Cardinals stock up on pitchers at MLB draft

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The Cardinals did not skimp on pitching in the Major League Baseball draft, which ended on Tuesday afternoon.

Among their 20 picks were 13 pitchers, five lefties and eight righties. Their first 19 picks were college players, and then with their final pick, in the 20th round, they chose right-handed pitcher Gavin Van Kempen, from Maple Hill High School in New York who has committed to West Virginia.

The Cardinals started Day 3 of the MLB draft by choosing Nathan Church, an outfielder from UC Irvine, in the 11th round. Church hit .309 with an .825 OPS for the Anteaters. 

In the 12th round, the Cardinals chose Michael Curialle, a shortstop from UCLA. In the 2019 draft, he was chosen in the 31st round, No. 939 overall. This time, he was 367 overall. The Cardinals’ 13th round pick was Chandler Arnold, a right-handed pitcher from Dallas Baptist and in the 14th round, they took another pitcher from Oregon State, right-handed reliever D.J. Carpenter. The Cardinals’ first-round pick, Cooper Hjerpe, also pitched for Oregon State.

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The Cardinals went for pitching again in the 15th round, taking Matt Hickey, a right-hander from Tarleton State, and did it again in the 16th, selecting Hunter Hayes, a right-hander from Pacific. They ventured into the SEC for the first time in the 17th round, choosing shortstop Brody Moore from Auburn, and it was back to pitching in the 18th round, as they took a lefty from Xavier, John Lynch. Chris Rotondo, an outfielder from Villanova, was the team’s 19th round choice. 

The Cardinals went heavy on pitchers in the first two days of the draft, selecting seven pitchers among their first 10 picks. The first 10 picks were also all college players.

Church and Curialle bring to four the number of players from the University of California system chosen by the Cardinals. They selected pitcher Max Rajcic from UCLA and pitcher Joseph King from California Berkeley.

Florida chose Kyle Kirschsieper, a pitcher from the University of Illinois, in the 12th round and another Illinois player, first baseman Justin Janas, was chosen by Atlanta later in the 12th round.

Torin Montgomery, a first baseman from Missouri, was chosen by Florida in the 14th round. Two Mizzou players were taken in the 15th round: shortstop Josh Day by Arizona and left-handed pitcher Nathan Landry by Boston. Pitcher Drew Garrett was chosen by Philadelphia in the 19th round.

Kevin Graham, an outfielder at Ole Miss who went to Westminster Christian, was chosen by Arizona in the 14th round. Tommy Stevenson, a first baseman at Missouri Southern who went to Kirkwood High, was selected by Oakland in the 19th round.