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Cardinals to seek best talent in Draft

Club in unfamiliar position of not having 1st- or 2nd-round pick
MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- The 2017 Draft will take place through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5 p.m. CT today. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 12 p.m. CT. Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Wednesday, beginning at 11 a.m. CT.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLBPipeline.com analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

CINCINNATI -- The 2017 Draft will take place through Wednesday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 5 p.m. CT today. MLB Network will broadcast the first 36 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 75 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, starting at 12 p.m. CT. Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Wednesday, beginning at 11 a.m. CT.

Go to MLB.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLBPipeline.com analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Cardinals, whose first selection is the 94th overall pick:

:: 2017 MLB Draft coverage ::

In about 50 words
The Cardinals are in an unfamiliar position as they won't make their first pick until the Draft's third round. The organization forfeited its first-round pick by signing Dexter Fowler and had its next two selections (Nos. 56 and 75) given to the Astros as reparations for the actions of former scouting director Chris Correa.

The scoop
The Cardinals are in a difficult spot, not only because of the lost picks, but also because of the limited bonus-pool money ($2.176 million) they have to spend. That will hamper their ability to go aggressively after players who may fall due to signability concerns. And because the club won't make its first pick until Day 2, there is less clarity as to what the Draft board will look like when their first pick comes around.

First-round buzz
For the first time since 2002, the Cardinals will not be making a selection in the first round.

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75-percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75-percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100-percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100-percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

The Cardinals have the lowest bonus pool money of any team. The value assigned to the Cardinals' first pick (No. 94) is $570,900.

Shopping list
Scouting director Randy Flores said that this Draft has depth on the college position-player side, so that could be a direction the Cardinals go with some of their early picks. One thing the Cardinals won't do is build their Draft strategy around need. Rather, they prefer to seek out the best talent within the financial parameters each time they make a pick.

Trend watch
The Cardinals have gone high-school heavy with their top picks the last two years. Their first three selections in 2015 and their first two in 2016 were all used to take high-school players. That seemed to be more the result of circumstance than any change in philosophy, however, so it might not be the best indicator of future moves.

RECENT DRAFT HISTORY

Rising fast
Late last month, Paul DeJong became the first player from the Cardinals' 2015 Draft class to reach the Majors when he replaced Kolten Wong on the roster. DeJong was a fourth-round pick who hit .294/.331/.541 over 46 games in Triple-A before that promotion. Fast risers from the organization's '16 Draft class include pitchers Dakota Hudson and Zac Gallen, both of whom are with Double-A Springfield.

Cinderella story
Reliever Kevin Siegrist was drafted in a round that no longer even exists. The Cardinals made Siegrist their 41st-round pick in 2008, four years before Major League Baseball shortened the Draft to 40 rounds.

In the show
Nearly half of the players on the Cardinals' active roster were once selected by the organization in the amateur Draft. That group includes five pitchers (Lance Lynn, Tyler Lyons, Trevor Rosenthal, Siegrist, Michael Wacha), one catcher (Yadier Molina), three infielders (Matt Carpenter, DeJong, Greg Garcia) and two outfielders (Tommy Pham, Stephen Piscotty).

Cardinals' recent top picks
2016: Delvin Perez, SS, Extended Spring Training
2015: Nick Plummer, OF, Low-A Peoria
2014: Luke Weaver, RHP, Triple-A Memphis
2013: Marco Gonzales, LHP, Triple-A Memphis
2012: Michael Wacha, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals 

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast.

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