Kantrovitz Makes Easy Transition
New Cardinals scouting director is in familiar territory
ST. LOUIS—Upon his return to the Cardinals, the team's new director of amateur scouting Dan Kantrovitz did not need a tour of the offices, a rundown of the analytics that would be at his fingertips, or even a who's who of the team's scouts. His acclimation consisted mostly of one question.
"What's my login information?" he kidded.
Kantrovitz rejoined the Cardinals this offseason to replace vice president of player procurement Jeff Luhnow, who left to take over as general manager in Houston. Kantrovitz is not only a St. Louis native but also a former Cardinals employee, who as recently as four years ago was working with the team's analytics department to build and refine a database it still utilizes.
Kantrovitz rejoins St. Louis after serving as international scouting director for Oakland.
Greeting him in St. Louis was a welcome basket unlike any a scouting director has had with the Cardinals in years—five picks in the first 60 this summer.
The departures of free agents Albert Pujols, Octavio Dotel and Edwin Jackson has brought the Cardinals a bevy of picks.
"What it comes down to is we have to approach each pick with the same amount of scrutiny . . . as if we only have one pick," Kantrovitz said.
Luhnow took control of the draft in 2005, and though his influence increased into other territories—chiefly an expanded international reach—he remained in charge of the draft through 2011. In that time, the Cardinals stressed predictable talents and had the most draft picks reach the majors of any team.
Luhnow's drafts were able to fund trades for Matt Holliday, Jackson, Mark DeRosa and Rafael Furcal. Quantity, however, is not the same as quality.
Kantrovitz sees the goal as being to find a player with a high ceiling, but also look for high probability of reaching the majors.
• For the second consecutive year, the Cardinals have invited a hand-picked selection of prospects to an early spring training camp. The group will get individualized coaching, additional workouts and even sessions on media relations.
• The reported $750,000 bonus awarded Dominican pitcher Andres Serrano pending validation of his paperwork would be the third largest for the Cardinals since they became more invested in Latin America under Luhnow.