ST. LOUIS — Michael Wacha, a right-handed pitcher from Texas A&M University, was the St. Louis Cardinals' first pick of the first round in the amateur draft Monday night.
Wacha was 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 16 starts for the Aggies this season. He walked 20 and struck out 116 in 113 1/3 innings.
Baseball America rated Wacha with the second-best command on any college pitcher in the draft. Only Andrew Heaney, of Oklahoma State, was regarded as having better command. Heaney, a left-hander, went to the Miami Marlins with the ninth pick in the first round.
The Cardinals selected Wacha with the 19th overall pick, compensation for them losing free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols to the Los Angeles Angels in December.
Under rules of the new collective bargaining agreement, the Cardinals will be allowed to pay Wacha a $1.9 million signing bonus.
St. Louis picked center fielder James Ramsey, of Florida State University, with its second pick in the first round at No. 23.
Ramsey, a left-handed hitter, batted .385 with 11 doubles, six triples, 13 home runs and 55 RBIs in 61 games this season. He also stole 10 bases and had an on-base percentage of .520.
Ramsey was taken in the 22nd round by the Minnesota Twins, but did not sign because the Twins wanted him to convert to second base. Some scouts believe he is more suited to play right or left.
The Cardinals will be able to offer Ramsey a $1.775 million signing bonus.
With the first of three "sandwich" picks before the second round, the Cardinals selected Stanford University third baseman Stephen Piscotty with the 36th pick --compensation for Pujols' departure.
Piscotty, a right-handed hitter, won the Cape Cod batting title last year with a .349 average and 21 RBIs in 29 games.
He is batting .318 with 12 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 55 RBIs in 57 games for Stanford, with a .405 on-base percentage.
The Cardinals chose third baseman Patrick Wisdom, of St. Mary's College, with the No. 52 pick, compensation for reliever Octavio Dotel signing a free-agent deal with the Detroit Tigers.
Wisdom batted .262 with 12 doubles, nine homers and 24 RBIs in 53 games. He led the team with 37 walks.
With their 59th pick, compensation starting pitcher Edwin Jackson signing with the Washington Nationals, the Cardinals selected catcher Steve Bean from Rockwall High School in Rockwall, Texas.
Bean, a left-handed hitter, has a plus arm and a swing that scouts believe will produce power as he matures.