Admit it. The “Baby Birds” are no longer babies, if they ever really even were at all. Maybe these guys seem new like a breath of fresh air, but most of them have been around more than a year or two. Some of them have been in the organization for several years. Consider some of the supposed “Baby Birds” and how long their respective baseball clocks have been ticking.
- Matt Carpenter was taken in the 13th round of the 2009 draft, but he came from Texas Christian University and is already 27 years old.
- Daniel Descalso was drafted by the Cardinals in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft, and he is 25.
- Although he may not be considered a “Baby Bird” anymore, David Freese is already 29. Freese came via the San Diego Padres who took him in the 9th round in 2006.
- Jon Jay might be the face of the BB’s, but he was taken in the 2nd round of the 2006 draft after attending The U (University of Miami). Despite his relatively youngish face, he is actually 27.
- Tyler Greene? He came from the Georgia Institute of Technology as the 30th overall pick in the 2005 draft. He has spent parts of 4 seasons with the big club, and he will turn 29 during this season.
- Shane Robinson seems relatively new, but he has been around since being drafted in the 5th round in 2006 from Florida State University. Perhaps some people may remember that he spent some time in Stl in 2009 and acquitted himself respectably by hitting .240.
- Allen Craig attended the University of California – Berkley before being drafted in the 8th round in 2006. Even though he has only played 125 games in parts of 3 seasons, he will celebrate his 28th birthday this July.
- Tony Cruz is almost the youngest of the group, and he is still 25. Cruz worked his way from Palm Beach Community College to the 26th round of the 2007 draft.
- Lance Lynn holds the honor of being the youngest, and he was picked up as the 39th overall pick in the 2008 draft. Lynn honed his skills at the University of Mississippi before making the leap to the minor leagues.
- Fernando Salas will turn 27 at the end of May, and he was one of the few not to come via the amateur draft. The rights to his contract were purchased from Saltillo in Mexico.
The Cardinals committed to an approach of drafting several players with college experience. The common logic behind such an approach assumes that college players benefit from greater development time, physical maturity, and more advanced competition. Based on the list of contributing players above, I find it difficult to find fault with the results.
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