The Cardinals and non-drafted free agents

Scouting director Dan Kantrovitz explains how the St. Louis Cardinals select free agent targets post-draft.

Casual observers might think the St. Louis Cardinals completed their heavy lifting in terms of player acquisition at the end the 40-round First-Year Player Draft.

That is far from the case. Each year, a number of roster needs remain at the organization's short-season level clubs even after the drafted players sign.

To complete the player procurement process, the Cardinals plan to recruit and sign five to ten non-drafted free agents each summer. Specifics vary by the situation.

In the first of a five-part exclusive interview, Cardinals director of scouting Dan Kantrovitz discusses the transition from the draft to signing free agents.

Kantrovitz comments on a few free agents from 2013, including Kyle Grana, as well as players from last year and this year moving from being position players to pitchers, such as Ronnie Shaban and Trey Nielsen. Various analysis methods - including psychological, medical and statistical – are introduced, and much more.


Coming soon: In future installments, Kantrovitz will discuss two rising non-drafted free agents from 2012 in Zach Petrick and David Popkins. He will recap the draft from the perspective of the signing deadline, bonus pool management and target signing quantity.

The scouting director will take us inside the organization's strategy for the crucial rounds after 10, assessing player value versus bonus expectation, and the approach for selecting high schoolers. Kantrovitz will conclude with an explanation of how his scouts establish relationships with players and continue post-draft, how the scouts work with player development as draftees transition into the system and how the scouts are preparing for 2014.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories