Cardinals sign top four draft picks from 2018 class

The St. Louis Cardinals announced they have signed RHP Griffin Roberts, 1B Luken Baker and INF Mateo Gil as the three players signed their professional contracts today at Busch Stadium.

Roberts, 21, the Cardinals Competitive Balance Round A selection out of Wake Forest University, is a 6-foot-3, 210 lb. right-handed pitcher, who broke the Demon Deacons’ career (12.39 K/9 IP) and single-season (13.50 K/9 IP in 2017) records for strikeouts per nine innings.

As a junior in 2018 in his first year as a starting pitcher, Roberts was named Second Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference and a three-time ACC Pitcher of the Week, going 5-4 with a 3.82 ERA (96.2 IP) in 14 starts. His ACC-leading 130 strikeouts ranked 9th in the NCAA, while his strikeout total was the most by a Demon Deacon in more than 25 years and second-most in program history behind Mike Buddie’s 138 in 1992.

Roberts was originally selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 29th round of the 2017 draft after converting eight saves his sophomore season, but did not sign.

Baker, 21, the Cardinals Second Round Compensatory Pick out of Texas Christian University, is a 6-foot-4, 265 lb. first baseman who hit .347 (181-for-572) with 28 home runs and 129 RBI in 145 career games for the Horned Frogs.  A prolific home run hitter, Baker hit a home run per every 12.6 at-bats his junior year and once every 18 at-bats in 145 games throughout his college career. He reached base safely in 134 of his 145 career games.

At Oak Ridge (Texas) High School, Baker was the 2015 Gatorade National Player of the Year, a Baseball America First-Team All-American, and won the 2014 Under Armour High School Home Run Derby and Junior Select home run derby during MLB All-Star Week in Minnesota.  He was originally selected by the Houston Astros in the 37th round of the 2015 draft, but did not sign.

Gil, 17, the Cardinals third round pick out of Timber Creek High School in Keller, Texas, is a 6-foot-2, 190 lb., shortstop.  The right-handed-hitting infielder is the son of former Major League infielder Benji Gil, who played eight seasons with the Texas Rangers (1993-97) and Anaheim Angels (2000-03).  Gil is a Rawlings Perfect Game 3rd Team All-American (Texas All-Region 1st Team).  A two-way player drafted as a shortstop, Gil batted .390 with 13 doubles, six triples, six home runs and stole 23 bases his senior year.  Serving as his team’s closer, Gil featured a low-to-mid 90s fastball.  He has signed his college letter of intent to Texas Christian University.

For a full list of Cardinals draft picks and signees, refer to the following list:

