Originally Posted by MikeThierry
You're right about the draft being a crap shoot but the way the Cards have been drafting the past couple of years, having multiple first round picks is good. Their first round pick last year Wacha, for example, is close to being MLB ready right now. Miller will make an impact this year as a starter and Wong just needs some seasoning and will probably take 2B full time next year or even half way through this year.
I get a sense that the draft has become more and more important now in MLB. With the advanced stats and sabermetrics, there is more certainty about top draft picks now than there were even 10 years ago.
EDIT: The Cards just named Shelby Miller as the 5th starter. I wasn't sure until now.
MLB did a great job revamping the draft with pool money, slotted amounts and the revised FA compensation.
Prior to the new setup, losing a draft pick for signing a FA had ZERO impact. A club could draft a 1st round talent bound for college in a late round, and offer him first round money. So, the new system closes that loophole, which is ultimately great for teams like the Cards and Reds, who would never be able to spend on the draft like the Yankees and Rangers used to.
I also like the fact that only the top teir FAs like Lohse cost a draft pick. There was no reason to make it more difficult for the mediocre FAs to find a job. A lot of former "Type A" FAs were not really impact players, and were on the decline. I'm glad it's easier for them to find a job now.
All in all, great job by Bud. But yea, I agree with you, under the new system the draft compensation is much more valuable, and the Cards have done a great job leveraging the draft recently.