2020 MLB Draft Talk

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InvincibleCakeEater
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by InvincibleCakeEater »

Cardinals sign 2 UFA so far. Both seniors.

Mac Lardner - Soft tossing lefty from Gonzaga
Matt Chamberlain - An outfielder from New Haven University. Good OBP skills and speed, but hasn't played against good competition. Performed pretty well in summer leagues though.

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cardsfantx
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by cardsfantx »

InvincibleCakeEater wrote:
June 14 20, 9:16 am
Bedell signs. No dollar amount yet, but should be right around slot - 469k.
I dunno; this is the article from right after he was drafted...
The signing bonus for Bedell’s slot in the draft is $469,000. He indicated the Cardinals offer was, “well over that.”

phins
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by phins »

Some of you might remember the days of me spending several days writing up thousands of words on draft picks by the Cardinals and dreaming on potential. As you'd expect, I got some right and I got some wrong. I will forever contend Rob Kaminsky got hurt and it slowed his arm and took away the wonderful ability to spin it that he once had.

I love to dream on kids and often like to take ceiling over floor. I want my hitters to have a good hit tool over anything else. My interest isn't as high on defense-first prospects as I believe you can make up for a lot of that with modern positioning and finding players who will put in the work to get better defensively. I saw Paul DeJong play in college from row 5 behind home plate and even I never would've dreamed he'd have played SS in MLB- let alone play it quite well.

My point is just to give a little context for my opinion on the draft and how they did. I've changed my M.O. somewhat, as I tend to have disappointment the moment a player is selected unless he is the exact player I wanted. That isn't a very logical approach and normally my rationality returns within a day or so.

Generally when I've been way off on a player it's for one simple reason: making the mistake of seeing the player for who he is and not necessarily who he could be. The Cardinals are some of the best out there at developing players and making the necessary changes for a player to have every chance to succeed.

What the Cardinals love
Age- The Cardinals were at the forefront of the age in evaluating prospects movement. Most data analysts agree: if you're young for your level and still produce, you have a much higher percentage of success. The Cardinals continue to draft young-for-their-level players and did so again in this draft.

Athleticism- It's clear the Cardinals prefer every player they select to have at least a baseline athleticism profile. Pitchers who are athletic have a place in this organization. Fast arms and the ability to spin it are desired and the rest the Cardinals believe they can teach.

Character- This one is something that has been clearer to me over the past few years. The Cardinals place an emphasis on players who truly love the game and want nothing more than to be ball players. It's not absolute, but the trend is clear that the Cardinals believe players will "play up" if they have the right temperament and work ethic.

Jordan Walker-
Full disclosure: this isn't the player I would have selected. I'm not big on taking players who would be outlier results and Walker being a successful big league player wouldn't go quite that far, but the profile has had much less success than it has had busts over the years. He's an absolute upside play who could provide unbelievable power if things come together.

Frame: The body could be an Aaron Judge body in a few years. He's an absolute specimen of an athlete with soft hands, quick feet, loose limbs and a great arm. The length tends to be an issue for baseball players and I'd prefer the player to be 6-3 than 6-5 for that reason.

Tools: Definitely a power over hit prospect. The saving grace for me, and what makes me more into the pick than I otherwise would be is that he's also an OBP over free-swinger profile. A 90th percentile outcome (some would call it a high-tail outcome) would be for a .270/.370/.540 slash line player who sticks at 3B and provides average defense. In other words: a superstar 5+ win player. More likely he ends up in RF and is an average defender who hits for a low-average but with decent walks and good power. I worry that his length will cause the swing-and-miss to make him a slow moving player.

Character You can't read about him and not read about how gifted he is academically. Both parents are highly educated and supportive and it's clear it stuck with Jordan as he matured. He's the type of character that Dylan Carlson was reputed to be out of HS and that bet seems to have paid off handsomely for the Cardinals. Add the character to the athleticism that Walker possesses and you can see how the Cardinals view him as a player more likely to hit the upper percentages of his projection than he is to bust out totally.

Overall
Difficult to be too upset here. I opined about how Walker would be somewhat of an outlier success, but the player I would've taken, Bitsko, is another player who would be an unusual hit based on limited track record. The longer it goes, the more I can wrap my head around the pick. He's a player who if he hits, will hit big. If he misses, he most likely misses big because he doesn't give you glove/run fallbacks. The Cardinals have been going more and more corner-type big bats with their picks and the results have been solid thus far.

