Benes to represent Cardinals at draft

Benes to represent Cards at draft

Alan Benes' catch-all job description in the Cardinals front office has added yet another item.

Benes, along with assistant general manager John Mozeliak, will represent the club at the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, set for June 7-8 in Orlando, Fla.

Benes retired from baseball last year and was given a position as a special assistant to general manager Walt Jocketty. The work has included some front-office types of assignments, as well as some scouting and instructing.

Essentially, Benes is getting a look at all the different facets of working on the organizational side, after spending 14 years on the playing side.

"It's neat for me to have that opportunity to kind of get an idea of the front office side of it a little bit and also the coaching side of it a little bit," Benes said in Spring Training. "We're kind of just playing it by ear and using me for whatever assignment they see fit."

The newest assignment was likely unforeseen when Benes signed on. In past years, the Draft has been held via teleconference, with each team holed up in a "war room" and announcing its selections over the phone.

This time around, with ESPN2 carrying the first round on television, Major League Baseball decided to spruce things up a little bit. Each team will have a representative announce its pick -- such as Jim Palmer for the Orioles, and Dave Winfield for the Padres -- along with a more traditional front-office representative.

For St. Louis, it will be Benes and Mozeliak. Benes pitched parts of eight seasons in the Majors, making all but 14 of his appearances in a Cardinals uniform.

Jeff Luhnow is the Cardinals farm director and director of amateur scouting, and thus the point man for the draft effort.

Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.