The St. Louis Cardinals concluded the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by selecting 41 players, 36 from college and five from high schools or prep academies. The list included 19 pitchers (4 LHP & 15 RHP), four catchers, 12 infielders and six outfielders.
Three draftees are still involved in collegiate postseason play this weekend in the NCAA Super Regionals with LHP Steven Gingery on Texas Tech and OF Brandon Riley and INF Zack Gahagan on North Carolina.
The Cardinals drafted one player from the State of Missouri, outfielder Andrew Warner from Columbia (Mo.) College, hailing from Lee’s Summit. Warner was a back-to-back American Midwest Conference Player of the Year in 2017-18 batting over .400 in each season with a combined 35 home runs and 128 RBI.
Three players were previously drafted in RHP Parker Kelly by the Cardinals in the 34th round of the 2015 draft, C Benito Santiago, Jr. by San Francisco in the 38th round of the 2014 draft and Gahagan by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014 (40th round) and by the Cincinnati Reds in 2017 (39th round).
The Cardinals made a few legacy selections with Parker Kelly, brother of Cardinals catcher Carson Kelly, out of the University of Oregon in the 20th round. Catcher Benito Santiago, Jr., son of former 20-year Major League veteran All-Star catcher Benito Santiago, was a 34th round pick out of the University of Tennessee. Third baseman Cole Kreuter, son of former 16-year veteran Major League catcher and current St. Lucie Mets manager Chad Kreuter, was drafted in the 36th round out of UC-Irvine.
RHP Jaden Hill, the Cardinals 38th round pick out of Ashdown Senior High School in Arkansas, is a two-sport athlete who was the Arkansas Gatorade High School Player of the Year, batting .540 with 11 home runs and an 0.51 ERA, and also threw 48 touchdowns over his three-year football career, and signed his letter of intent to play college baseball at Louisiana State University.
Players with athletic ties in their family included RHP Chris Holba (11th round) whose father Colonel Bob Holba played baseball and football at the United States Air Force Academy. RHP Cole Aker (18th round) whose father Jeff played baseball at Ole Miss and his grandfather, Jack, played 11 MLB seasons with six different Major League organizations. Infielder Michael Perri (21st round) had three members of his family play college football in his father Mark (Fresno State) and brothers Chris (Colorado) and Jeff (Malone-Ohio). Christian Caudle’s (37th round) mother Robin earned the first full softball scholarship at Florida State University.
Several draftees came with exemplary athletic and academic accolades. RHP Francisco Justo (12th round) was the First Monroe College Mustang to ever be named to the JUCO All-Tournament Team. RHP Kyle Leahy(17th round) was a 1st Team All-American and a 1st Team Academic All-American at Colorado Mesa University. RHP Troy Montemayor (25th round) tied the Baylor all-time saves mark with 37 over his collegiate career. RHPPerry DellaValle (27th round) set the Seton Hill University single-season strikeout mark with 109. RHP Chris Rivera (33rd round) nailed down three straight seasons of 10 or more saves at Long Beach State and ranks 2nd in school history with 37 career saves. LHP Colid Schmid (13th round) was a Dean’s List honoree Majoring in Construction Management with minors in Spanish and Business while racking up 224 strikeouts, ranking 3rd in Appalachian State history. Outfielder Alerick Soularie (29th round) put together a cornucopia of stats batting .402 with 10 HR, 47 RBI, 17 doubles, eight triples and was 23-for-28 in stolen base attempts at San Jacinto-North College playing as teammate of Cardinals manager Mike Matheny’s sons Jake and Luke. Soularie signed a college letter of intent with the University of Tennessee.
The Cardinals drafted players from 18 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. California was the most represented state with seven selections, followed by Texas with five, North Carolina with four, and Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina with two each.
The complete list of 2018 St. Louis Cardinals draft picks can be found below:
2018 FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT – FINAL RECAP
Rd., Player (overall pick) Pos. B-T Ht Wt. School Hometown
- Nolan Gorman (19) 3B L-R 6-1 210 Sandra Day O’Connor (Ariz.) High School Phoenix, Ariz.
CBA. Griffin Roberts (43) RHP R-R 6-3 205 Wake Forest University Midlothian, Va.
