Do the Cardinals Really Know How to Draft Pitchers Better?
Much has been made over the Cardinals “voodoo” that suddenly takes no-name pitchers and makes them stars. They seem to do the same with some hitters on occasion, but it’s mostly the pitchers that seem to come out of nowhere.
I wondered if it’s luck or voodoo, or do they really just know how to draft and/or develop pitchers better than other teams. So I went through the last 10 drafts and pulled out the pitchers drafted by 4 teams—the Cards, our Cubs, the Braves (who also seem to have an abundance of young pitching) and the Phillies (who lately as an organization don’t seem to be doing anything well). I listed the pitchers who got to the majors and to eliminate the cup of coffee guys, used 20 Ks as a minimum threshold.
There were a few interesting anomalies: the Cards drafted Michael Stutes but he didn’t sign and later signed with the Phillies, the Cubs originally signed Sonny Gray but he also didn’t sign, and it was fun seeing our own Brian Schlitter’s name in another team’s column.
Here are the results:
|Lynn, Lance||St. Louis Cardinals||52||32||1||666||9.1|
|Miller, Shelby||St. Louis Cardinals||31||20||0||361||8.3|
|Gregerson, Luke||St. Louis Cardinals||24||27||32||431||5.8|
|Wacha, Michael||St. Louis Cardinals||16||7||0||194||5.0|
|Garcia, Jaime||St. Louis Cardinals||43||27||0||484||4.8|
|Ottavino, Adam||St. Louis Cardinals||8||10||4||254||4.6|
|Rosenthal, Trevor||St. Louis Cardinals||5||12||61||245||3.9|
|Kelly, Joe||St. Louis Cardinals||22||20||0||263||3.2|
|Carpenter, David||St. Louis Cardinals||11||11||4||212||1.8|
|Siegrist, Kevin||St. Louis Cardinals||6||5||1||111||1.2|
|Boggs, Mitchell||St. Louis Cardinals||13||15||6||233||0.8|
|McCutchen, Daniel||St. Louis Cardinals||8||11||0||104||0.4|
|Blazek, Michael||St. Louis Cardinals||4||2||0||39||0.4|
|Freeman, Sam||St. Louis Cardinals||3||2||0||64||0.3|
|Gonzales, Marco||St. Louis Cardinals||4||2||0||31||0.1|
|Mortensen, Clayton||St. Louis Cardinals||6||11||0||112||-0.2|
|Lambert, Chris||St. Louis Cardinals||1||3||0||26||-0.8|
|Lyons, Tyler||St. Louis Cardinals||2||8||0||96||-0.8|
|Walters, P.J.||St. Louis Cardinals||6||10||0||104||-2.4|
|Samardzija, Jeff||Chicago Cubs||40||50||1||792||7.9|
|Cashner, Andrew||Chicago Cubs||22||33||0||391||4.9|
|Blevins, Jerry||Chicago Cubs||16||9||2||309||3.4|
|Russell, James||Chicago Cubs||10||17||3||224||1.9|
|Owings, Micah||Chicago Cubs||32||33||1||347||0.7|
|Rusin, Chris||Chicago Cubs||4||9||0||70||0.5|
|Beliveau, Jeff||Chicago Cubs||1||0||1||47||0.4|
|Parker, Blake||Chicago Cubs||2||3||1||85||0.3|
|Veal, Donnie||Chicago Cubs||3||3||1||73||0.2|
|Coleman, Casey||Chicago Cubs||8||13||0||123||-0.9|
|Raley, Brooks||Chicago Cubs||1||2||0||30||-0.9|
|Gallagher, Sean||Chicago Cubs||10||10||1||165||-1.5|
|Kimbrel, Craig||Atlanta Braves||15||11||198||502||11.9|
|Medlen, Kris||Atlanta Braves||34||20||1||434||9.6|
|Hanson, Tommy||Atlanta Braves||49||35||0||648||6.6|
|Wood, Alex||Atlanta Braves||17||16||0||285||5.6|
|Minor, Mike||Atlanta Braves||38||36||0||566||3.8|
|Oberholtzer, Brett||Atlanta Braves||9||18||0||142||3.4|
|Doolittle, Sean||Atlanta Braves||9||10||25||211||3.3|
|Coleman, Louis||Atlanta Braves||5||4||2||185||2.8|
|Devine, Joey||Atlanta Braves||8||3||1||89||2.0|
|Hoover, J.J.||Atlanta Braves||9||15||4||188||1.6|
|Hale, David||Atlanta Braves||6||5||0||60||1.5|
|Rasmus, Cory||Atlanta Braves||4||3||0||77||0.9|
