Arms race: Cardinals select five pitchers on second day of amateur draft

News-DemocratJune 8, 2013 

Pitching again was the focal point for the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday, the second day of the amateur draft.

Five of the Cardinals' eight picks were pitchers, starting with third-round selection Mike Mayers (93rd overall).

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound right-hander, a junior at Mississippi, was 5-6 with a 2.83 ERA this season, walking 37 and striking out 73 in 92 1/3 innings.

He doesn't possess swing-and-miss stuff, according to scouts, but his fastball, slider and changeup project as big-league pitches.

In the fourth round (125th overall), the Cardinals picked second baseman Mason Katz of Louisiana State.

Katz is batting .378 this season and led the Tigers with 15 home runs and 68 RBIs in 64 games. He has a .652 slugging percentage.

The 5-10, 190-pounder might not stay at second base. He also has played first base and the outfield.

Left-handed pitcher Ian McKinney of Boone High School in Orlando, Fla., went to the Cardinals in the fifth round (155th overall).

The 5-11, 185-pound McKinney possesses a low-90s fastball to go with a slider, changeup and curveball. Despite having four pitches, some scouts project him as a reliever at the major-league level.

McKinney was 7-1 with a 1.25 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 59 innings.

Another left-hander, Jimmy Reed of Maryland, went to St. Louis in the sixth round (185th overall). Reed was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2012 but did not sign.

The 5-11, 165-pound Reed was 6-4 with a 2.33 ERA in 13 starts. He walked 32 and struck out 74 in 88 2/3 innings. Reed's father, Jim, played basketball at Georgia State.

In the seventh round (215th overall), the Cardinals selected shortstop Chris Rivera of El Dorado High in California.

Scouts describe Rivera as being advanced defensively, but do not project him as a major offensive contributor. He has signed to play at Central Arizona Junior College.

The 6-1, 185-pound Rivera might wind up being a catcher, with third base and second base also listed as possibilities. When pitching, Rivera's fastball has been timed at 97 mph.

Southern Miss senior right-hander Andrew Pierce went to the Cardinals in the eighth round (245th overall).

Pierce was 9-2 with a 2.57 ERA this season, with 26 walks and 98 strikeouts in 112 innings. The 6-4, 160-pounder throws a fastball in the low-90s, a slider and a changeup. He is 16-6 with a 2.30 ERA in his career, with 194 strikeouts in 211 1/3 innings.

Missouri State right-hander Nick Petree was the Cardinals' ninth-round pick (275th overall).

Petree has enjoyed two straight dominant seasons for the Bears, and was 8-1 with a 1.61 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 100 innings this year.

The 6-1, 195-pound Petree, who underwent Tommy John surgery three years ago, has a plus-changeup and also throws a fastball, curveball and slider.

Petree is 27-7 with a 1.76 ERA in 46 games, including 41 starts, in his career, with 306 strikeouts in 311 1/3 innings. He has limited opposing hitters to a .218 average.

In the 10th round (305th overall), St. Louis plucked another shortstop, Malik Collymore of Port Credit Secondary School in Canada.

The 6-0, 195-pound Collymore, who has signed with Missouri, projects as a decent power hitter. Collymore also has tremendous speed, being timed at 6.54 seconds in the 60-yard dash.

The draft concludes Saturday with Rounds 11 through 40.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 239-2665.

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