Pleasure Ridge Park High School alum and former University of Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox signed a major league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals as the team’s first-round draft pick just before the MLB deadline to sign draft picks last night. Cox signed for a $3.2 million bonus and will receive a spot on the Cardinals’ 40-man roster, Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com reports. The Louisville native was ranked by many as the top college bat in the draft and was projected to be selected in the first 10 picks but slid to No. 25 due to high contract demands.
Cox is the first Kentucky native selected in the first round since the Minnesota Twins took Lexington native Ben Revere with the 28th pick in 2007. Eastern Kentucky University left-handed pitcher Christian Friedrich, an Illinois native, was selected with the 25th pick in 2008. Cox will report to the Cardinals’ rookie-level Gulf Coast League team to begin his professional career. Cox led all Kentucky collegians in 2010 with a .429 batting average.