After another year just above .500, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves in the late teens after the 2021 draft order was officially set.
As has been the case since 2008, the St. Louis Cardinals will be picking in the back half of the first round of the MLB draft. Back in 2008, the Cardinals drafted Brett Wallace who eventually was flipped for Matt Holliday. Before the 2008 season, the last time the Cardinals had a pick in the top 10 was in 1998 when they drafted J.D. Drew.
After finishing the shortened 2020 season at 30-28, the Cardinals were second in the NL Central. After the MLB decided to stick with the normal reverse-record order for the 2021 draft, the St. Louis Cardinals will be drafting 19th overall.
If this seems like deja vu, it’s because it is.
Since 2009, the Cardinals have drafted at 19th overall five times with plenty of success. Beginning in 2009, the Cardinals picked Shelby Miller at 19, then it was Michael Wacha in 2012, Marco Gonzalez in 2013, Nolan Gorman in 2018, and Zack Thompson in 2019.
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Each of these players has either reached the major leagues or is currently in the team’s top 10 prospects. Not that any pick in any draft is inherently lucky, but it is nice to know that the Cardinals have had previous success in this spot.
The 2021 draft, like the 2020 season, will be greatly affected by COVID-19 keeping players out of college seasons in 2020 and potentially 2021. It presents a greater challenge but also a greater opportunity for top-tier guys to slip down as diamonds in the rough.
While the Cardinals’ major league talent development has faced criticism as of late, the draft department lead by Randy Flores has put together very solid years so far.
Fans should have confidence in Flores to make the most of a draft that is going to be tough, but there will surely be impact players remaining at the 19th overall pick.