The 2023 MLB draft will take place on July 9th in Seattle. The Cardinals will have the 21st pick in the first round of this year's draft and a late first-round pick is something the Cardinals are used to having.
With the Cardinals having 16 playoff appearances and 22 winning seasons so far in the 21st century, the negative that comes with that is that the Cardinals will not get a very high first-round pick in the draft, which makes good scouting and developing pivotal.
St. Louis has had some successful first-round picks in recent history, players like Lance Lynn in 2008, Shelby Miller in 2009, Kolten Wong in 2011, Luke Weaver and Jack Flaherty in 2014, and Nolan Gorman in 2018. It also looks like the Cardinals struck gold in 2020 taking Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, Tink Hence, and Alec Burleson in a draft that was cut to 5 rounds due to the pandemic.
There have also been some first-round draft picks that have had productive major league careers just not in St. Louis. Daric Barton had an 8-year career with Oakland after he was in the Mark Mulder trade. Adam Ottavino is in his 13th MLB season in 2023, he was the last pick in the 1st round in 2006 and only pitched 22.1 innings with the Cardinals before he was claimed off waivers by the Rockies in 2012. And Brett Wallace was a piece that went to Oakland in the Matt Holliday trade then had 6 seasons in the big leagues.
Not every first-round pick has worked out unfortunately for the Redbirds. For whatever reason some prospects just don't pan out. It is not just about a certain player not living up to expectations that being a first-round pick brings, but what can make the situation extra frustrating for teams is if they missed out on somebody who was drafted slightly after who blossomed into a star. That is how this list was created, how big of a " bust " the player was, and who did the Cardinals miss out on.