Draft expert Frankie Piliere, whose opinion Brian Walton seems to value, describes the Cardinal draft this way: "You can judge the Cardinals' draft class in a number of different ways, but if you're a fan of high upside type selections, you won't like their early round picks. They did take a high upside bat in Carson Kelly 86th overall, as well as some other toolsy players in the later rounds, but for the most part they played it safe. Their two first rounders, Michael Wacha and James Ramsey, are likely big leaguers but do not profile as impact type talents. " Well this isn't a ringing endorsement, not with Ramsey being compared to Skip Schumaker. No offense to Skip. I like him, but I feel James could be closer to Jon Jay.
Is a 'safe' draft the best way to go? Obviously Mozeliak and Kantrovitz thought so. It wasn't about the talent and their upside, it was about signibility. No I'm not going to mention the Porcello/Kozma draft. Oops! Anyway, by all accounts from all the different publications this was a WEAK college pool to select from. So why did we chose the vast majority of players from college/university? Oh yeah, because they agree to sign with us cheap. That would be why 27 players put their John Hancocks on their contracts so quick. But does that mean we got good players. Well yes, good is their upside; great.....highly unlikely. The organization didn't want to pay for 'great'. So they drafted a whole lot of okay, so so college players. More after the jump.
Does this, as my son would say, make it an epic fail? Did we draft to strengthen our bench and bullpen? Kantrovitz said no on the first day. He claimed they took the best players available. Even the casual fan didn't buy that one. Later he changed his wording claiming they drafted the best players under their financial strategy. Now that's a whole different ballgame! The truth is they drafted quantity in hopes that they'll find a gold nugget. Maybe they will, there always seems to be someone from each draft. But did we squander a perfect chance with the extra picks to score big. In my opinion - YES! Where was the balance of safe and high-risk? No where to be found.
I look at it this way; I can go out to a quarry and fill a wheelbarrow with stones because I'm too cheap to go to a jewellery store. I can polish them up all I want, but they aren't magically going to turn into diamonds. Sure I might find a gem that's valuable, but wouldn't the odds of getting lucky with my wife be better if I went shopping at the jewellery store?! For most of us husbands the answers YES people!
Isn't it odd that we'll be stalking our Gulf Coast team with some college seniors and such. It might bring us a league championship, but will it develop any top talent? Talent that will have to rise quickly because of their ages.
God bless the men we drafted and hope they achieve maximum success. I'm just saying we missed out on the high-end potential.