Cards sign 4th-rounder Bedell, finish Draft deals

St. Louis agreed to terms with all 7 of its 2020 selections

June 27th, 2020

ST. LOUIS -- Well before the Aug. 1 signing deadline for the 2020 MLB Draft class, St. Louis went 7-for-7 in bringing its Draft picks into the organization.

Ian Bedell was the final Cardinals Draft pick to agree to a deal, as the Missouri right-hander completed his physical and signed his deal in St. Louis on Friday, the club announced. Tied with the Giants with an MLB-high seven picks in this year’s five-round Draft, the Cardinals worked quickly in finalizing contracts with their class.

Bedell, a native Iowan and a longtime Cardinals fan, was expected to sign from the night he was selected in the fourth round. The 20-year-old was one of four Draft picks to visit Busch Stadium this week to get a deal done.

MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis reported that Bedell received an $800,000 bonus. The slot value for pick No. 122 was $469,000, but the Cardinals could sign him over slot because of financial maneuvering with their other picks, as they agreed to deals with Jordan Walker (first round), Tink Hence (Competitive Balance Round B), Alec Burleson (compensation pick), Levi Prater (third round) and LJ Jones (fifth round) all under slot. Signability was a big factor in the Cardinals’ picks, especially in the shortened Draft.

“With the signing of Ian Bedell, we are pleased to announce that our entire 2020 Draft class has agreed to terms,” assistant general manager and director of scouting Randy Flores said in a statement. “Although we are still working through what the immediate future holds for their development, we are very excited for the next steps of their careers in the Cardinals organization.”

The Cards went local with Bedell, a 6-foot-2 starter for Mizzou, which is two hours away from St. Louis. After dominating as a reliever for the Tigers during his sophomore season, posting a 1.56 ERA last spring, he followed the performance up as a starter in the Cape Cod League. He had a 0.59 ERA, a .383 opponents' OPS and a 36/3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Bedell pounds the strike zone with his two- and four-seam fastballs, which sit in the low 90s and have sink or run depending on the version he uses. He demonstrates exceptional command, which allows him to attack hitters with confidence and play up his fastball. His athleticism and sound delivery made him intriguing to the Cardinals as a starter.

“They are getting a student of the game,” Missouri head coach Steve Bieser said after Bedell was drafted. “Someone that really understands pitching. I really believe that’s his greatest asset. He doesn't get caught up in the radar gun or trying to impress somebody by throwing hard. He’s reading hitters, he’s changing speeds, he’s moving locations and it’s a really finesse approach.

“Typically, you don’t see that until guys get into their third or fourth professional season when they start to figure out that there’s more to pitching than throwing hard. You can’t just have nasty stuff, you have to be able to break up [hitters’] timing and change their looks so they can’t get locked in. He’s very capable of doing that right now, and that’s what’s made him really successful for us.”