Cardinals cast wide net in Draft-pick makeup

Cardinals cast wide net in Draft-pick makeup

ST. LOUIS -- After starting the 2016 MLB Draft class with the first round's riskiest pick, the Cardinals put a bowtie on the three-day event early Saturday evening with the selection of high school outfielder Jeremy Ydens, the 1,216th and final player to be chosen. In between, the organization loaded up on college pitching and went far-reaching for talent, much of which it plucked from smaller college programs.

Of the 42 players taken by the Cardinals, 34 were out of college, including 19 pitchers. The Cardinals opened their Draft by taking a pair of high school position players -- Delvin Perez, who had tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance (No. 23), and Dylan Carlson (No. 33) -- but they added just six more high school players in the later rounds. 

While those could be some of the toughest players to sign, the Cardinals were intrigued enough by the talent to give it a try.

"I didn't have any expectations going into it," Cardinals scouting director Randy Flores said after completing his first Draft. "What really surprised me was just how hard everyone works for three crazy days. And the Cardinals have had a history of mining talent out of every spot in the Draft."

Meshing scouting reports with the data spit out by their analytics team, the Cardinals dug in some unusual places for talent this year. The second half of their Draft class was heavy with picks from more obscure college programs. Draft reports that scouts began writing during summer-ball seasons last year helped tremendously in finding that talent.

Three of the Cardinals' Draft picks were found in Missouri, including one from St. Louis -- Robbie Gordon (36th round). In total, the Cardinals took players with 24 different home states, as well as ones from Puerto Rico and Canada.

2016 Draft Recap: Cardinals

"I think that our scouts really do go and look everywhere, as does our baseball development office," Flores said. "The thing I've been so impressed with is how hard everyone works for these three days. My hope is that our Draft over three days reflects that."

Five of the selectees are still playing in the College World Series, as well. Those include Mississippi State's Dakota Hudson (first round) and Austin Sexton (18th); North Carolina State's Andrew Knizner (seventh); Oklahoma State's J.R. Davis (15th); and Clemson's Pat Krall (28th).

2016 Draft: Andrew Knizner, C

Now that they've made their selections, the Cardinals will turn their attention to signing as many of those players as possible. The organization has been assigned a pool of $9.1433 million to use when signing players taken in the first 10 rounds. In addition, 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 5 percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. The Cardinals have shown a willingness to take the penalty in past years if it can help them land talent. Overspending beyond 5 percent would cost the team future Draft picks. That's a threshold the organization is not expected to cross.

The signing deadline is July 15.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.