With the 39th overall selection in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected pitcher Jake Woodford, out of Plant High School in Tampa, Florida.

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A 6’5, 210-pound right-hander, Woodford has been clocked in the 90s and struck out 57 batters in 52 innings pitched for the Panthers.

“I throw a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, a circle changeup, a curveball, and a slider,” answered Woodford about his arsenal.

When asked what pitchers have been an influence, the 18-year old bucked the norm–he answered Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson.

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“Those two are probably my favorites of all-time,” said Woodford, who wasn’t quite sure when he first became aware of Gibson. “I’d hear a story about him every once in a while and I started researching him and just his intimidation–how he went after guys, I just fell in love with it. Always thought he was just a really great pitcher.”

“I really like to challenge people,” he said, noting that he’s also not afraid to pitch inside. “I’d rather give up a hit than a walk–I’m going to make you beat me and I’m not going to back down on the mound.”

Although he’s a first-round pick of the Cardinals, Woodford has previously committed to play college baseball at Florida and was not yet ready to walk away from that opportunity.

“It carries huge weight–that’s every baseball player’s dream is to get drafted in the first round,” said Woodford. “It’s going to be really tough. It’s something I’m going to have to talk over with my family and make a decision here.”

photo credit: Maxpreps.com

 

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