Masyn Winn
If you think the Cardinals took a big hack in the first round, coming back and taking the ultra-talented but not sure where he fits, Masyn Winn was an uppercut, Babe Ruth pointing at his shot, size swing. Announced as both a SS and RHP, he's got the talent to do both at a very high level. The first time I remember the Cardinals openly saying they will develop a draft pick as a two-way guy, the thinking is probably that he could be a SS who can give you some innings out of the bullpen, but that has plenty of time to see.

Frame Winn is a wiry kid who should develop real strength as he matures and fills out. 5-11, 180 is just fine for an 18-year old with his athleticism.

Tools Yes. Winn has all the tools. With an exceptionally fast arm, twitch and movement skills, hands that are soft and advanced actions in the dirt, he will stick at SS. He's a 60-grade runner that some see even higher on the scale. I think he settles in as "fast" rather than "holy bleep fast." His swing is pull-heavy and has a hand load that causes him to be in-between quite a bit against good pitching. You can dream on him and a tail outcome is probably .290/.350/.410 with excellent SS defense and impact baserunning (especially taking an extra base). Again, a superstar.

I honestly like him more as a pitcher than I do as a SS. His arm is exceptionally quick. Whereas his bat speed is just great rather than elite, his arm speed is elite. He has plane data on his fastball that plays exactly into today's high-fastball revolution that combats launch angle and gets swings-and-misses. His Trackman pitching data is top-notch on both his fastball and his slider. Obvious questions about whether he can start at his size, but I'm betting on the arm speed, the spin rates, the athleticism and repeatability to stay in a rotation. Love him on the mound, like him as a SS. Though, again, my guess is the Cardinals see him as a SS I don't believe he will have the bat speed and momentum to really impact the baseball in a way that makes him a star.

Character Winn had an incident where he was suspended by his team this year that I don't know the details of. Additionally, players decommitting in college baseball is rare, and Winn backed out of a pledge to Stanford to commit to Arkansas. I wouldn't go to Stanford either, due to the way they teach hitting, but it's a tidbit that at least deserves mentioning. Everything else I've read on the kid tells you he is fun-loving and wants to play baseball over anything else. Fun-loving is often a synonym for immature, so we will see what comes of that, if anything.

Overall
Again, probably not the player I would've picked, but if the upside hits he is going to be a star. The Cardinals have a reputation for developing 2-win players out of nothing and this draft is clearly one where they wanted to try and inject some upside into their system. My guess is it's the right time to do it with the contraction of minor league teams and a consolidation of the draft down to allow for depth signings after the draft itself at almost no cost.

Tink Hence
This is another player who is a massive upside bet with almost no floor. Hence has been a massive riser over the past year. So much so, it was a foregone conclusion he was going to go to Arkansas until a Perfect Game event in Jupiter, FL six months ago. Hence has another extremely fast arm and is also young for his class. 6-1, 172 with the type of whippy arm actions that produce easy velocity. It looks like he's playing catch and you see 92-94 mph consistently.

Frame Long and loose with arm actions that are whippy. He can spin the baseball at an extremely high level as well. Spin rates again show flat plane that lead to excellent high-fastball placement in today's game. As he gains more weight and strength, you could see add velocity.

Tools Classic drive motion and an extremely fast arm leads to big velocity numbers from such a young player. The hope is that strength and maturation allows him to keep his velocity deeper into games and when he pitches out of the stretch. Fastball/slider with a chance for both to be plus. His command wavers as he gets in a hurry and misses up-and-away. He needs to learn more about sequencing to meet his tail outcomes, but there is a lot to dream on here. Definite reliever-risk to the profile as he has some effort and really is a two-pitch pitcher currently (fastball/slider). Fastball has some natural sink and run, he popped out in Jupiter last year and got his name on the national level.

Character Known as a grinder who is simply a baseball rat, he's a kid who wants to get started playing professionally. As a 17 year/old draft pick, it will be interesting to see how he handles being on his own for the first time, but everything you read says he's a great kid.

Overall
I see this kid with a similar upside as many of the HS pitchers taken in the top-2 rounds. He's full of arm speed and spin, he's gotten steadily better as he's matured (as opposed to some players who have been big velo early on and then stagnated. That type tends to flame out in my experience.). I really like Hence and saw that Keith Law had him very high as well.

