Cardinals Conclude 2022 Draft with 10 Picks

photo: Nathan Church (Matt Brown/Cal Irvine)

By Jake Tweedie and Brian Walton

On Tuesday, July 19, the St. Louis Cardinals are making their final 10 selections in the third day of the 2022 First-Year Player Draft, covering rounds 11-20.

Though uninformed observers pay little attention to Day 3 selections, the reality is that many good major leaguers are sourced from these picks. In fact, the Cardinals have been especially successful over the years finding talent in round 11 and later.

The Cardinals would be required to use a portion of their $6,845,900 pool allocation from rounds 1-10 to cover any harder-to-sign any Day 3 selections who receive more than $125,000 in signing bonus.

It remains to be seen if the Cardinals go down this path in 2022, but last year, they spent an extra $175,000 to sign 11th round shortstop Mack Chambers and 12th round pitcher Chris Gerard.

On Days 1 and 2 of the 2022 Draft, the Cardinals clearly focused on pitchers, using seven of the 10 picks there. Of the 10 collegians added to date, just two are seniors (taken in the eighth and 10th rounds), apparently leaving less opportunity to save money to allow overpaying selected Day 3 picks.

On the other hand, through 10 rounds, the Cardinals have not yet selected a high schooler. If they want to go after such a higher upside, higher risk teenager at all, it could be in the early rounds of Day 3 or it could be at the end of the draft as a relief valve if a large deal for an earlier pick falls through and bonus money remains unexpectedly.

For More

Click on each player’s photo to be taken to his player profile page here at The Cardinal Nation, with additional information.

To reference the Cardinals’ new draft class on an ongoing basis, each player will have a profile located on a holding team called “DRAFT PLAYERS UNSIGNED”. This can be accessed at the bottom of the drop-down menu in the red column in the left menu called “ROSTERS/PLAYERS/MOVES” or click here.

St. Louis Cardinals Select Eight in Day 2 of 2022 Draft

Cardinals Begin Draft with Selection of College Southpaw Hjerpe

As Tuesday progresses from afternoon into evening, this article will be updated as picks are made and information added, so please check back often.

Tuesday recap by the numbers

In Day 3, the Cardinals selected five college juniors, four seniors with their final pick a high schooler. Six of the 10 players are pitchers, all but one right-handers, plus two outfielders and two shortstops.

Across all three days of the draft, St. Louis chose 13 college underclassmen, six seniors and the lone high schooler. 13 of the 20 picks call the mound home – nine righties and four lefties.  The seven position players chosen are made up of one catcher, two shortstops and four outfielders.

Expect signings to start to be announced very quickly, as such discussions customarily begin in advance of the draft. Usually when teams select players, they already know what the signing cost will be.

Note of gratitude: To provide detail while Jake Tweedie’s scouting reports are being prepared, the general statistical information for each player below has been sourced from St. Louis Cardinals Player Development.

St. Louis’ 2022 Day 3 selections

11th round, 337th overall
Nathan Church, OF
Cal Irvine, senior
5’11, 180 pounds
Bats/Throws: L/L

Nathan Church

In three seasons with the Anteaters, Church slashed .341/.405/.515 with 55 extra base hits, 104 RBI and 114 runs over 120 games. As a junior in 2021, he set the single-season program record for hits (100) and was named to the All-Big West First Team.

Scouting report

An impressive bat-to-ball hitter, Church has shown a feel for the barrel and has done so by averaging over .300 in his three seasons with Cal Irvine. He potentially has the power to match his corner outfield role, as shown by 11 home runs in the past two seasons.

His ability to get on base has been accompanied by his ability to avoid strikeouts. This will work in his favor as he develops, as he reads pitches well and he has drawn plenty of walks.

Although there is plenty to work on regarding his ability to find gaps on a more consistent basis to pick up extra base hits, Church has shown that he can get scrappy if need be to grind out hits consistently.

The former First Team Freshman All American will provide the Cardinals with a consistent hitter with raw potential to make big plays. If Church can refine his swing to allow him to find gaps more regularly, he could prove to be a valuable pick up in Round 11.

12th round, 367th overall
Michael Curialle, SS
UCLA, junior
6’2, 199 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/R

Michael Curialle

Michael Curialle (Scott Chandler/UCLA)

Curialle was a three-year starter for the Bruins, who slashed .319/.395/.479 with 25 extra base hits, 41 RBI and 49 runs scored last year as a junior. He started at six different positions last season and was named to the 2022 All-Pac-12 Tournament Team.

Scouting report

The second player drafted from UCLA by the Cardinals, Curialle is a versatile hitter who has played in every position apart from pitcher, catcher and first base. Although he hasn’t been consistent in one position, his bat certainly makes up for it and he excelled in 2022 with an improved batting average (.319) and more home runs (5).

Curialle closed the 2022 season by making the first ever PAC-12 All-Tournament Team due to his continued improvements and his ability to be a dynamic utility man.

There needs to be improvements in his ability to read pitches, as evidenced by 113 strikeouts in the past two seasons, although he generated a higher power output in that same time.

