Scouting and Drafting for the Cardinals = EPIC FAIL

By Curtis Stelzer

The St. Louis Cardinals have not had a #1 pick become a “star” in Major League Baseball since either 1998 5th overall pick JD Drew or 2006 42nd pick (supplemental draft) RHP Chris Perez.  Was Drew really a star??  Not in my opinion, but I am trying to help the Redbirds here.  On the Perez front, I feel he needs to prove he can be a closer year after year before we say he is/can be a star.  In 2011, Perez is 3-6 with 27 saves and a 2.96 ERA. Where would the Cardinals be in the standings right now if they ahd a closer like Perez this year…just sayin!

Seriously…how embarrassing is that???  Thirteen years and not 1 sure fire star…heck…I would even take above average.  Yes, JD was above average…WHEN HEALTHY (which unfortunately is/was very rare).  Here is the list of #1 picks for the Redbirds since the 2001 MLB Amateur Draft:

2001 RHP Justin Pope,  28th overall

2002 No pick

2003 C Daric Barton,  28th overall

2004 RHP Chris Lambert,  19th overall

2005 OF Colby Rasmus,  28th overall

2005 SS Tyler Greene,  30th overall

2005 RHP Mark McCormick,  43rd overall (Supplemental)

2005 RHP Tyler Herron,  46th overall (Supplemental)

2006 RHP Adam Ottavino,  30th overall

2006 RHP Chris Perez,  42nd overall (Supplemental)

2007 SS Pete Kozma, 18th overall

2007 RHP Clay Mortensen, 36th overall (Supplemental)

2008 1B Brett Wallace, 13th overall

2008 RHP Lance Lynn, 39th overall (Supplemental)

2009 RHP Shelby Miller, 19th overall

2010 3B Zack Cox, 25th overall

2010 RHP Seth Blair, 46th overall (Supplemental)

2010 RHP Tyrell Jenkins, 50th overall (Supplemental)

2011 2B Kolten Wong, 22nd overall

Wow.  Wow again!  That is what millions of dollars have went to Cardinals fans.  It is still a little early on all the 2008 and later picks.  I will say Shelby Miller looks like the real deal if and only if he can fix his off field issues.  Zack Cox is raking at AA Springfield and Kolten Wong was hitting in A ball before he got injured.  But you kind of have to wonder what the problem is.  Is the issue even before the draft and the scouting department is horrendous?  Or is it the minor league coaching/development?  Something is the issue.  And if the Cardinals are going to stay competitive and not go above the $110-$120 Million in salaries…this organization needs to fix this issue – and it is a BIG issue.  Just for the record…isn’t it funny how the Cardinals FINALLY may have a #1 develop and then they trade him to the Cleveland Indians…name any other organization that is an absolute nightmare like this?

Now the big question I have for you fans???  When was the last #1 pick of the Cardinals really became a star?  I don’t feel Drew or Perez (at this point) have been??  Here are some other notable #1’s:

1997 2B Adam Kennedy

1995 RHP Matt Morris

1991 3B Dmitri Young

1988 OF Brian Jordan

I’m thinking Brian Jordan went on to be the biggest name of all in the last 23 years…and it’s debatable on if Jordan made his name on the diamond or if it was because he was a 2 sport star (DB for the Atlanta Falcons).  Cardinals scouting and/or Cardinals development in #1 picks is a total EPIC FAIL in the last 20 years.

Curtis Stelzer is the featured St. Louis Cardinals columnist for For daily updates, follow him on Twitter @Stelzy and join the fan page on Rant Sports MLB – St. Louis Cardinals




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