Ever since taking over as the scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, former relief pitcher Randy Flores, who was a part of the Cards’ 2006 World Series team, has garnered a ton of praise for his ability to draft and develop young talent.
With the 22nd pick in the first round of the MLB Draft, Flores struck again last night, drafting left-handed pitcher Cooper Hjerpe out of Oregon State University.
Cardinals insider Katie Woo has a little inside information on Hjerpe, which she shared in a tweet late last night.
The #STLCards select Cooper Hjerpe, a left-hander out of Oregon State, with their first pick out of the draft. His best pitch is his slider. Hjerpe was named the National Pitcher of the Year by three organizations (ABCA, College Baseball Foundation, Perfect Game).
— Katie Woo (@katiejwoo) July 18, 2022
Cards Go With Hjerpe
Hjerpe looks like a solid pickup for the Cardinals.
Woo noted on Twitter that Hjerpe’s best pitch is his slider.
Hjerpe also was named Pitcher of the Year by ABCA, Perfect Game, and the College Baseball Foundation, three organizations that specialize in college baseball.
Just as they did last year, the Cardinals focused on elite pitching in the draft.
Last year, their first-round pick was right-hander Michael McGreevy from the University of Santa Barbara in California.
Like McGreevy, Hjerpe has a bright future and is somebody who could easily make a good first impression on the Cardinals when he comes up to the big leagues.
Perhaps at some point, he could slot into their bullpen or even earn a spot in their rotation a few years down the line.
Hjerpe could be a major key to the Cards success after Adam Wainwright retires.
But one thing is for sure.
The Cardinals are loaded with top young pitchers.