Two St. Louis Cardinals, both drafted in 2006, spent their first full-seasons as regular starters in 2012, helping to power the club into the playoffs.
First baseman Allen Craig (eighth round) batted cleanup and filled much of the offensive gap created by oft-injured Lance Berkman while centerfielder Jon Jay (second round) took charge in the field and filled a major need as he settled into the leadoff spot in the batting order.
Rather than Berkman, it appeared early on that Craig might be the one to suffer through an injury-plagued season. Craig suffered a spring setback in his recovery from off-season knee surgery, opening the season on the disabled list.
Craig was activated on May 1, but it didn’t last long. By the 18th, he was back on the DL, this time with a hamstring injury. In between, Craig was amazingly productive, with an incredible 19 RBI in 13 games.
Back for good on June 1, Craig anchored Mike Matheny‘s lineup for the rest of the season, finishing with 22 home runs an...