2006 Cardinals Pre-Draft Buzz

What kind of players might the Cardinals' braintrust be thinking about selecting during the 2006 First-Year Player Draft on Tuesday and Wednesday? High school or college? Pitchers or position players? Stat-driven or scouting-driven selections?

Don't be surprised to see the Cardinals go high school-heavy when their selections in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft come to light Tuesday afternoon. Whether they will top last year's first six of ten selections being teens remains to be seen, but that does seem to be the general feeling.

Last year, team officials had pre-draft discussions with advisors for most all the players under consideration to gauge their signability before drafting them. Obviously, this is especially important with high schoolers who have other viable options than to turn professional.

With a 2006 draft pool that seems more pitching-rich, it would not be unexpected to see the Cardinals take as many as four hurlers in the first six, and most likely sooner than their third pick, as they did in 2005.

Cardinals 2006 Draft – Top Six Selections

Pick

Round

Source

#30

1

Own pick

#42

1 (supplemental)

For Giants signing Matt Morris

#54

2 (compensation)

For Giants signing Matt Morris

#74

2

Own pick

#76

2 (supplemental)

For Phillies signing Abraham Nunez

#106

3

Own pick

While trying to identify the exact players the Cardinals will draft is not something I am going to take on here due to low likelihood of accuracy, following is a summary of the Cardinals mock draft selections provided by our own Jason Avery of Scout. com. As you can see, this mock has the Cards taking only two high schoolers, but four of the six are hurlers, including three of the first four.

Scout.com 2006 Mock Draft - Cardinals

Pick

Player

Pos'n

School

#30

Justin Masterson

RHP

San Diego State University

#42

Max Sapp

C

Bishop Moore HS, FL

#54

Jared Hughes

RHP

Long Beach State University

#74

Tony Watson

LHP

University of Nebraska

#76

Devin Shepherd

OF

Oxnard HS, CA

#106

Craig Baker

RHP

Cal State U - Northridge

As a reminder, here are the signing bonuses the first six picks taken by St. Louis received last year, just to remind us there are no freebies. It cost the Cardinals roughly $4.5 million just to get out of the first two rounds with three college and three high schoolers chosen. So, there is a lot at stake here.

Cardinals 2005 Draft Recap

Pick

Rd

Player

Pos

School

Bonus

#23

1

Colby Rasmus

OF

Russell County HS, AL

$1,000,000

#30

1

Tyler Greene

SS

Georgia Tech University

$1,100,000

#43

1*

Mark McCormick

RHP

Baylor University

$800,000

#46

1*

Tyler Herron

RHP

Wellington Community HS, FL

$675,000

#70

2

Josh Wilson

RHP

Whitehouse HS, TX

$515,000

#78

2

Nick Webber

RHP

Central Missouri State University

$425,000

* Supplemental selection

It almost goes without saying that the Cardinals statisticians quietly wish the braintrust would place greater weight on their thinking while I imagine the scouts feel the same way. Under Cardinals Vice President of Player Procurement Jeff Luhnow's direction last year, the team seemed to balance the various opinions and wishes into execution of an effective draft.

Of course, we'll know a lot more tomorrow and so can you!

The Birdhouse's publisher, Ray Mileur, will be reporting directly from Cardinals draft central Tuesday and Wednesday. Our Minor League Co-Editor, Jason Scott, will recap each day's selections and we'll have much more coverage here and via our Message Board. So, stay right here at stlcardinals.scout.com for the best Cardinals 2006 draft coverage around.

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

© 2006 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


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