Start the Clock, Part 1

With a baseball draft movie as my background noise, the party has started for what is shaping up as a very exciting evening. This year’s festivities as well as the 2015 Rule 4 draft are stacked with talent, especially on the pitching side. We will start there first since the last three picks tonight for St. Louis all depends on two main factors — which direction the Cardinals’ front office decides on at No. 27 as well as who may fall in their laps.

The game has certainly changed over the last decade, and that makes the next four hours even more entertaining. While there were always two different types of available pitchers (High School or College) for years, it is now apparent that four actual types are in play. It is entirely possible that the Birds on the Bat take your garden variety HS arm ala Shelby Miller or even go the college route with another Michael Wacha pick. My money, however, is that one of the best franchises in the game takes advantage of the two newest types in making the initial selection.

In addition to both southpaws and righties, last year proved that both injuries and concerns over money factor in just as much. Talent should be all that matters in this draft for St. Louis, and there will be arms aplenty for Chris Carpenter and Ryan Franklin to analyze very soon. There are a trio of college hurlers and a pair of high school arms that have been attached to the Cardinals in mock-land that all have one concern or another. That may keep other clubs away, but it will take more than surgery or dollar signs for the defending National League champions to pass on a winner.

Jeff Hoffman and Erick Fedde both may be in play after going under the knife, and either one would be an impressive addition. Brandon Finnegan also has some teams scared with his mechanics, but any of the three would look awfully good at Busch for the series with the Nationals. They are joined by fellow top-50 prospects Luis Ortiz and Cameron Varga who have medical issues but are in the discussion to join St. Louis in either of the first two rounds.

Nobody truly knows how difficult it will be to sign a player, but every scouting department anxiously is waiting for another crack at Rick Porcello 2.0. The Cards are in perfect position with the 34th pick to see how things shake out in the top twenty, and that for me is the biggest storyline to watch for in the next hour. I’ll be back with a look at the best bats who would fit in nicely a few years down the road across the street from Ballpark Village.

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