(KMOV.com) - Thursday starts what many in baseball consider to be the most important time in building a team. It’s the Major League Baseball draft. It’s the time of year when the next Mike Trout or Albert Pujols gets taken – and it may not be high up in the 1st round.
To make sure the Cardinals get the best possible talent, they say they’re not going to let need at any level determine who they pick. For instance, just because the Cards appear to have a ton of outfielders in the high minors and big league levels, that doesn’t preclude them from selecting an outfielder high up.
“We’re trying not to let need influence what we’re doing,” scouting director Dan Kantrovitz said. “Some of these players may not reach the big leagues for four or five years. And there’s no telling what can happen at the big league level. There’s trades that can be made. There are injuries that can happen.”
It’s all about ranking the players as they see them two, three, four or even five years down the road.
“Right now we’re trying to set up our Big Board. It’s comprised of roughly the top 70 players on our board. That’s going to take us through the first day of the draft (Rounds 1 and 2) where we have four picks,” Kantrovitz said.
The Cards pick 27th overall in the 1st round and then again at 34 because of compensation for losing Carlos Beltran to the Yankees. Kantrovitz says it’s a very unique draft in the sense that after the top 10 picks, there are a lot of different opinions on players. So whomever the Cardinals have ranked 11th on their board could conceivably be ranked, say, 20th or even 25th on someone else’s.
It’s the time of year when months of scouting high school and collegiate baseball players pays off. It’s also the time where the future of these organizations get determined.