Curialle is a solid gap hitter, decent runner and regularly makes contact with the ball. He stole nine bases in 2022, to match his five home runs, part of his 20 extra base hits. His simple, linear swing produces frequent line drives, as well as an advanced approach to find the gaps in the field. Complemented by his solid bat speed, he has shown progression in barreling the ball, hence his increase in home runs.

The versatile defender shows athleticism and speed to make plays. This could work for him but sticking in one position, preferably in center field.

13th round, 397th overall
Chandler Arnold, RHP
Dallas Baptist, junior
6’2, 189 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/R

Chandler Arnold

Chandler Arnold (Dallas Baptist University)

Arnold appeared in 20 games last season (eight starts) and notched 8 saves while averaging 10.8 SO/9. He transferred to Dallas Baptist from Odessa College after his freshman season in which he earned First Team All-Conference honors.

Scouting report

A key member of the bullpen in 2021, Arnold’s workload has shift to a more hybrid role with Dallas Baptist by starting eight games in 2022. He had an increase in innings pitched, but still managed eight saves in a season that made him use his pitching arsenal more consistently than previously.

Although Arnold’s ERA increased to 5.29 in 2022, he shows plenty of potential with his three-pitch mix to continue in a starting role. His fastball works in the mid-90s, touching 98 mph, as he works out of an over the top pitching action, using his size to create a steep angle.

His breaking balls consist of a slider and a changeup. His slider sits in the mid-80s, showing a two-plane bite that encourages hitters to swing at, with a whiff of 44%. Although his changeup hasn’t settled at a consistent velocity, it can vary between mid-80s to upper-80s, it has sudden fade and depth and complements his fastball well.

There is a lot to like about Arnold,  whether as a reliever or a starter, due to his ability to make hitters whiff at his pitches. His size and build encourages further growth, which could help his fastball become a lot more dominant.

14th round, 427th overall
D.J. Carpenter, RHP
Oregon State University, junior
6’8, 242 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/R

D.J. Carpenter

D.J. Carpenter (Oregon State University)

The 6’8″ Carpenter pitched in 22 games last season, all in relief, finishing with a 2-3 record and averaged 11.5 SO/9. Prior to this year, he pitched for two seasons at Central Arizona College where he helped lead the Vaqueros to a NJCAA championship.

Scouting report

Although Carpenter struggled in his first full season with Oregon State, he possesses multiple qualities that could help him be a useful addition to the bullpen. He had an ERA of 7.77 in 22 appearances from the bullpen in 2022, but he struck out 31 hitters in just 24 1/3 innings.

With a frame of 6’8, and weighing at 242 pounds, Carpenter could be dominant on the mound in the middle innings if he could be consistent at pounding the strike zone.

Sitting around the low-90s with his fastball, there is plenty of projection to hit mid-90s on a regular basis. Carpenter pairs this well with his fading, mid-80s changeup due to his arm speed deception and movement with the pitch. His slider has plenty of bite around the low-80s but there is room for further development and improvement with his control and velocity as he continues to develop his pitches.

15th round, 457th overall
Matt Hickey, RHP
Tarleton State University, senior
6’1, 165 pounds
Bats/Throws: L/R

Matt Hickey

Matt Hickey (Gabi Cortez/Tarleton State)

Hickey played four seasons at Weatherford College, making 43 appearances across his career with a 3.39 ERA, before transferring to Tarleton State for his final season. In 21 games for the Texans last season, he went 2-2 with 40 SO and just 7 BB in 32.0 innings pitched.

Scouting report

Hickey is an unconventional pitcher due to his ability to mix up his pitching angle. He has the normal over the top pitch, but his side arm pitch has drawn plenty of notice. This allows him to make it harder for hitters as he can mix it up mid at bat, starting with a higher slot to make the pitch harder to read, before changing to sidearm to control the movement of his pitches.

Hickey could add something different to what the Cardinals have picked up, although he matches the profile of having a high strikeout to walk ratio. This is largely down to his varying pitching angle, but when he comes from over the top, he does so with conviction and reaches up to 97 mph.

His stats didn’t look great in 2022, including an ERA of 6.97, but he has projectable pitches and his unique technique makes his offering a lot harder for hitters to read. Hickey has good action, generating weak contact, and he can work around the strike zone with success.

16th round, 487th overall
Hunter Hayes, RHP
University of the Pacific, junior
6’1, 185 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/R

Hunter Hayes

Hunter Hayes (Timothy Thymes/University of the Pacific)

As a junior this season, Hayes led the Tigers in games started (14), innings pitched (64 2/3) and strikeouts (55). He previously pitched for Folsom Lake College (CA) his freshman season before transferring to Pacific.

Scouting report

Hayes shows various degrees of reliability and projectability.

Although he wasn’t overly successful, with an ERA of 6.82, he has shown his ability to work well into games, completing five innings or more in eight starts in 2022.

Hayes’ decrease in workload in 2022 allowed him to showcase what he can do coming out of bullpen to match his potential as a starting pitcher. He led his team in multiple stats in 2022 despite being used both as a starter and out of the bullpen. His season highlight was when he struck out nine hitters in just 5 2/3 innings.

