Draft board shaping up with four Day 1 picks

Draft board shaping up with four Day 1 picks

ST. LOUIS -- With the 2014 First-Year Player Draft less than 48 hours away, the Cardinals have settled into their war room, spending up to 10 hours a day determining who might become the future of the organization.

"Right now what we're doing is we're trying to set up our big board," Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz said Tuesday. "It's comprised of roughly the top 70 players on our board."

Kantrovitz said the board will get the club through the first day of the Draft, comprised of 74 total picks, including two first-round and two second-round selections for the Cardinals. That board could take the team through subsequent rounds during Day 2 of the three-day Draft as well.

Before the Draft begins Thursday evening, Cardinals scouts are providing general manager John Mozeliak with reports and opinions on various players as the team attempts to rank them.

The Cardinals won't draft based on need, such as avoiding outfielders because of their current overload of young talent.

"Some of these players might not reach the big leagues for four or five years," Kantrovitz said. "There's no telling what can happen at the big league level. There's trades that can be made, injuries that can happen. We're going to try to take the best player available."

The Cardinals' first pick will come at No. 27. The team, Kantrovitz said, has ruled out about 10 players who it feels are highly unlikely to drop that far.

Beyond that, there is a feeling this year's Draft is different than others.

"Once you get past the first 10 picks or so, I feel like it's kind of in the eye of the beholder," Kantrovitz said. "Every team is going to have a very different Draft board after the top 10. That's good for us, because having four picks a little bit later means we might get a player that's a little bit higher-caliber player where we're picking than we would normally expect."

The 2014 Draft will take place Thursday-Saturday, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday at 5 p.m. CT. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 6 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 11:30 a.m. CT on Friday.

Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.