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Cardinals opt for college players in first round of MLB draft

Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan may be gone. But the Cardinals' model for building a pitching staff remains.

The team on Monday drafted 6-foot-6 Texas A&M Junior Michael Wacha who appears to be from the mold that produced tall and lanky hurlers Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Andy Benes and Matt Morris.

He's got a good -- if not great -- fastball. But Wacha's bread and butter is his change-up which Baseball America called the best in the 2012 draft class.

According to reports, the Cardinals think they can get more out of Wacha's fastball with some mechanical tweaks. It currently maxes out about 93 MPH and sits at 90. The plus side of the Wacha choice is that he's refined in his ability to pitch as opposed to just throwing. 

After taking Wacha with the 19th pick of the first round, they selected outfielder James Ramsey of Florida State University with the 23rd choice.

Ramsey, a six-foot-tall, 190-pounder, hit third for the Seminoles and enjoyed a breakout senior season in which he hit .364 with 10 of his 21 career homers. He stole 11 bases in 14 attempts.

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