The 2011 MLB Draft got underway last night and it was like just about every draft over the years. Some teams took the obvious choices at the top, some teams reached for players and some of the “signability” guys fell. The Cardinals had been linked to a number of players leading up to the draft and ended up selecting one of them in Kolten Wong. Let’s take a closer look at this selection:
Day 1 Draft Grade: B
Kolten Wong, 2B, University of Hawaii
Wong isn’t a big guy at 5’9″ and 180lbs but don’t be fooled that he can’t handle the bat. He handles the bat from the left side just fine with good bat speed. He has an advanced approach at the plate and is a very patient hitter that has a great knowledge of the strikezone. He has a little pop in his bat but profiles more as gap power. He will spray the ball all over the field which bodes well for him in pro ball with no glaring hole at the plate that could be exploited. He has been pitched around quite a bit this year but has never shown frustation or expanded his zone which shows his maturity level. He projets as a solid 2 hole hitter as he can do it all (bunt, hit and run, hit to the right side to move a runner, etc). He also stole over 20 bags this year but his speed is just slightly above avg. He is a smart baserunner and projects as no more than a 15 SB guy but will take the extra base when possible.
On defense Wong has adequate range and arm but great insticts which makes his range look better than it actually is. He will do all the small things correct and is mentally tough. He probably will never be a gold glover but also won’t be a liability. Continue reading
On the eve of the 2011 MLB Draft (or like us draft nerds like to call is XMas Eve!) we will wrap up this 3 part series with a look at players of interest in the 2nd and 3rd Rds. After the 1st Rd it gets harder and harder to predict who will still be around and what bonus demands will do for some of these players. I will use my personal rankings to predict who “should” be around for each of these rounds. Also stay tuned for the Cards Draft Roundup (MLB Draft June 6-8) each day of the draft to analyze our picks and other random thoughts of the day.
2nd Rd – #79 Overall
3rd Rd – #109 Overall
After going overslot in the 1st Rd (I predict a $2-4M sign in the 1st) I see the Cards taking a player that is signing for slot or somewhere in the ballpark of slot with their 2nd and 3rd Rd picks. I will stick with players that fit our typical draft strategy as well. Continue reading
In Part 1 we looked at the Cards draft history and trends. In Part 2 we will focus on players to target with are 1st Rd picks and what each brings to the table. I will create a Part 3 and maybe Part 4 that will focus on the 2nd and 3rd Rds so I can give plenty of justice to each pick and players involved. I will not be focusing on players that have no chance to get to us (AKA Lindor who would be a perfect scenario for us) with our 1st Rd pick but will include some guys that have extreme outside shots at reaching us (usually due to bonus demands). Lets jump right in…
1st Rd – #22 Overall
2nd Rd – #79 Overall
3rd Rd – #109 Overall
1st Rd – #22 Overall
In the 1st Rd I always say you NEVER pick based on needs. You always go BPA that falls within the budget that you are comfortable with. All indications are the Cards are willing to spend fairly big on our 1st Rd pick since we have no extra picks and won’t pick again until #79 overall. That means we might be willing to go as high as $5M on a player. Continue reading
One of my favorite times of the year is happening as we speak. Leading up to the MLB Draft (June 6-8) gets a lot of buzz about players draft stock rising and falling, mock drafts from every outlet and blog sites, the rumors of outrageous bonus demands and the promise to improve each teams farm system. The 2011 MLB Draft class is loaded with talent and is considered by some as the best draft class ever. Time will tell but that gives you an idea of what type of talent level we are talking about.
In my 2 part series I am going to focus on the Cards draft for 2011. We will focus on our draft history, strategy trends and players that I anticipate us focusing on in the first few rounds. In Part 1 we will focus on our draft history and strategy trends (under Luhnow) and how I anticipate this getting tweaked a bit this year.
Jeff Luhnow, Vice President of Player Procurement, has lead the Cards draft since 2005. He was also in charge of our player development until this offseason where a few changes occurred to allow Luhnow to focus on scouting and the draft and transition player development to John Vuch who has been with the organization since the 70′s. Luhnow has produces such talent as Colby Rasmus, Jaime Garcia, John Jay, Chris Perez (Indians via trade), Brett Wallace (Astros via trade), Shelby Miller and Zack Cox to name a few. The biggest knock on Luhnow is he hasn’t produced many star players throughout the years. Part of the reason was we had very little depth in system. For a number of years we were looking for faster moving high floor players to show quick results with our players. In more recent years we have seen him go with a little more upside as our system gets a little more depth. Two years ago we hit our system hard with 2 big trades (Matt Holliday and Mark DeRosa) that forced us to hand over a number of players that were in our Top 10-15 prospects. Overall he has done an adequate job but definitely not extraordinary. He has a chance to do big things this year with so much talent available. Here is a rundown of the Cards typical draft strategy/trends since 2005. Continue reading
Matt Carpenter mad quite an impression on Cards fans in Spring Training and was one of the final cuts. Now we will get to see him wearing Cardinal Red in STL. According to Carpenters hometown paper he has been called up to STL and added to the 40 man roster (final spot). With Freese out for quite some time and Carpenter warming up at the plate this move makes a lot of sense.
Descalso has played well at 3B and been clunch late in games but he isn’t our future at 3B…perhaps 2B. Carpenter has a legit shot of taking over 3B for at least the foreseeable future.
So what does Carpenter bring to the table? He is an OBP machine and plays a solid 3B. He will not hit for much HR power but will provide plenty of doubles. I doubt they are bringing him up to play every 3rd day so we should expect to see him get every opportunity to play almost everyday.
Welcome to the bigs Mr. Carpenter!
There have been a few key announcements recently with our prospects. Late last week after another dominating performance our prized pitching prospect, Shelby Miller, was promoted to AA Springfield. His debut will be Friday night again Corpus Christi. The other big news which Jon touched on in his last post is Lance Lynn getting the call to make his MLB debut tonight for the Cards.
UPDATE: Maikel Cleto was also promoted from AA straight to the majors with Holliday hitting the DL. To me this is a big head scratcher. A guy that has had a total of 5 appearances above High A is getting promoted? We have a slew of other guys that are MLB ready or what I would consider ahead of Cleto in the pecking order. Guys like Boggs (the logical choice), Jess Todd, Adam Ottavino (who I have stated a number of times is destine for the bullpen) and Brian Broderick (who was just returned to us from the Nats as a Rule 5 selection this offseason) to name a few. Cleto was already on the 40 man roster which I am sure was a factor. Is this showcasing Cleto for trade bait? Have no faith in the others mentioned? Just put some names in a hat to see who gets the call? All good questions that I can’t answer. What do we get with Cleto? He is a fireballer that is still working on his control (which by all counts has improved this year). His secondary offerings (CB and CH) show potential as an avg or slightly better pitch but are quite inconsistent. Continue reading