2012 MLB Draft – Cardinals Preview

Today is one of the most exciting days for MLB prospect nerds around World…the start of the MLB Draft!  This is going to be a very interesting year to pay closer attention to the draft as their is new CBA rules in place that impacts how teams approach their draft strategy.  The key here is the hard slotting system for the combination of the first ten rounds and the penalties if teams go over that or don’t sign a player.  I won’t get into the new CBA here as there are many sites that have great detail about it.  I want to focus on our St. Louis Cardinal’s draft strategy and key individuals that we should be targeting with our early picks.  Let’s jump right in…

The Cardinals had a nice run with Jeff Luhnow running the draft over the last number of years.  Luhnow with the Astros now gets to have something he never had in his time in St. Louis:  Making the #1 overall pick.  All reports are indicating Mark Appel (RHP Stanford) are going to be the pick after a tug of war over him and Byron Buxton (OF GA HS) over the last few weeks.  So this means the Cardinals have a new face running the draft and potentially a different strategy.  Dan Krantrovitz is our new Director of Scouting.  From all interviews with him and Mo that address the draft strategy it appears the overall framework of the strategy will be very similiar to what we had grown accustom to under Luhnow.  The one difference is it appears we might be looking for more upside more often and slightly less emphasis on the “safe” college pick which happened at times.  Obviously we will find out over the next few days and the CBA will impact how much we can do this.  My take is we will see more HS players taken in the first few picks but plenty of slot or underslot college picks to compensate the hard slot system.  [click to continue…]

Salas optioned, Fick called up

Chuckie Fick will get his first taste of big league action. Reported last night that he was on his way to join the major league squad, the news of who would be making the return trip came out later. The 26-year-old Fick is on his way up while Fernando Salas will be heading back to Memphis.

Fick was a 15th round pick of the 2007 MLB Draft for the Cardinals. He had a stellar year in Memphis in 2011, posting a 2.30 ERA over 70 1/3 innings. This year he has been markedly worse, but still capable with his 3.86 ERA in 21 innings so far in the young season. However, the Cardinals’ bullpen has been hit hard by injury and ineffectiveness that has resulted in the need to call up some of their minor league pitchers.

Fick joins Eduardo Sanchez and Brandon Dickson as callups from Memphis for the St. Louis bullpen so far this season. He was already a member of the 40 man roster for the Cardinals, so there were no changes to the 40 man roster to make room for him. [click to continue…]

Good news on Jay, Linebrink

Yesterday came news on two guys that the Cardinals could really use right now, but both find themselves on the Disabled List.

First and foremost, Jon Jay. Over at Cardinals.com, it was mentioned that Jay participated on Friday in his first workout since being placed on the disabled list on May 16th. He hit off a tee and did some soft toss. According to Jay, he is hoping to rejoin the team on the road trip that begins this week. And according to Cardinals’ GM John Mozeliak, he should be ready within a couple days of becoming eligible to come off the DL, which would be Wednesday. So hopefully next weekend we will have our starting center fielder back.

Jay, 27, is one of the top-5 center fielders in baseball when he’s healthy. He was hitting .343 with a .395 OBP when he went down with his injury, a sprained right shoulder. [click to continue…]

McClellan and Craig headed to DL?

The Cardinals are expected to place Kyle McClellan and Allen Craig on the disabled list tomorrow before they open play against the Los Angeles Dodgers, that according to Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch.

McClellan, 27, has a 4.42 ERA in 15 appearances out of the bullpen this season, but has allowed 4 runs in his last 4 innings on the mound over his last 3 appearances. He left in the seventh inning of today’s game against the Giants with right elbow pain. His is expected to be a longer stint.

Craig, also 27, has a .373 batting average with 5 HR and 19 RBI in the 13 games he’s played since coming off the disabled list on May 1st. He apparently injured his left hamstring during Wednesday night’s game against the Giants. According to Strauss, the team has sent him back to St. Louis for further examination. Craig, though, seemed confident that it would be just a couple days to recover. [click to continue…]

New Stat: Hit Game Rate (HGR)

One of my favorite things to do is come up with stats that look at different things. I have my Runs Created stat that basically considers how many runs you were a part of during a particular season (Runs + RBI – HR). Tonight, I shall go over the Hit Game Rate and see how the current Cardinals team stacks up.

Now what is a Hit Game Rate, you might be asking? Very simply put, a Hit Game is a game in which you get a hit. Hit Game Rate, is how often you get a hit in any given ballgame. This isn’t like batting average where it measures how many hits you get. It simply counts how often you have a ballgame in which you get a hit, whether it be one hit or five hits.

The basic idea of the stat is to gauge whether a person is being consistent or whether their batting average might be inflated by one or two really hot games. After all, Player A who goes 1-for-4 for four nights will have a .250 batting average, but Player B who goes 0-for-4 for three games and then 4-for-4 the last will also have that .250 batting average. Each is a very different player and perceptions of the player will be different.
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