ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals chose right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha with their first pick at No. 19 in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft. Four picks later, they went with outfielder James Ramsey.
Regarded by some as the most polished pitcher available in the 2012 draft, the 20-year-old Wacha is big at 6’6″, weighing 200 lbs. He’s pitched at Texas A&M University since 2009. A native of Texarkana, Texas, he was not drafted coming out of high school, but made an immediate impact for the Aggies.
This past season for Texas A&M, Wacha finished with a 9-1 record, 2.06 ERA, 116 strike outs and 20 walks over 113.1 innings pitched. A starter for three seasons, Wacha was 8-0 in 14 games started in 2012 allowing 16 walks, getting 99 strike outs and tallying 2 complete game shutouts.
Wacha generally throws a fastball, slider and change-up. He has a fastball that has reached 96 MPH and is considered to have one of the top change-ups among pitchers in this year’s draft. His 336 career strikeouts are tops in Aggies history.
With their second first-round pick in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Cardinals took another college player in outfielder James Ramsey out of Florida State University. Ramsey became the tenth college player selected in the opening round, and the first senior.
Known more as a speed player that swings for contact to all fields, the left-handed batter has a stance that somewhat resembles Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners.
In 2012 for Florida State, Ramsey has so far hit .385 picking up 80 hits, 72 runs scored, 11 doubles, 13 home runs and 55 RBI’s over 61 games played and started.
Off the field, Ramsey was considered to be a model student-athlete drawing comparisons to NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.
The No. 19 pick originally belonged to the Los Angeles Angels, but was given to the Cardinals as compensation for Albert Pujols. The Cardinals will earn an additional compensation pick for the loss of Pujols in the supplemental round when they draft No. 36 overall.
This is the first time since 2005 (Colby Rasmus and Tyler Greene) that the Cardinals have received multiple 1st round picks, and only the sixth time in franchise history that the Redbirds have selected more than one player in the opening round since the draft’s inception in 1965.
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