Yesterday we looked at the potential middle infielders that the Cardinals have drafted in the Jeff Luhnow era. With neither of their first round shortstop picks (Tyler Greene and Pete Kozma) developing to the point that they project as more than a fringe bench players, it’s difficult to argue that the Cardinals have made an effort to target players to try and fill the gaping hole of the middle infield within the farm system.
What follows is an attempt to identify middle infield prospects that the Cardinals did not draft but were likely on their radar during the last 6 drafts. This is largely a subjective exercise and is not intended to be definitive. In hindsight, it will be easy to say that the Cardinals should have drafted Jed Lowrie rather than Mark McCormick. I expect to revisit some of these picks more specifically in later posts. For now, I’ve combed the first five rounds of the 2005-2009 drafts looking for players that have had success and project well in the middle infield. I will also list the Cardinals pick which occurred immediately prior to that player.
|Year||Round||Pick #||Player||Position||Cardinal Pick #||Player|
|2005||1s||45||Jed Lowrie||2B||43||Mark McCormick*|
|2005||2||75||Yunel Escobar||SS||70||Josh Wilson|
|2006||1s||36||Chris Coghlan||3B||30||Adam Ottavino|
|2007||1s||34||Todd Frazier||3B||18||Pete Kozma|
*Cardinals also had pick 46 with which they selected Tyler Herron.
I have to admit that I expected something more . . . damning. These are the only picks that, in retrospect, even look like arguable misses to me. The Jed Lowrie pick strikes me as the one I’d most like to have a do-over on. Combined with the fact that the Cardinals selected Herron just three picks after McCormick and it just doesn’t look like a good draft approach. I think another informative exercise will be to look at each team’s top SS/2B prospect in the 2011 Baseball America Prospect Handbook as well as the origins of the middle infielders in the majors now. Simply put, this needs some more exploration. In the meantime, I’d like Jed Lowrie please.