You may have seen Luhnow’s recent conversation with Joe Strauss. Luhnow went on the defensive regarding the latest prospect rankings out there, most of which have been thrashing his farm system. Specifically he called out Keith Law, saying -
‘I’ll put our analysis up against Keith Law’s all day long and after five minutes the debate will be over.’
‘Now we know: Not only do the Cardinals need better prospects, they need better analysts, too.’
In defense of Luhnow, Joe Strauss isn’t nicknamed El Diablo without reason. He has made no bones about his doubts in Luhnow’s ability to draft top-shelf talent. It could be Strauss has got under his skin, and as a card-carrying member Hyperventilating Prospect Geek Fraternity, I understand. I say this tongue-in-cheek. From my dealings with Strauss over twitter, he can be condescending and just plain ornery at times, but overall he’s pretty reasonable and I’d say is a good guy. (I can’t believe I just typed that!) I’m glad he speaks his mind, even if I don’t always agree.
But it’s not just Keith Law that is dumping on the Cardinals’ farm system. Everyone is. Baseball America, Kevin Goldstein, John Sickels, you name it. The system is understandably down after all the trades, trades that helped the Cardinals win a pennant. What Luhnow should be saying, while being careful not to knock his players, is “When I took this job, the Cardinal farm system was ranked near the bottom of the pack every year. We made some trades that helped our team win the NL Central, and we could not have done that without our ability to draft and acquire top-end talent. I am confident that within time, that I can again rebuild the farm system back to respectability. I’ve done it before”.