Overall a disappointment on day one, but it wasn’t much of a draft class anyway; I’m more disturbed by the similarity to the 2004 College Draft Nightmare, in which the ever-frustrating Chris Lambert was selected.
But at least the last pick they made was weird enough to be interesting. I got back from the Cardinals game late, and upon coming back to the computer I saw that I still had MLB.com’s excellent draft tracker open. The last pick listed–556–belonged to the Cardinals. And where the other picks had scouting videos, and little blurbs, and bits of information, the following was all that pick 556 had:
Amaury Cazana Marti
NO SCHOOL, which is probably the name of an 80s hair-metal single, intrigued me, so I clicked on his name, expecting more information. I got, er, a little more.
556 STL R/R RF Amaury Cazana Marti 09.02.1978
6’1″-212lbs (NS) NO SCHOOL
My immediate thought was–1978? This guy is older than Rick Ankiel. And then I got depressed, because I was thinking about Rick Ankiel, but after that… well, a little background first: coming from the Midwest–or at least this part of the Midwest–it is a requirement that I at least be momentarily a fan of pro wrestling. My particular conscription happened when I was 12 or so, and lasted for a year, give or take a few “The Bushwhackers” posters. I really dug the 80s stuff. And when little was known about a guy, the announcer would shout “FROM PARTS UNKNOWN!” and everybody would gasp as this mysterious mountain man beat up on America’s Hero. Mean Gene Okerlund would interview him afterwards, and the mysterious guy would just yell into the microphone and run off. It was heady stuff, whether you preferred Andre the Giant or the Ultimate Warrior. So immediately I projected that image on this guy, and then prepared for the disappointment. But then Matt Leach, interviewing Jeff Luhnow, goes and drops this:
Amaury Cazana Marti, OF, 18th round (556): The greatest mystery and maybe the most potential in this class. The Cards had their eye on the Cuban native all the way back in Spring Training. He could start his U.S. career as high as Double-A Springfield.
Luhnow: “He’s got some pretty extraordinary tools. He’s got a type of bat that can contribute immediately.
“I think he’s one of the strongest baseball players I’ve ever seen. You look at his arms, you look at his legs, this guy is incredibly strong. He has bat speed that you can’t teach.”
So, on one hand the guy’s 27 years old. And it’s an old 27. On the other hand, he’s a two ton mountain man, Bill Brasky type, who manages to get described as mysterious and extraordinary. (The scout was kind of sure he had The Good Face, but it was painted and he put on a mask midway through so the referee couldn’t tell it wasn’t Colby Rasmus who pinned the guy. Gorilla Monsoon was so mad.) I’m going to be really disappointed if he doesn’t come up to bat wearing streamers on his calves.
[Low A pitchers later today.]