the professional level and doesn’t seem to have the range to play center. He also was a starting pitcher at Minnesota and throws a fastball that tops out in the low 90s, so that could be an option if he doesn’t acquit himself as a position player.

Next: Three Missouri Players Taken on Day 2 of MLB Draft

Round 10, Pick 316: Danny Hudzina, 3B, Western Kentucky University

Though he’s considered a strong defensive third baseman, the 22-year-old Hudzina might be a player who needs to find a new position in order to move up the Cardinals’ minor-league ladder, as he’ll be blocked by 2015 draftees Bryce Denton and Paul DeJong. If he hits the same way that he did at WKU, though, the Cardinals will find him a position at some point. As a fifth-year senior, Hudzina hit .408/.470/.564 with four homers and 32 RBI. A first-time draftee, Hudzina was somewhat of a breakout start this year, having exponentially improved as a contact hitter (though sacrificing some power) in comparison to his 2015 campaign. He’s behind the eight ball because of his advanced age and lack of power, but if Hudzina can continue to perform ridiculously well as a contact hitter, continue to be a reliable fielder at the hot corner, and add a little bit of power, perhaps he can be an under-the-radar success story as a 10th-rounder.