The St. Louis Cardinals selected NC State 3rd baseman Evan Mendoza in the 11th round of 2017 MLB draft. Usually, a guy selected this late isn’t really going to get much attention, but the Cards saw something in him when they offered him a bonus of $150,000 (which is $25k more than the allotted slot value for players taken after the 10th round).
Mendoza started his career with the Pack as a pitcher but transitioned to 3B when it was obvious his bat was playing better than his arm at the college level. He hit a solid .362 with 4 HRs and 20 walks. He also finished up with a really nice.866 OPS*. His junior year didn’t go quite as planned. Mendoza sunk down to .262, hit 4 homers and walked 28 times.
Since joining the Cards’ Low-A affiliate (The State College Spikes) he’s done nothing but impress. His .370 average over 41 games earned him the league’s batting title and has some listing him as the #1 3B prospect in their system.
He was brought up to Single-A later in the year last year and it’s likely where he’ll start this coming season. If he continues to hit, expect him to move fairly quickly through the system since he is a 3-year college player. His ETA should likely be around 2020, which is just in time because current St Louis Cardinals 3B, Jedd Gyorko, becomes a free agent in 2021.
We’ll be keeping close tabs on Mendoza’s rise through the Cardinals organization.
Here is Mendoza flashing some leather with a dive over the railing in foul territory…
Baseball Statistical Key (for this article)
Many of you won’t need this, but for those of you who are used to following Wolfpack basketball and football and are just dipping your toes into the world of Pack baseball, you might find this useful.
OPS – Combining On-base percentage and slugging percentage to get one number that unites the two.
To put it simply, this is a good number to see a players productivity because it combines how much they get on base with how much power they hit for. In the .800s is good. 900s is great. 1000s is insanely great.