Hayes seems to be slotting into the role of middle reliever due to his reliability and consistency, but there is still plenty of projection for his frame and size that can only continue to keep improving.

17th round, 517th overall
Brody Moore, SS
Auburn University, senior
5’11, 183 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/R

Brody Moore

Brody Moore (Auburn University)

In his four seasons with the Tigers, Moore slashed .299/.356/.397 with 35 extra base hits, 83 RBI and 88 runs. Went 5-for-5 with 2 BB on 6/4 vs. FSU, becoming the first Auburn player since 2016 to record 5 H in a game and the first player in program history to reach base 7 times.

Scouting report

The solid hitter and fielder from Auburn has shown that there is plenty to like about him. Moore made just four errors in 217 fielding chances, proving his defensive worth, however it comes at a cost of minimal real power in his shots.

Although his batting average declined slightly in the past few seasons, he still has a solid bat-to-ball ratio that shows he hit the ball well. He doubled his home run tally from 2021, showing some degree of raw power, albeit not consistently.

Moore picked up six stolen bases in eight attempts in 2022 and he also became the first Auburn player since 2016 to record five hits in a game and the first player in program history to reach base seven times. After finishing his Auburn career with an average of .314, he heads to the Cardinals as a consistent bat-to-ball player.

18th round, 547th overall
Jack Lynch, LHP
Xavier University, junior
5’11, 190 pounds
Bats/Throws: L/L

Jack Lynch

Jack Lynch (Xavier University)

As a junior for the Musketeers this season, Lynch went 9-0 with a 2.66 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 28 relief appearances (64.1 IP). The Dallas native was named to the All-Big East First Team and ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region Second Team.

Scouting report

Lynch was named as John in the MLB Draft, but Jack heads to the Cardinals full of promise after an impressive season with Xavier. He lead Xavier with 28 appearances, albeit with no starts, but he picked up nine wins in the process with an ERA of 2.80. In his most productive season, he pitched 64 1/3 innings as he struck out 77 hitters.

In three seasons at Xavier, Lynch had a 3.60 ERA through 45 appearances, including a career-best ERA of 1.69 in 2020. In 90 innings of work, he collected 101 strikeouts while allowing just 40 walks and limited opposing batters to a .202 average at the plate.

The lefty has shown impressive progression in his time at Xavier and will be a valuable asset to the bullpen if he can continue to do what he did at Xavier.

19th round, 577th overall
Chris Rotondo, OF
Villanova University, senior
6’0, 200 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/R

Chris Rotondo

Chris Rotondo (Villanova University)

Rotondo slashed .359/.475/.656 with 30 extra base hits, 37 RBI, 59 runs and 14 SB for the Wildcats this season. The right-handed hitting centerfielder was named to the All-Big East First Team and ABCA/Rawlings All-East Region Second Team.

Scouting report

Probably the best player since 2019 at Villanova, where Gordon Graceffo was among his teammates, Rotondo is a fifth year player whose batting average and batting output improved significantly in 2022. He averaged .359 this spring, with 12 home runs and was second in the Big East in both wRC+ and WAR.

Rotondo’s advanced swing and ability to limit his strikeouts enabled him to see more of the ball and make consistent contact. He reduced his chasing of breaking balls in 2022, but seems far more comfortable against fastballs. Although this may change when he enters pro ball, his bat swing allowed him to hit the ball hard, averaging 96.1 mph with his air EV. His max EV was 111.6 mph, showing impressive bat-to-ball skills, and did so with plenty of force. He can struggle with balls to the opposite field, thus limiting his output, but he has plenty of potential with his power alone.

Defensively he could man the corner outfield due to his power bat and above average arm, although his accuracy isn’t the best. Rotondo has the potential to make regular contact, plus having a power bat, he will just need to continue to do so at a higher level.

20th round, 607th overall
Gavin Van Kempen, RHP
Maple Hill High School, NY
6’6, 215 pounds
Bats/Throws: R/R

Gavin Van Kempen

Gavin Van Kempen

During his senior season, the 6’6″ right-hander posted a 6-1 record with a 0.59 ERA. He threw two no-hitters and struck out 94 batters in 35.2 innings of work. He signed his letter of intent to play baseball next season at West Virginia.

Scouting report

The last pick of 2022 for the Cardinals came in the shape of Van Kempen. He is a high school graduate from Maple Hill, and hails from Carleton, NY. He has committed to West Virginia University.

During his senior season, Van Kempen had an ERA of just 0.59 with a 6-1 record. He threw two no-hitters and his strikeout rate is hugely impressive. He had 94 strikeouts in just 35 2/3 innings as he allowed just seven hits.

His main pitch is his fastball. He can average in the low to mid-90s and with his size and frame already should project to at least top in the high-90s in a few years time.

The first and only prep player picked by the Cardinals could head to St Louis with one of the best pitching records in 2022. Whether he commits to WVU or the Cardinals come up with enough money convince him to go into professional ball instead will be extremely interesting to see but Van Kempen is a player who definitely has a lot of potential.

Your authors

TCN analyst Jake Tweedie is writing the player scouting reports and Brian Walton is filling in the rest.

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