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In other media venues, you may have heard St. Louis Cardinals Vice President of Scouting and Player Development Jeff Luhnow speak about next week’s 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
So why would this interview be different?
The answer is in its depth. This three-part discussion totals over 35 minutes of detailed insight on how the organization is approaching this draft.
Topics in this first installment include what the Cardinals are learning from their barnstorming tour of workouts for draft-eligible players, how many players are scouted and how they are distilled down to “magnets” on the club’s draft board and how scouting, analytics and signability assessments are made and melded.
Part one concludes with Luhnow’s overall view of the 2011 draft class and how it compares to previous ones.
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Part two on Sunday: Luhnow outlines the inherent risks in taking a high school pitcher and the challenge of securing a top college hitter with the 22nd pick in the first round. The context of their first selection in each in the last two years, a high school pitcher (Shelby Miller) and a college hitter (Zack Cox), is discussed.
The relative wealth of pitching across the system currently and its potential affect on this draft is probed. The benefits to scouting of the change to composite bats in college play and the possibility of selecting another college hitter early are considered.
Finally, the challenges in finding both power hitters and tools players and the expected role of the Latin American program in that are covered.
Part three on Monday: Luhnow discusses key position targets in the draft but also explains why premium middle infielders may not be coming via this route. The size of the draft budget with no compensation picks and the possibility of going over slot come up.
We discuss the numbers challenges currently in terms of players already under contract in the system and how that may affect the quantity and type of signings in this draft.
The varying levels of activity between June and the August signing deadline is summarized and we close with an acknowledgment of the increased interest level in all things related to the Cardinals minor leagues.
2011 Draft Coverage at The Cardinal Nation: We have been busily putting out draft-related content for weeks now. This includes free interviews, mock drafts and draft prospect rankings as well as extensive subscriber-only scouting reports on dozens of draft-eligible players.
Check out a summary of our free and subscriber-only draft content here.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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