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06/09/10 11:50 PM ET
Who signs will define Cards' 2010 Draft
By Michael Bleach / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- While the 20 St. Louis picks on Wednesday will all be hoping it is one of their names that eventually defines the Cardinals' 2010 Draft, there is another more pressing need that currently determines whether 2010 was a success for the front office: signability. Yes, it is a made up word, suited only for MLB's First-Year Player Draft, but the signability of St. Louis' top picks will dictate whether this year's Draft was a triumph. The Cardinals took several chances early on, though they got what many thought to be the most advanced bat in the Draft with No. 25 selection Zach Cox. The University of Arkansas sophomore will carry a large price tag, far exceeding "slot value." Cox joins Seth Blair, Tyler Jenkins, Jordan Swagerty and Austin Wilson to compose the Cards' five most talented picks, all of whom have leverage in the form of an option to either continue or start college if St. Louis' offer is not to their liking. While Wilson will most likely head to Stanford this fall no matter how much money the Cardinals throw at him, it would be a tough hit for St. Louis if they couldn't hang on to the other four. Jenkins has an offer to play football for Baylor, while Blair and Swagerty are currently pitching for the top college team in the nation, Arizona State. St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak has his work cut out for him. Lower in the Draft rounds, the Cardinals did attempt to shore up a dearth of left-handed pitching in the farm system. They added five southpaws on the second day and five more on the third.
Michael Bleach is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.