The Runner Sports

Cardinals Will Do Damage Control On Draft Day


The St. Louis Cardinals enter the 2017 amateur draft on June 12 in a unique position, after Major League Baseball ruled two of their picks (56th and 75th), as well as $2 million, be awarded to the Houston Astros in late January.

Former Cardinal scouting director Chris Correa pled guilty to five counts of unauthorized access of a computer based on him having “unfettered access” to the Astros’ database in 2013-14, which led to the team receiving its punishment from the commissioner’s office.

St. Louis had previously given up their 2017 first-round selection to sign free agent Dexter Fowler from the Cubs during the offseason.

After all that, there is still a farm to tend to, something general manager John Mozeliak won’t get to do until the 94th overall pick in the 3rd round. Known for finding some diamonds in the rough in previous years, he’ll definitely be digging for gold throughout this year’s draft.

“I’ve said since the decision was handed down that those picks are essentially ‘spilt milk’,”  Mozeliak said. “I think we’ve dealt with it, as an organization and as a ballclub, and we’re prepared to do our jobs going into Monday.

“The only thing we can do right now, is focus on where we are in this year’s draft -with the picks we have- and do our due diligence as an organization to make the best selections possible.”

Compounding the problems is the fact that the Cardinals have the lowest bonus pool money of any team. The value assigned to the Cardinals’ 94th overall pick is $570,900. Because of this, scouting director Randy Flores has said the team will look heavily on the college position-player side, likely with their early picks in hopes of snagging a player who could be MLB ready in 2-3 years.

While the team has been known to load up on right-handed power arms in previous drafts, this year’s amateur crop will feature several outstanding two-way players that could give them some options and versatility. However, most of those premium selections will be chosen before the Cards take their turn, as well.

“Our job is to find the best possible pick in the spot that we have, whatever spot that is,” Flores recently told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Let’s plant our flag on that. Let’s be sure that we have exhausted our exploration of players so whenever the pick, we make the right pick.”

The club has certainly done it before. Two members of this year’s team, first baseman Matt Carpenter (13th) and reliever Trevor Rosenthal (21st), were late round picks who went on to become All-Stars.

Ryan Boman

Ryan Boman

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Syndicated columnist & feature writer whose work has appeared in The Miami Herald, AdWeek, SB Nation and
Ryan Boman