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Cards draft position players early
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06/04/2002 9:23 pm ET 
Cards draft position players early
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Needing to restock their farm system with hitting prospects, the Cardinals went heavy on the position players in the early rounds of the First-Year Player Draft.

Seven of St. Louis' first eight picks were position players, headed by their first pick, third-rounder (and No. 102 overall selection) Calvin Hayes of Salisbury, N.C. Hayes is a shortstop with a sturdy build who batted .465 as the leadoff man for his high school team this season.

The Cards took high school players with three of their first four picks, and then 16 consecutive college players. Of the 17 college players they selected, 15 came from full four-year programs, and the other two came from the same junior college: Dixie College in Utah.

The first-day totals came to 11 position players -- three shortstops, four outfielders, two catchers, a third baseman and a second baseman.

"Your best players on those clubs generally are your shortstops, your center fielders and your catchers," said director of amateur scouting Marty Maier. "The best athletes are usually put in (those positions). Whether all these guys end up at shortstop, center field or catcher, we don't know. But we went into the draft trying to improve our regular players, our position players in the minor league system."

The following are Maier's comments on the Cards' first-day selections:

Calvin Hayes, SS, East Rowan (N.C.) High School: "He might grow out of that position. That's what happens sometimes with a high school guy. He gets bigger and stronger and physically, and he doesn't fit the mold for that position. But I see this guy as such a good athlete, he could move to second base, he could move to third base and still be a guy that would fit those type of positions. But probably more like a second baseman on the lines of a Carlos Febles, a strong built guy who can really hit."

John Boyer, SS, Dixie (Utah) College: "He's an older junior college player that's a Mormon that just came back from a mission. We drafted this player in 1999 out of high school. He went to junior college then went on his mission. We liked him three years ago. He's a guy that can really run. We feel like he has a chance to be an outstanding middle infielder for us, a guy who not only is a good defender but can play offensively."

Josh Bell, C, North Side (Tenn.) High School: "He's well known as one of the best catchers in the country this year. But he does have a great arm and has pitched and pitched well. We like him as a catcher right now. That's where we see him playing at the Major League level."

Cody Haerther, 3B, Chaminade (Calif.) Prep: "We really like this guy's bat. We think he's got a chance to hit, and he's got a chance to hit for power down the road. It's hard to get good high school hitters unless you're picking pretty quick. Cody is a guy who I think some people laid off of. After he didn't go in the first couple rounds, I think people said, 'Well, he's going to UC-Irvine, maybe he's out of our touch.' We got in contact with him yesterday and talked to him, and we feel like maybe we've got a good shot of signing him. We see him as a bat guy who may be a good third baseman with power down the road."

David Williamson, LHP, University of Massachusetts-Lowell: "He's a guy who, even though he's a senior, comes from a program in the North, they don't play as many games, not as exposed to the scouting staffs as a (player from) Florida State or Stanford would be. And maybe we got a pretty good pitcher down here, left-handed pitcher that's got a good arm."

Tyler Parker, C, Georgia Tech: "Tyler Parker was an All-American coming into this year. He's a guy who was a real high-profile guy around the country. Lot of people came in and saw (him). I think he expected that he would go a lot higher, and why he got to us, we're not sure."

Travis Hanson, SS, University of Portland (Ore.): "He plays shortstop right now and he's a guy that can really swing the bat. We feel like he's got a chance to hit and have some power down the road."

Matthew Lemanczyk, OF, Sacred Heart (N.Y.) University: "Lemanczyk is probably the fastest runner in this draft. He's got good size, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. He's a tremendous athlete. We're betting on his athleticism once we get him out there playing, that we can help him a little with the bat. We see him as a real offensive guy."

David Brockman, RHP, Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University: "A big guy, he's got a good arm."

Robert Runyon, RHP, Fresno State University: "Fresno had some good pitchers this year. This guy was their second-best guy and really a guy that we liked all along."

Reid Gorecki, OF, University of Delaware: "Our scout, Tom Shields, loved this guy. He just thinks he's a tremendous athlete and a guy that might be one of the real sleepers in this draft."

Joseph Van Gorder, LHP, West Virginia University: "College left-handed pitching -- if you can get any of it and sign those guys, you've gotta jump on 'em and that's what we did with him."

Daylon Monette, OF, Oklahoma State University: "He's built on the lines of Ken Griffey Jr. He's a real fluid looking outfielder and a guy who we think may hit, and may hit with some power, down the road."

Brad Thompson, RHP, Dixie (Utah) College: "Thompson is a guy we like, went to school with Boyer. We saw a lot of Boyer and we got to see him."

Chad Clark, RHP, University of Southern California: "Clark was a guy who wasn't a regular pitcher on Southern California. He was a big-time guy coming out of high school, and he probably hasn't pitched as much there as he wanted to. We saw some things in this guy that we really liked."

Stephen Schweitzer, LHP, Kentucky Wesleyan College: "Good size, good strength. Fastball is a little bit below average, good breaking ball, he can throw strikes and he's a guy that should be able to come out and play well right away."

Ryan Mulhern, OF, University of South Alabama: "We see this guy as a really good bat guy, a guy who's got a chance to hit. His defensive tools aren't quite up to where his bat is, but he's an above-average hitter."

Harry Chafey, LHP, Francis Marion (S.C.) University: "He's another left-handed pitcher, has got a good arm. We all got a chance to see him last week, and he's a guy that once we saw him throwing here in Busch Stadium, he looked like he belonged here. We're real happy to get him."

Gabriel Veloz, 2B, New Mexico State University: "A real good bat guy. He's got a chance to hit, and the guys who have a chance to hit, have a chance to play."

Andrew Davidson, LHP, California State-Northridge: "You can never get enough left-handed pitching, and he's a guy that we think has got a chance to be a pretty good pitcher down the road."

Matthew Leach covers the Cardinals for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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