2018 FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT – FINAL RECAP (BOLD = SIGNED)

     Rd.,  Player (overall pick)            Pos.     B-T     Ht     Wt.   School                                                                                             Hometown
  1. Nolan Gorman (19)                3B      L-R    6-1    210  Sandra Day O’Connor (Ariz.) High School                         Phoenix, Ariz.
  2.    CBA.  Griffin Roberts (43)             RHP     R-R    6-3    205  Wake Forest University                                                       Midlothian, Va.
  3. Cmp
  4. Luken Baker (75)                   1B      R-R    6-4    225  Texas Christian University                                                     Spring, Texas
  5. Mateo Gil (95)                          SS       R-R    6-2    190  Timber Creek (Texas) High School                                      Keller, Texas
  6. Steven Gingery (123)             LHP      R-L    6-2    190  Texas Tech University                                              Huntington Beach, Calif.
  7. Nick Dunn (153)                      2B       L-R   5-10  175  University of Maryland                                                                Sunbury, Pa.
  8. Edgar Gonzalez (183)             RHP     R-R    6-1    200  Fresno State University                                                              Newark, Calif.
  9. Brendan Donovan (213)         3B       L-R    6-1    195  University of South Alabama                                                  Enterprise, Ala.
  10. Lars Nootbaar (243)                LF       L-R    6-3    210  University of Southern California                                       El Segundo, Calif.
  11. Matt Duce (273)                        C        L-R   5-11  190  Dallas Baptist University                                                      Sierra Vista, Ariz.
  12. Kevin Woodall, Jr. (303)         1B       R-R    6-6    240  Coastal Carolina University                                                   Georgetown, S.C.
  13. Chris Holba (333)                   RHP     R-R    6-3    210  East Carolina University                                                                O’Fallon, Ill.
  14. Francisco Justo (363)             RHP     R-R    6-4    205  Monroe College (N.Y.)                                                                     Bronx, N.Y.
  15. Colin Schmid (393)                 LHP      L-L    6-1    195  Appalachian State University                                                  New Bern, N.C.
  16. Brandon Riley (423)                CF       L-R    6-0    170  University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill                              Burlington, N.C.
  17. Mike Brettell (453)                 RHP     R-R    6-3    195  Central Michigan University                                 Fonthill, Ontario (Canada)
  18. Samuel “Evan” Sisk (483)      LHP      L-L    6-2    209  College of Charleston                                                                    Chester, S.C.
  19. Kyle Leahy (513)                    RHP      S-R    6-5    200  Colorado Mesa University                                                          Boulder, Colo.
  20. Cole Aker (543)                      RHP     R-R    6-2    205  University of Tampa                                                             Kernersville, N.C.
  21. Josh Shaw (573)                       2B       R-R    6-1    195  St. John’s University                                                                       Wayne, N.J.
  22. Parker Kelly (603)                  RHP     R-R    6-1    235  University of Oregon                                                                  Portland, Ore.
  23. Michael Perri (633)                  SS       R-R    6-3    195  University San Francisco                                                          Alameda, Calif.
  24. Kevin Vargas (663)                  SS       R-R    6-1    175  International Baseball Academy                                        Ceiba, Puerto Rico
  25. Michael Baird (693)               RHP     R-R    6-5    210  Southern Illinois University-Carbondale                                    Parker, Colo.
  26. Eli Kraus (723)                        LHP      L-L    6-1    190  Kent State University                                                                  Medina, Ohio
  27. Troy Montemayor (753)        RHP     R-R    6-1    160  Baylor University                                                               San Antonio, Texas
  28. Connor Coward (783)            RHP     R-R    6-0    200  Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech)                        Pittsburgh, Pa.
  29. Perry DellaValle (813)           RHP     R-R    6-0    195  Seton Hill (Pa.) University                                             North Royalton, Ohio
  30. Justin Toerner (843)                CF       L-L   5-10  165  California State University-Northridge                                 Temecula, Calif.
  31. Alerick Soularie (873)              RF       R-R    6-0    175  San Jacinto-North (Texas) JC                                                   Humble, Texas
  32. Kendrick Calilao (903)            OF       R-R    6-1    200  The First Academy (FL)                                                           Kissimmee, Fla.
  33. Ty Cohen (933)                       RHP     R-R    6-1    195  Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech)                      Woodstock, Ga.
  34. Brandon Purcell (963)              C        R-R    6-1    205  Georgia College and State University                                       Glennville, Ga.
  35. Chris Rivera (993)                  RHP     R-R    5-9    175  Long Beach State University                                               Watsonville, Calif.
  36. Benito Santiago (1,023)            C        L-R    6-0    190  University of Tennessee                                                 Pembroke Pines, Fla.
  37. Liam Sabino (1,053)                3B       R-R    6-0    191  University of Pittsburgh                                                   New York City, N.Y.
  38. Cole Kreuter (1,083)               3B       R-R    6-0    190  University of California-Irvine                                      Rancho Mirage, Calif.
  39. Christian Caudle (1,113)         C       R-R    6-4    230  Texas A&M University-Kingsville                                                 Klein, Texas
  40. Jaden Hill (1,143)                   RHP     R-R    6-3    210  Ashdown Senior (Ark.) High School                                       Ashdown, Ark.
  41. Zack Gahagan (1,173)             3B       R-R    6-1    195  University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill                                   Fletcher, N.C.
  42. Andrew Warner (1,203)         RF       R-R    6-2    225  Columbia (Mo.) College                                                      Lee’s Summit, Mo.

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