St. Louis Cardinals MLB Draft History And Projections
As we approach the 2018 MLB Draft on June 4, we’ll break down each major league team’s recent draft history, picking out tendencies where applicable, highlighting the team’s 2018 draft pool and also touching on the organization’s most successful recent draft picks.
Additionally, each team is listed with potential draft targets. These players either fit the typical modus operandi of the organization or are players who have been specifically linked or rumored as fits with a team throughout the spring. Baseball America will continue to add and subtract players from the potential draft target section as we continue to gather information in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Players are listed with a line of skinny to get a quick idea of who they are, but our full scouting reports will give a more complete picture of a player.
It’s also worth pointing out that while in some cases a team might appear to have a clear tendency with certain demographics (i.e. high school pitchers or college hitters), the sample we are looking at is small enough that teams could simply be following a best player available strategy and the results are showing something that’s not an overarching scouting philosophy. It’s more likely that tendencies can be discovered at the extremes, rather than slight apparent preferences in the last five years.
Here is a breakdown of the recent MLB Draft history of the St. Louis Cardinals:
General Manager: Jon Mozeliak (Since 2008)
Scouting Director: Randy Flores (Since 2016)
2018 Bonus Pool (Rank): $7,968,400 (17th)
2018 MLB Draft Order:
1st Round: 19th
Supplemental 1st Round: 43rd
Supplemental 2nd Round: 75th (Compensation for Lance Lynn, who signed with the Twins)
3rd Round: 95th
4th-40: 19th in each round.
First Round Picks Since 2013:
2015: Nick Plummer (23rd)
Best Recent Pick (2010-2017 Drafts):
RHP Michael Wacha (No. 19 overall, 2012) made his major league debut just a year after being drafted and from 2013 to 2017 has managed a 3.84 ERA with the Cardinals in 656.2 innings and 112 starts. He made the 2015 all-star game with a 3.38 ERA over the entire year, and aside from a 2016 season that saw his ERA rise to 5.09 he has been a very reliable starter for St. Louis.
Recent Tendencies (Last Five Years/Top Five Rounds):
The Cardinals have no obvious demographic tendencies over the past five years in regards to position player (46.7 percent) vs. pitcher (53.3 percent) or in regards to high school prospects (40 percent) vs. college prospects (60 percent). While the Cardinals have selected more college players, they rank in the middle of the pack of major league clubs in high school percentage (17th) and four-year university player percentage (11th).
The past two drafts have been wildly different for scouting director Randy Flores, who had seven top-five round picks in 2016—including three first-round picks—and just three picks in 2017: a third-round pick, fourth-round pick and fifth-round pick. The 2016 draft saw Flores take a pair of high school hitters with the team’s first two picks, while 2017 was strictly college players.
The 2018 draft will be Flores’ first “normal” draft, with a first round, supplemental first, supplemental second and third round pick to work with. Overall, Flores has taken seven college players with his 10 top-five round picks over the two years, and he’s also taken seven position players and three pitchers—each of whom came from the collegiate ranks.
Dylan Carlson Goes To Alternate Site With New Focus
The Cardinals prefer their top prospect get a lot of at-bats at the alternate site as opposed to manning a reserve role in the big leagues.
Potential Draft Targets:
OF Jordyn Adams — Perhaps the most athletic player in the 2018 class, Adams is a two-sport star as an elite wide receiver and ultra-projectable center fielder
RHP Logan Gilbert — Gilbert has a heavy fastball that plays up with elite extension, and more projection remaining than other college arms
RHP Ethan Hankins — Previously the top prep player in the class thanks to a potential 80-grade fastball, Hankins has been slowed by injury but is trending in the right direction
RHP Jackson Kowar — Lean, wiry and with a good frame, Kowar has an above-average fastball and plus changeup
OF Parker Meadows — A 6-foot-4 outfielder with a bevy of tools and a chance to stick in center field
C Noah Naylor — The younger brother of Josh Naylor, Noah is more hit over power with exceptional barrel awareness and a track record against professional arms
SS Brice Turang — An athletic, lefthanded-hitting shortstop with plus speed and great feel for the barrel, Turang is more polished than most preps
LHP Ryan Rolison — A high-floor college lefthander, Rolison shows a three-pitch mix including a fastball up to 96 mph with good life
OF/LHP Connor Scott — A plus runner with good feel for the barrel, Scott is developing power and has a plus arm with good chance to stick in center field—aka toolsy
P Anthony Seigler — An ambidextrous, switch-hitting catcher who can pitch from both sides, Seigler's pro future will be behind the plate where he is solid all-around
P Ryan Weathers — The son of David Weathers, Ryan is a polished lefty with solid control of a heavy fastball and an improving curveball