We have finally reached what used to feel like Christmas Day but has taken an eerily similar feel to Groundhog Day instead. Those five loyal participants other than myself who have kept up with C70’s series know just how far away from real baseball we are so at least the MLB Draft provides a small relief.
And to answer the obvious question first, no one knows if this new normal will change 2021 or anything else about the sport we so desperately hope returns on any level. With MILB facing multiple attempts at never appearing the same again, today’s five round draft simply seems odd.
I guess that is really the best way to put it with so much uncertainty hanging over the heads of everyone involved. It is a foregone conclusion that outside of an expanded Arizona Fall League or maybe some scrimmage-type play in Florida that no one drafted in 2020 will get to suit up for the team that selects them. And that honestly just takes the wind out of my sails.
Not to say I am far from excited to introduce new players to the St. Louis family, but I am cautiously optimistic that having a number of top selections will benefit the Birds on the Bat overall. Really how this year’s draft might be remembered best is how certain organizations were smart in selecting safer picks because no one truly knows how the rule changes will impact 18-20 year olds staring at an uncertain couple of years.
That should in theory benefit the Cards who do as good a job as any in background work but to put it mildly – anything can happen over 5 Rounds. With the NCAA granting an additional season, college baseball has been thrown the biggest curve yet. Incoming freshmen projected to have a scholarship are now wondering if they have a spot while the JUCO ranks may end up the largest beneficiary.
All that puts extra pressure on Randy Flores and company to get it right early and often for a storied franchise that relies more on the Draft than arguably any other contender. And yes that would be much easier picking in the top half of the first round, but then the Cardinals rarely do anything the easy way. Join the Conclave later tonight for a recap of the newest addition to the BOTB and how it sets St. Louis up for the rest of the picks on Thursday.