Here is some information what you need to know about the upcoming draft plus some Cardinals Draft News and a few local players to watch out for.
The Major League Baseball Draft is set to begin on Monday, June 12, at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J.
When the Draft officially begins at 7 p.m. ET, the Minnesota Twins will be on the clock, as they hold the No. 1 pick for the first time since 2001, when they used the selection to choose six-time All Star Joe Mauer. The Twins will be followed by the Reds, Padres, Rays and Braves, rounding out the top five picks.
MLB Network, with a simulcast on MLB.com, will air the first round and Competitive Balance Round A live after a one-hour preview show that begins at 6 p.m. Round 2 and Competitive Balance Round B, also on Day 1, will be shown exclusively on MLB.com.
The second and third days of the Draft (Rounds 3-10 on Tuesday and 11-40 on Wednesday) will also be streamed on MLB.com.
Louisville’s Brendan McKay and Hunter Greene of Notre Dam High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif. are the favorites to go No. 1 overall, although the Twins are considering other names as well.
If McKay is the pick, plenty will be curious to see if he’s selected as a first baseman or as a left-handed pitcher. If Greene is selected, he will become the first high school right-hander to ever be selected with the top pick.
While the Twins have the glamour of the first pick, several other teams have a chance to make a big splash on Day 1 as the Toronto Blue Jays (22nd and 28th), Texas Rangers (26th and 29th) and Chicago Cubs (27th and 30th) each possess a pair of first-round selections.
The Houston Astros (15th, 53rd, 56th, 75th) and Pittsburgh Pirates (12th, 42nd, 50th, 72nd) are also loaded with picks as each club will make four of the first 75 selections.
MLB.com will begin its exclusive live programming of the Draft’s final two days with a live preview show at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on June 13th, followed by a live pick-by-pick stream and commentary from MLBPipeline.com Draft experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis. It also will provide Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of more than 1,500 draft-eligible players with statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.
On Twitter, the official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary using the official Draft hashtag, #MLBDraft, while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.
John Nagel of the Redbird Daily Reports…..The Cards lost their first round pick when they signed free-agent Dexter Fowler from the Chicago Cubs. 2017 will be the first year the Cardinals do not have at least two picks in the first round and competitive balance round A combined since 2011 and this will be the first time they don’t pick in the first round since 2002, the same draft that netted MLB’ers Kyle McClellan and Brad Thompson.
In the 2017 draft, the Cardinals’ first pick will be pick #56, which will fall in the second round, after the first and Comp Balance Round A. The Birds second pick will be pick #75 in the Competitive Balance Round B. From that point on, the club will pick 19th in each round after up to the 40th round. Since having less draft picks is a big deal, the loss of bonus pool money is probably a bigger loss. Clubs that have more draft money to spend can take risks on players considered to have high upside. The Cardinals will have one of the smallest bonus pools in MLB for 2017, so that will greatly affect their strategy.
I would also expect the club to make relatively safe picks in the upcoming draft. I am talking about players who will be solid college players but may not project too highly at the major league level.
Here are two names to look out for, Jake Burger(St.Louis) add Tanner Houck(Collinsville)
Jake Burger Ranks #16 in the top 100 2017 Prospect Watch
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55
With 10 of its pitchers appearing in the Majors since the turn of the century, Missouri State is known for producing mound talent. Yet the Bears’ two best big leaguers have been position players Bill Mueller and Ryan Howard, and they should have their first ever selected in the first round in 2017. Burger went undrafted out of high school but has blossomed into a college star, finishing second in NCAA Division I with 21 home runs in 2016 and winning Missouri Valley Conference player of the year honors this spring, when he led the league in all three triple crown categories (.341-22-63) entering NCAA tournament play.
Though he went homerless with the U.S. college national team during the summer, scouts still recognize Burger as one of the top power sources available in a Draft class short on college hitters. He generates his pop more with strength than bat speed, and there are some worries about an arm bar in his right-handed swing. He controls the strike zone well and makes reliable contact for a slugger, so he should hit for some average as well.
While Burger isn’t the most graceful player, one scout compared him to Hunter Pence for his ability to get the job done in less than pretty fashion. Despite his large frame, he has average speed out of the batter’s box and decent range at third base. With his solid arm, reliable hands and admirable work ethic, he should be able to stay at the hot corner.
Tanner Houck # 18 in the top 100 2017 Prospect Watch
Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 50
As an Illinois high schooler, Houck drew comparisons to the likes of Max Scherzer, Justin Masterson and Nick Burdi. His desire to attend Missouri dropped him to the Blue Jays in the 12th round of the 2014 Draft, and like Scherzer, he has blossomed into a first-round prospect in college with the Tigers. Houck should be the fourth player in program history to go that high, following Scherzer, Aaron Crow and Kyle Gibson.
Houck has one of the best fastballs in this year’s Draft class. It’s not just because of his velocity, thought that’s impressive with a normal range of 92-96 mph with a peak of 98. Houck’s heater also has a lot of sinking and boring action, generating a lot of swings and misses as well as weak contact.
Houck’s secondary pitches aren’t as impressive. His low-80s slider lacks consistency and can get sweepy, and he needs to use his changeup more often in order to refine it. Scouts don’t love Houck’s low-three-quarters arm slot and the high back elbow in his delivery, but he makes his mechanics work and throws a lot of strikes.