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Cards select center fielder Hurst with top pick

St. Louis, which didn't have a Day 1 selection, chooses lefty hitter
MLB.com @LangoschMLB

ST. LOUIS -- Before he made his way out to his final home practice at Goodwin Field on Tuesday morning, Scott Hurst took a call in his apartment that offered clarity as to what will follow his upcoming trip to the College World Series.

After sitting out Day 1 of the MLB Draft, the Cardinals used their top selection to snag Hurst, a junior center fielder out of Cal State Fullerton. Hurst later described that moment as "a little emotional … because I knew my dream was going to become a reality."

ST. LOUIS -- Before he made his way out to his final home practice at Goodwin Field on Tuesday morning, Scott Hurst took a call in his apartment that offered clarity as to what will follow his upcoming trip to the College World Series.

After sitting out Day 1 of the MLB Draft, the Cardinals used their top selection to snag Hurst, a junior center fielder out of Cal State Fullerton. Hurst later described that moment as "a little emotional … because I knew my dream was going to become a reality."

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

He and the Cardinals have already reached a tentative agreement, though nothing will become official until after the Titans' second trip to the Omaha in the last three years comes to an end. When it does, the left-handed hitting Hurst will try carry the offensive momentum generated during a breakthrough junior season into the start of his professional career.

Cardinals Draft Tracker

"Our hope is that his adjustments and his better days are just beginning, and he'll be one of those types of players who would continue to develop after his college career is done," Cardinals scouting director Randy Flores said. "We believe some power is there. The arm is in there. The range is in there. And to get that in the third round was something we were pleased with."

Day 2 Draft overview

The slot value for the 94th overall pick is $570,900.

This season, Hurst has appeared in 61 games for Cal State Fullerton and posted a .332/.424/.585 slash line with 15 doubles, five triples and 12 home runs. He's driven in 39 runs, stolen seven bases and walked more times (34) than he has struck out (33).

Hurst ranks second on the team with 21 multi-hit games, first with nine multi-RBI games and had an on-base streak of 21 this year. He tops the Big West Conference with 54 runs scored and 141 total bases. He also falls among the conference's top three in home runs, slugging percentage (.585) and triples

It was a renaissance of sorts for the Glendora, Calif., native, who, after being named the California Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year as a senior in high school, struggled in his first two college seasons. He hit .250 with a .347 slugging percentage while dealing with a back injury his freshman year. As a sophomore, Hurst batted .215 and slugged .250. Combined, he hit one home run.

"I knew I could have done a lot better," Hurst said. "But I think what I had to do is throw that all out the window this year, and go out play the game like I knew how to play and compete with confidence and go out and leave it all out there every day."

What Hurst found was consistency and power. He had the game of his career on May 20, going 5-for-5 with four home runs and a double. Hurst drove in seven and scored six runs that day as well while tying a school record for the most homers in a game. An "out-of-body experience" was how he described that day.

Tuesday wasn't all that different.

"It means more than anything," Hurst said of being the Cardinals' top pick. "I've been playing this game my whole life, and having the opportunity to play for a great organization like this, it was pretty emotional when it first happened. [It's] something I'll never forget. [It's] a very great opportunity. I'm very happy and blessed this happened."

The Draft concludes on Wednesday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 11 a.m. CT.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, and Facebook.

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