In the first round of the 2012 draft, the St. Louis Cardinals had five picks and used the first four on proven college stars. The final first-rounder, taken 59th overall, was Texas high school catcher Steve Bean.
The Cardinals challenged the left-handed hitter, assigning him to Johnson City of the Appalachian League. Bean received good marks for his catching, but appeared to be overmatched at the plate.
After batting .125 in 24 games, Bean was reassigned by the Cardinals to the Gulf Coast League, a more appropriate classification. The then-18-year-old posted a solid line of .320/.424/.400 in his final 15 contests.
Following the season, Bean was assigned to instructional league, where I spoke with him about coming out for the draft and his first partial professional season.
Listen to Audio (2:44)
Links to earlier interviews in this series:
Cardinals minor league pitching coordinator Brent Strom
Cardinals minor league hitting coordinator Derrick May
Cardinals New York-Penn League manager Dann Bilardello
Cardinals international director Moises Rodriguez
Springfield manager Mike Shildt
Johnson City manager Oliver Marmol
Cardinals third base prospect Patrick Wisdom
Cardinals outfield prospect Charlie Tilson
Cardinals outfield prospect James Ramsey
Cardinals third base prospect Carson Kelly
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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