I saw an interesting Keith Law tweet today:
Early view is that it’s the best since I joined the biz. RT @Studz2389: @keithlaw How deep do you consider this year’s draft?
I’m not fully versed on the 2011 class yet, that will take me a couple months yet, but I’m a little disappointed by Law’s tweet. The Cardinals will have their typical draft pick in 2011 and that’s it. They’ll have no extra draft picks from free agent players. The Rays in contrast will have a bevy of picks in the first round.
This isn’t a criticism of the Cardinals so much of a lamentation of the upcoming draft. We’ll pick 22nd overall and while it’s impossible to know who will be available then 5 months in advance, there’s more college pitchers than I’d like to see in the top ranks of the draft. The Cardinals need the opportunity to snag some additional position player talent and a single pick in the first round doesn’t really give them the latitude to take many risks.
I mentioned yesterday in passing that the Cardinals have some potentially awesome arms in the farm system now: Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, Tyrell Jenkins. While those names are encouraging, equally noteworthy is the laundry list of pitchers at various levels that could develop into major league pitchers yet.
|Memphis||Springfield||Palm Beach||Quad Cities||2010 Draft|
|Lance Lynn||David Kopp||Deryk Hooker||Joe Kelly||John Gast*|
|Scott Gorgen||Scott Schneider||Daniel Bibona*|
To the extent that any team can make a list like this, you should be wary. That said, I think there’s reason to believe that all of these pitchers can be major league starters. Not good ones and the probabilities are still against them but that’s a solid bit of pitching depth in the system. The other noteworthy item is that only Bibona and Gast are lefties. If there’s an opportunity for the Cardinals to pick up an advanced lefty in 2011, that may be the path they take.
We often discuss prospects in terms of whether they can contribute to the major league parent club. The Cardinals will need some of these players to pan out if they want to open up the possibility of trades. Long term, it would be exciting to see the Cardinals emulate the recent trade by the Rays of moving Matt Garza for some excellent prospects. The Rays were able to do that because they have incredible pitching depth within their system.
The Cardinals will have a rather mundane draft this June 6th-8th but it’s interesting that the needs of the system have seemingly changed in the last few years. The fluidity of prospects is part of what makes this all so much fun to follow though.