street. Lewis — Having extracted three of the best players from the high school class of 2020 in big-league outfielder Jordan Walker and elite prospects Massen Wynn and Tink, the Cardinals are at that level again after three years for selection in the first round of the MLB draft on Sunday.
Chase Davis, one of the best high school players in the country in 2020 who was not selected when the pandemic-affected draft was shortened to five rounds, became the 21st first-round pick by the Cardinals Sunday night. Davis, who is 21 and five and a half months older than Walker, has turned himself into one of the best prospects in baseball with his junior season at the University of Arizona, hitting . 362 with 21 home runs and 74 RBI.
Most importantly for the Cardinals, Davis lowered his strikeout rate from 22.8 percent as a sophomore to 14.4 percent last season as a freshman. The Cardinals followed Davis closely from his high school days to Arizona, where he blossomed into a star player.
“With his arc, Chase is someone we’ve been following since high school,” said Cardinals assistant general manager/director of scouting Randy Flores. “last summer [the 2020 high school season]He had a huge viewing circle and was someone we loved.
“I remember [in 2020] As a strategy we wanted to be prepared if the industry moved away from the high school norm, and [Davis] He was one of those players we tagged,” Flores added. “However, you can’t draft all of them and we’re excited to see his progress in [University of Arizona]. “
As part of the MLB Develops Breakthrough Series featuring the best high school players, Davis developed friendships with Walker and Wayne, who went on to become the Cardinals’ first-choice and draft picks in 2020. Now, all three will team up with the Cardinals. Walker was the MLB Pipeline’s top prospect prior to his graduation that season, while Winn is rated the Cardinals’ top prospect now.
Jordan and I played in the breakout series with [former White Sox manager] Jerry Manuel has been with these guys for three years, so I’m really excited to see Jordan again,” Davis said. “It’s very exciting and a blessing to go to the Cardinals. [Teaming with Walker] It was a long time ago, 2020, and it was [wild] Riding.”
For years, the Cardinals have had to dig for unseen talent because they haven’t made a top-10 selection since 1998 and haven’t fallen into the top 15 since 2008. They feel like they’ve got a steal in Davis, a left-hander with a stellar throwing arm who can play any of the slots. pitch three.
“When you’re trying to get to know someone without being in trouble with them, people almost unanimously rave about Chase Davis as a person,” said Flores. “They’ve noticed his growth, maturity, love of the game and tremendous work ethic. I’m very confident he’ll do everything he can to be the best player he can be. After speaking to him and hearing him say, ‘Man, I can’t wait to get to work’, that was something I’m glad to hear.” .
The Cardinals only had one first-day pick after losing their second-round pick when they signed free agent catcher Wilson Contreras away from the Cubs the previous December. As compensation after making a qualifying bid to the Contreras, the Cubs were awarded the 68th pick that originally belonged to the Cardinals.
The MLB 20-round draft continues Monday and Tuesday. Rounds will be held from 3 to 10 on Monday, starting at 1pm Cairo time. On Tuesday, rounds will take place 11-20, also starting at 1pm BST. The Cardinals’ first pick on Monday will be the 90th overall pick.
The 21st pick carries a slot value of $3.6 million – which is more than the $3.1 million the 22nd pick overall. [Cooper Hjerpe] Transferred in 2022. The Cardinals have a bonus of $6,375,100 for this year’s draft. Teams can exceed this bonus pool—as the Cardinals have historically done—but they face a monetary penalty for exceeding their bonus pool.
Flores, who feels Davis compares favorably to former Rocky All-Star outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, said another thing that attracted the Cardinals to Davis was the baseball player’s high IQ and how he made changes to improve his swing.
“As I’ve gotten older and more mature, I’ve become more disciplined in the area,” said Davis, who trimmed his strikeouts from 66 to 40 in his most recent college season. “The freshman and sophomore years were learning curves. I knew my sophomore stats weren’t going to play to the next level with swings and misses. I asked myself, “What am I going to do to lessen that?” I did some off-season work and got him out there this spring.”
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