photo: Luken Baker (Texas Christian University)
St. Louis Cardinals press release
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 (Wednesday) 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.
We have officially signed RHP Griffin Roberts, 1B Luken Baker, and INF Mateo Gil. The three players signed their professional contracts today at Busch Stadium. Let's welcome the newest members of Cardinals Nation! pic.twitter.com/9JadloUgRG
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) June 13, 2018
Brian Walton’s take
Along with the signing of Nolan Gorman, announced Monday, the four selections through Round 3 are now officially Cardinals.
The signing amounts:
Supplemental 1st-rder Griffin Roberts agrees w/@Cardinals on $1,664,200 (full pick 43 value). Wake Forest RHP, best slider in @MLBDraft w/mid-80s power & nasty break, 90-95 w/sink & bore on fastball as starter, to 97 last year as reliever.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 11, 2018
Supplemental 2nd-rder Luken Baker signs w/@Cardinals for $800k (pick 75 value = $799,600). Texas Christian 1B, plagued by injuries last two years but massive raw power, would have gone in top two rounds out of HS as a RHP had he been signable. @MLBDraft
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 13, 2018
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 13, 2018
Team assignments will be coming soon. At this point, the three are not on the tentative State College roster, which is the first short-season club to begin play, this weekend.
Update: According to news reports from St. Louis, all three will report to the Gulf Coast League Cardinals to begin their professional careers. Baker hopes to be back in July after suffering a broken leg in April.
The State College roster is current here at The Cardinal Nation and the Roster Matrix is also up to date, including all confirmed signings and assignments. See the left menu bar in red under ROSTERS/PLAYERS/MOVES to access them all.
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