Comp2. Luken Baker (75) 1B R-R 6-4 225 Texas Christian University Spring, Texas
- Mateo Gil (95) SS R-R 6-2 190 Timber Creek (Texas) High School Keller, Texas
- Steven Gingery (123) LHP R-L 6-2 190 Texas Tech University Huntington Beach, Calif.
- Nick Dunn (153) 2B L-R 5-10 175 University of Maryland Sunbury, Pa.
- Edgar Gonzalez (183) RHP R-R 6-1 200 Fresno State University Newark, Calif.
- Brendan Donovan (213) 3B L-R 6-1 195 University of South Alabama Enterprise, Ala.
- Lars Nootbaar (243) LF L-R 6-3 210 University of Southern California El Segundo, Calif.
- Matt Duce (273) C L-R 5-11 190 Dallas Baptist University Sierra Vista, Ariz.
- Kevin Woodall, Jr. (303) 1B R-R 6-6 240 Coastal Carolina University Georgetown, S.C.
- Chris Holba (333) RHP R-R 6-3 210 East Carolina University O’Fallon, Ill.
- Francisco Justo (363) RHP R-R 6-4 205 Monroe College (N.Y.) Bronx, N.Y.
- Colin Schmid (393) LHP L-L 6-1 195 Appalachian State University New Bern, N.C.
- Brandon Riley (423) CF L-R 6-0 170 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Burlington, N.C.
- Mike Brettell (453) RHP R-R 6-3 195 Central Michigan University Fonthill, Ontario (Canada)
- Samuel “Evan” Sisk (483) LHP L-L 6-2 209 College of Charleston Chester, S.C.
- Kyle Leahy (513) RHP S-R 6-5 200 Colorado Mesa University Boulder, Colo.
- Cole Aker (543) RHP R-R 6-2 205 University of Tampa Kernersville, N.C.
- Josh Shaw (573) 2B R-R 6-1 195 St. John’s University Wayne, N.J.
- Parker Kelly (603) RHP R-R 6-1 235 University of Oregon Portland, Ore.
- Michael Perri (633) SS R-R 6-3 195 University San Francisco Alameda, Calif.
- Kevin Vargas (663) SS R-R 6-1 175 International Baseball Academy Ceiba, Puerto Rico
- Michael Baird (693) RHP R-R 6-5 210 Southern Illinois University-Carbondale Parker, Colo.
- Eli Kraus (723) LHP L-L 6-1 190 Kent State University Medina, Ohio
- Troy Montemayor (753) RHP R-R 6-1 160 Baylor University San Antonio, Texas
- Connor Coward (783) RHP R-R 6-0 200 Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) Pittsburgh, Pa.
- Perry DellaValle (813) RHP R-R 6-0 195 Seton Hill (Pa.) University North Royalton, Ohio
- Justin Toerner (843) CF L-L 5-10 165 California State University-Northridge Temecula, Calif.
- Alerick Soularie (873) RF R-R 6-0 175 San Jacinto-North (Texas) JC Humble, Texas
- Kendrick Calilao (903) OF R-R 6-1 200 The First Academy (FL) Kissimmee, Fla.
- Ty Cohen (933) RHP R-R 6-1 195 Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech) Woodstock, Ga.
- Brandon Purcell (963) C R-R 6-1 205 Georgia College and State University Glennville, Ga.
- Chris Rivera (993) RHP R-R 5-9 175 Long Beach State University Watsonville, Calif.
- Benito Santiago (1,023) C L-R 6-0 190 University of Tennessee Pembroke Pines, Fla.
- Liam Sabino (1,053) 3B R-R 6-0 191 University of Pittsburgh New York City, N.Y.
- Cole Kreuter (1,083) 3B R-R 6-0 190 University of California-Irvine Rancho Mirage, Calif.
- Christian Caudle (1,113) C R-R 6-4 230 Texas A&M University-Kingsville Klein, Texas
- Jaden Hill (1,143) RHP R-R 6-3 210 Ashdown Senior (Ark.) High School Ashdown, Ark.
- Zack Gahagan (1,173) 3B R-R 6-1 195 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Fletcher, N.C.
- Andrew Warner (1,203) RF R-R 6-2 225 Columbia (Mo.) College Lee’s Summit, Mo.