Alec Burleson
The Cardinals did the smart thing by balancing out their first three picks with some "floor" type prospects in the back-half of the draft. I can't really call them "late-rounds." Burleson is definitely a hit-over-power type who makes contact to both gaps and profiles as a pinch-hit type more than he does an every-day player.

Frame Big change from the first picks, Burleson is a beer-league softball body type. I saw him play against Missouri State a few years ago (a game the Bears won, go Bears!) and he didn't strike me as a top-prospect because his body was dumpy.

Tools Again, hit-over-power, but he has an advanced feel to hit. Hit well on the Cape, hit well in college, even hit well for Team USA, which is no small feat. Even in college he wasn't a defensive player. In the game referenced above, he was even pinch-hit for. He has an average arm for RF, despite being a pitcher in college (he's a slider pitcher). Run is below-average. If he is going to make it, it will be on the back of a .280 type batting average with doubles power and a patient approach. Sounds an awful lot like a hundred other Cardinals draft picks over the years, many of whom made it to the big leagues.

Character Straightforward college track record. Two-way player who coaches said wanted to win above all else and did whatever was asked.

Overall
Typical college producer with bat control, hand-eye coordination, feel for the barrel, and not much else. Bat will need to carry and his tail outcomes are probably every-day average major league player. Floor is probably AA.

Levi Prater
Finesse lefty who produced solid, not elite, numbers in college.

Frame
Straightforward, 6-2, 190 type frame is strong but lacks much projection.

Tools
He's another LHP the Cardinals have taken around this range with below-average everything but plays up due to deception and competitiveness. I also saw him play against Missouri State and he was impressive, striking out 15 with his changeup and breaking stuff. He liked to pitch backwards and the Bears were off-balance all-game. Dominated in the Cape Cod League as well.

Character
Pitching in the same rotation as a 1st round pick (Cade Cavali), Prater was the better player in college. He is an extremely competitive type, who believes in his stuff when it doesn't like he should. His coach said if he needed to win a game, he'd choose him over any player he's coached. The Bears beat Cavali, but not even close on Prater. The type who will challenge others to work as hard as he does. You probably know the story of him overcoming the loss of some fingers on right-hand.

Overall
Low-ceiling, decent floor type who probably will never make it, but you root for him anyway. Young for his class and his coach had hoped he'd come back next year.

Ian Bedell
Local player from Mizzou, another young for his class pick.

Frame
Fairly maxed out player physically, though the hope is with some added strength he can be a workhorse type.

Tools
He's another low-ceiling type who throws 90-92. He likes to keep the ball down and has four pitches, all with average potential and great strike-throwing ability. He's most likely a back-of-the-rotation type, but he's a player I liked.

Personal Story
I know his serious girlfriend's family. My wife knows her mother and her mother was actually at the happy-hour the night I met my wife. The girlfriend is an absolutely sweet girl and comes from a wonderful family. Ian is a great kid who treats her well.

Overall
I thought Bedell had the chance to go late-second round due to his fairly high-floor in a draft with a lot of uncertainty. He's a great kid who has a chance to make it.

L.J. Jones
I don't honestly know much about him. He is yet another young for his class pick, but supposedly has some pop. Weird profile as a major free-swinger on the data. Not really my type on paper, but again, I haven't even seen him play.

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heyzeus
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by heyzeus »

Thanks Phins, that's a fun read as always.

MinorLeagueGuy
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by MinorLeagueGuy »

Thankee, Sai Phins.

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mikechamp
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by mikechamp »

InvincibleCakeEater wrote:
June 14 20, 10:40 am
Cardinals sign 2 UFA so far. Both seniors.

Mac Lardner - Soft tossing lefty from Gonzaga
Matt Chamberlain - An outfielder from New Haven University. Good OBP skills and speed, but hasn't played against good competition. Performed pretty well in summer leagues though.
Here's a link to BA's tracker for the Cards. They're up to 8 signings:

https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories ... #Cardinals

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Radbird
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by Radbird »

Burleson is a beer-league softball body type.
My new favorite prospect.

phins
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by phins »

Alec Burleson signs for 700k. About 200k under slot.

That’s honestly more than expected. I didn’t see him as that level of talent, but the Cardinals clearly believe they can develop the power.

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mikechamp
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by mikechamp »

Great summary as always, phins.

=D>

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CardsofSTL
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Re: 2020 MLB Draft Talk

Post by CardsofSTL »

Why are the Cardinals signing people to play an extinct sport?

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