Cards scout head Kantrovitz on ‘12-‘13 drafts

Brian Walton's exclusive 30-minute interview with St. Louis Cardinals' director of amateur scouting Dan Kantrovitz.

Hired one year ago from the Oakland A's to return to the St. Louis Cardinals as the new director of amateur scouting, Dan Kantrovitz has put his mark on the organization.

The 34-year-old was responsible for the club's 2012 draft, including the five first-round selections. Kantrovitz has recently added new scouting resource to better compete given the financial constraints in the draft and is energized as the new scouting season gets underway.

In the following one-on-one interview, Kantrovitz discusses the annual scouting cycle and how it impacts his scouts, the scouting hierarchy and new staffing changes, then he recaps the key decisions made during the 2012 draft and looks ahead to 2013.


Extra points: As part of Winter Warm-Up, Kantrovitz also hosted a one-hour-plus long talk for the general public. Due to its length, I am not posting the audio from the public session here. Instead, I will single out additional comments of interest. They come from my notes so are accurate, but are not exact quotes.

v      His priorities in taking job

v      Know all the players

v      Know Cardinals personnel

v      Understand CBA/spending restrictions

Ø       Draft day navigation

§         Most challenging part of draft = pool management

§         Could not have drafted Carson Kelly without surplus

Ø       Day-to-day scouting ops/organization

v      Four picks likely in top 100 of 2013 draft

v      Scouting season startsthis week in Puerto Rico

v      Cards never pass up best athlete in draft

v      Do fill minor league roster positions in the 20s and 30s rounds

v      Advance scouts – StL does not use during season

v      Use pro scouts as advance scouts two prior series in advance of playoffs

v      One goal in 2012 draft was to fill in gap between young guys and ones ready for MLB with advanced players

v      Potential draftees are graded A-F on medicals, both for current and future

v      Hardest tool to project = body-related = power

v      Cards got to within $20K on over $9MM spend in 2012 draft

v      All 21 scouts and others came to StL week before draft – 1000 names on board

v      5-10 scouts have evaluated every player before draft

v      Speed prospect: Yoenny Gonzalez ran 6.36 in the 40. See that once every 2-3 years. Will he develop?

v      Other plus runners: James Ramsey and C.J. McElroy

v      Cards velocity focus to restock power arms began in 2008

v      WBC – will use pro scouts to cover some pools where players not already known

v      Drafted seniors have some leverage as they are not required to sign by deadline

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

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