Twas the night before Xmas and… Well you know how that tune goes so you can imagine how those MLB Draft followers such as myself feel less than 24 hours before the Cardinals add another name to the historic franchise. Giddy doesn’t begin to describe it and no Scrooge will stop the good vibes especially as St. Louis finally might be trending in the right direction.
In honor of sweeping the Baby Bears, let’s break down a couple of things that will decide just how exciting tomorrow ends up for the Birds on the Bat. As the Cards have proven year after year, selecting outside the top 15 doesn’t have to limit options although it does take more creativity. Look at a year ago when Nolan Gorman fell to 19th and now has positioned himself on the fast track to Memphis sometime in 2020.
St. Louis could use a bit more luck twelve months after hitting jackpot especially since the dice have rolled 19 yet again with this year not as stacked top to bottom. Pitching really should be on the docket although the baseball gods may have other plans. College middle infielders have set themselves apart in a variety of ways and unless something drastic happens, that should be where the Cardinals strike first.
Before a few names are addressed that potentially could join Gorman on his rise up the ranks, let’s have a brief chat about that drastic part. In a normal year, the top 10-15 players are virtually set well in advance of day one. This year has become anything but normal, however, and that can also be traced under the Arch. Baltimore hired a new front office in advance of this season, and those gentlemen were poached away from former St. Louis executive Jeff Luhnow down in Houston. The Astros have forever changed how the top of the draft works, and it appears the O’s will follow the same blueprint.
Instead of looking at patterns, the outside-the-box thinking in MLB now revolves around assets and acquiring more for less. The way to do that at the top of the draft still comes down to money, of course, but in a way that also jumpstarts a rebuild. Baltimore should take the switch-hitting catcher from Oregon State but taking another player at a discount and then using those savings on one or two more picks woukd be the Houston method all over again. How this impacts the Cardinals actually becomes simple math when you run the numbers.
Every player not projected to land in say the top 25 that actually goes ahead of where St. Louis picks adds even more value to the pool. We can call it the Gorman method if another high school player gets taken but in all fairness another #19 selection should get even more credit. Shelby Miller was considered a tough sign with his strong college commitment and fell in the draft right to the Cards. Gorman had a bit of prospect fatigue as it turned out which could be deja vu by the time another post hits the site once the initial shock wears off.
Mock drafts are fun to read at least in getting to know more names, but the truth is a few teams need to decide to take the Houston approach before this year can add another player anywhere close to the level of Miller or Gorman. Either way you look it at, the Draft truly begins the summer and personally, it takes the cake as my favorite holiday!