Cards to shop by talent, not position in Draft

St. Louis has recent history of strong selections with Wacha, Wong, Miller

Cards to shop by talent, not position in Draft

ST. LOUIS -- The 2015 Draft will take place from Monday, June 8 through Wednesday, June 10, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 75 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of Day 2 begins with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, with exclusive coverage of Day 3 beginning at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 200 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of over 1,700 Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.

Here's how the Draft is shaping up for the Cardinals, whose first selection is the No. 23 overall pick.

In about 50 words
The Cardinals will make five picks over the first three rounds after being awarded an additional selection through the Competitive Balance Lottery and another as compensation for an unsigned third-round pick a year ago. Those picks increase the team's pool of bonus money, allowing for the club to have more flexibility in its spending strategy.

The scoop
With a new scouting director (Chris Correa) leading in the Draft room, St. Louis might take on a different approach with its allocation of bonus money. Though many agree this Draft class doesn't feature clear-cut Top 10 picks, Correa said he does see it as a deep Draft pool. That should benefit the Cardinals, who don't make their first selection until near the end of the first round.

First-round buzz
In three Drafts under previous scouting director Dan Kantrovitz, the Cardinals used their first pick on an advanced college pitcher. That paid off quickly with the 2012 selection of Michael Wacha and the 2013 choice of Marco Gonzales. However, the club is not married to that strategy and won't hesitate to go in another direction. Correa noted that this Draft class is especially fertile with college position players and high school pitchers.

Wacha's dominant start

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an alloted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $100,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its alloted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

The Cardinals have been assigned a pool of $7,387,600, which ranks 13th in the Majors. The value assigned to the Cardinals' first-round pick is $2,124,400.

Shopping list
The Cardinals won't be targeting specific needs with particular picks, but will rather take whomever they consider the best player available with each selection, keeping potential financial constraints in mind. The organization is thin on top-tier position players in its Minor League system, so this Draft could be an opportunity to strengthen that area. However, the Cardinals still put high value on developing pitching.

Trend watch
The last time the Cardinals selected a high school player with their top pick was in 2009, when they chose pitcher Shelby Miller. Since then, the team has plucked players from the college ranks. Picking more polished players allowed for the quick climbs of Wacha, Kolten Wong and Gonzales, for instance.

Miller one out shy of no-hitter

RECENT DRAFT HISTORY

Rising fast
Gonzales, the team's top pick in 2013, rose so quickly that he was making his Major League debut less than 13 months after being drafted. He has been back in Triple-A this season, but remains the only member of that 2013 Draft class to reach the Majors thus far. Lefty Tim Cooney (third round) became the second player drafted by the Cardinals in 2012 to appear in the big leagues when he made a spot start in April. Cooney is now with Memphis, along with fellow '12 draftee Stephen Piscotty.

Cinderella story
Reliever Kevin Siegrist was drafted in a round that actually no longer exists. The Cardinals made Siegrist their 41st-round pick in 2008, four years before Major League Baseball shortened the Draft to 40 rounds. Other late selectees who have made a Major League impact this year include Trevor Rosenthal (21st round, 2009), Matt Adams (23rd round, 2009) and Tony Cruz (26th round, 2007).

Siegrist strikes out the side

In The Show
The Cardinals' Opening Day 25-man roster featured 12 players the organization selected in previous Drafts. That group included five pitchers (Lance Lynn, Seth Maness, Rosenthal, Siegrist, Wacha), two catchers (Cruz, Yadier Molina), four infielders (Adams, Matt Carpenter, Pete Kozma, Wong) and outfielder Jon Jay.

The Cardinals' recent top picks
2014: Luke Weaver, RHP, High-A Palm Beach
2013: Gonzales, LHP, Triple-A Memphis
2012: Wacha, RHP, St. Louis Cardinals
2011: Wong, 2B, St. Louis Cardinals
2010: Zack Cox, 3B, Double-A Jacksonville (Marlins)

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.