The St. Louis Cardinals continue to reach agreements within their latest draft class–announcing the signing of 10 more players on Wednesday including second round pick Ronnie Williams (68th overall), a right-handed pitcher out of American Senior High School in Miami, Florida. He will report to Jupiter, FL to join the organization’s Gulf Coast League affiliate.
“Ronnie’s exciting, he’s an electric athlete,” exclaimed Cardinals Scouting Director Dan Kantrovitz on the night of the draft. “He has a delivery that we fell in love with.”
Williams was not a prospect that was under the radar on most draft boards and his selection by the Cardinals is a reflection of the team’s hybrid approach of old-school and new-school philosophy. Scouts discovered Williams in late March/early April and then the numbers and analysis were crunched resulting in the decision.
“I remember Charlie (Gonzalez) and Fernando (Arango) were at a game and they were texting me…this Ronnie Williams guy’s up to 96,97–he’s just outstanding, electric,” recalled Kantrovitz, who initially had a difficult time finding much information on Williams.
“From that point on, we saw every one of his starts. I think that’s one of the reasons he wasn’t one of these highly publicized players because he kind of came on the scene late.”
Andrew Sohn, a sixth-round selection shortstop from Western Michigan University will report to the Cardinals short season New York-Penn League affiliate in State College.
Daniel Poncedeleon, a ninth-round right-handed pitcher out of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla., will also report to State College. Poncedeleon was drafted four times in his career and played college baseball at four different universities including the University of Arizona and University of Houston. The ninth round is the highest he was drafted after being selected by the Rays (2010, 24th round), Reds (2012, 38th round) and Cubs (2013, 14th round) in previous drafts.
Cody Schumacher (36th round), a right-handed pitcher out of Missouri State University will report to State College, is the third signee who will report to the New York-Penn League affiliate of Wednesday’s group. Blake Drake (18th round), Casey Grayson (21st round), Cole Lankford (27th round) and Josh Wirsu (30th round) will all report to the Cardinals short season rookie affiliate in Johnson City of the Appalachian League. Julian Barzilli (31st round) and Davis Ward (40th) will report to the Gulf Coast League affiliate in Jupiter, Fla.