Following a trend that took over baseball, the 2019 MLB Draft is in the books with the majority of teams stocking up on pitchers. The second half finished up yesterday with St. Louis taking a few surprise picks but leaning towards power arms from major college programs. That strategy has served the Cardinals well over their unprecedented run of success dating back two decades.
For a franchise that prides itself on playing a certain way, this year’s draft was eye-opening for many reasons. It took 23 rounds to pick any infielders, an area that the Birds on the Bat normally load up on early. After graduating many top arms, the prospect charts favor position players now possibly more than ever before.
St. Louis passed up the chance to take most of the big names that had fallen for a variety of reasons, namely signability concerns. It wasn’t until the 25th round that the Cards rolled the dice with a high-ranked arm, although the first 20 rounds did leave room for a possible over slot move. College pitching dominated even the later rounds this year, as 11 more heard their names called to hopefully someday throw under the Arch.
Now that the hard part is over, the rush to get everyone signed by June 15th begins. While the actual deadline happens to be July 12th, however, State College opens the short season in just over a week. Johnson City isn’t far behind, setting up to see many of the newest draftees in the very near future. The Cardinals needed to re-stock the system more than anything else, as there will be plenty of turnover the next two months.