Cards 'wide open' regarding '07 draft
Defending World Series champs pick 18th in first round
The Cardinals get the best of both worlds in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Though they're coming off their first World Series championship since 1982, the Cards pick 18th overall in the draft.
That's because the draft is set by record, rather than playoff positioning. So after a couple of years of picking at the very end of the first round, St. Louis gets to move up a little bit. That's very good news to Jeff Luhnow, who is both the Cardinals' amateur scouting director and their farm director.
"When I look at this draft, I see about 14 or so players that I think we really want," Luhnow said. "I'm not saying that we're not going to want the guy that we ultimately want at 18, but there seems to be a little bit of a dropoff around 13-14-15. But that's the way we line them up, and we don't line our board up the way other clubs do. So hopefully there are enough differences where our 14th guy is [available at] No. 18."
St. Louis has developed a well-earned reputation for drafting college pitchers over the years, and that wouldn't be a bad guess in '07, either. But Luhnow said the club does not have a narrow focus.
"We're wide open," he said. "There are several of those players on our wish list who are high school position players and high school pitchers. There are several college pitchers on there."
MLB.com will broadcast every pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, which takes place June 7-8 at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. Day 1 coverage begins at 1 p.m. CT with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks.
Video coverage of the remaining rounds on Day 1 will air at MLB.com, with live interviews and analysis from Orlando by Casey Stern, Jonathan Mayo and Perfect Game USA's Dave Rawnsley. Day 2 of the draft will get under way at 10:30 a.m. CT and continue through Round 50, if necessary. Every pick on Day 2 can be heard live at MLB.com with analysis from Mayo and Perfect Game USA's Allan Simpson.
Also once again this year, fans can follow every pick with MLB.com's live Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every draft eligible player featuring biographical data, statistics, scouting reports and rare scouting video.
Recent Cardinals first-round picks:
2006: RHP Adam Ottavino (No. 30 overall) -- Thus far, Ottavino has been a success story. Drafted out of Northeastern University, he posted a 3.31 ERA and just under a strikeout per inning over two levels in his 2006 pro debut. He's kept it up in '07 in the Florida State League, racking up the Ks. Ottavino could still use some refinement, but he's looking promising.
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
2005: CF Colby Rasmus (No. 28 overall) -- Simply the best prospect in the Cardinals system. Rasmus has endured a brief slump at his introduction to every level, but every time, he's come on in a big way. Drafted out of an Alabama high school, Rasmus has power, speed, defensive skill, command of the strike zone ... he's the total package.
2005: SS Tyler Greene (No. 30 overall) -- The Cards' second pick in the first round from '05 hasn't panned out as well. Ironically, Greene was considered the safer pick, a product of the big-time college program at Georgia Tech. He's got power and speed, two excellent attributes, but he hasn't mastered playing shortstop consistently or making contact often enough.
2004: RHP Chris Lambert (No. 19 overall) -- Lambert has made it to Triple-A, but only after being converted to the bullpen. He hasn't developed into the impact pitcher the Cards hoped when they drafted him. Still, he may have a future as a reliever, and at times he showed impressive flashes as a starter as high as Double-A. He was drafted out of Boston College.
Rising Fast: Chris Perez is a power bullpen arm from a big-time college program, and nobody tends to move through the Minors faster than guys who fit that description. Perez, drafted in the supplemental first round out of the University of Miami in '06, is already at Double-A Springfield -- and already making Texas League hitters look very bad. He throws a mid-90s fastball and a nasty slider, and he's on the fast track to the big-league bullpen.
Cinderella Stories: The 28th round has yielded a couple of promising pitchers for the Cardinals. Trey Hearne, the team's 28th-rounder from '05, has ridden a big-time curveball from short-season ball to low Class A to high Class A Palm Beach. He's found the going a little rougher in the Florida State League, but remains an intriguing prospect.
Luke Gregerson, taken in the same round one year later, has been outstanding as a reliever for Palm Beach this year. He's racking up saves and strikeouts thanks to an ability to get ahead of hitters, then make them chase pitches later in the count.
In the Show: No Cardinals draftee from '04, '05 or '06 has made the Major Leagues yet.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.