|Shreve, Chasen||Atlanta Braves||1||1||0||34||0.9|
|Locke, Jeff||Atlanta Braves||21||21||0||295||0.6|
|Fields, Josh||Atlanta Braves||7||9||9||130||0.3|
|Simmons, Shae||Atlanta Braves||1||2||1||23||0.3|
|Martin, Cody||Atlanta Braves||2||2||0||23||0.0|
|Gearrin, Cory||Atlanta Braves||3||3||1||68||-0.1|
|Parr, James||Atlanta Braves||1||0||0||26||-0.2|
|Clemens, Paul||Atlanta Braves||4||8||0||65||-1.1|
|Cosart, Jarred||Philadelphia Phillies||15||15||0||172||5.5|
|Worley, Vance||Philadelphia Phillies||29||25||0||366||5.2|
|Griffin, A.J.||Philadelphia Phillies||21||11||0||235||4.3|
|Gibson, Kyle||Philadelphia Phillies||19||19||0||163||3.1|
|Outman, Josh||Philadelphia Phillies||16||11||0||226||2.7|
|Giles, Ken||Philadelphia Phillies||4||2||1||84||2.0|
|De Fratus, Justin||Philadelphia Phillies||7||5||0||124||1.2|
|Pettibone, Jonathan||Philadelphia Phillies||5||5||0||72||1.1|
|Buchanan, David||Philadelphia Phillies||6||13||0||83||0.6|
|Zagurski, Mike||Philadelphia Phillies||1||0||0||75||0.4|
|Stutes, Michael||Philadelphia Phillies||9||3||0||72||0.4|
|Savery, Joe||Philadelphia Phillies||3||2||0||32||0.0|
|Hollands, Mario||Philadelphia Phillies||2||2||0||35||0.0|
|Drabek, Kyle||Philadelphia Phillies||8||15||0||121||-0.1|
|Schwimer, Michael||Philadelphia Phillies||3||2||0||52||-0.1|
|Maloney, Matt||Philadelphia Phillies||5||9||0||59||-0.4|
|Zeid, Josh||Philadelphia Phillies||0||1||1||42||-0.4|
|Diekman, Jake||Philadelphia Phillies||7||11||0||200||-0.5|
|Rosenberg, B.J.||Philadelphia Phillies||4||2||1||52||-0.7|
|Carpenter, Drew||Philadelphia Phillies||1||1||0||33||-0.8|
|Cloyd, Tyler||Philadelphia Phillies||4||9||0||71||-0.8|
|Schlitter, Brian||Philadelphia Phillies||2||6||0||42||-0.9|
|May, Trevor||Philadelphia Phillies||6||9||0||80||-0.9|
|Huff, David||Philadelphia Phillies||25||28||0||229||-1.2|
|Workman, Brandon||Philadelphia Phillies||7||13||0||117||-1.2|
Based on WAR, the Braves actually have fared the best, Cards 2nd and the Phillies and Cubs are quite a ways behind. The Cardinal names that jump out are Lynn, Miller, Gregerson, Wacha, Garcia, Rosenthal, Kelly and now Marco Gonzales. The Braves have Kimbrel, Medlen, Doolittle, Hanson, Jeff Locke, Alex Wood and Minor—definitely have gotten lucky with closers. The Cubs can at least point to Shark and Cashner, but the best the Phillies can do is Jarred Cosart and Vance Worley. Interesting that they had the most pitchers overall, but few of them amounted to much--i.e. “throw it against the wall and see what sticks.” Another way of looking at Cards vs. Cubs is this: The Cards have drafted 116 more wins over 10 years than the Cubs, which could explain 12 games of why we’re usually behind them.
And if you’re thinking “That will probably change soon because of the new regime!,” from the 2011 draft they already have Seth Maness in the bigs and our hopes lie with Dillon Maples and the suspended Andrew McKirahan. And while Michael Wacha (picked #19 in 2012) is tearing it up this year, the best we can hope for from 2012 is Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, and Duane Underwood.
It’s a good thing we’ve been good at drafting hitters.
Arizona Phil 1 hour 57 min ago (view)
Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).
Arizona Phil 22 hours 44 min ago (view)
A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.
Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 46 min ago (view)
The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers.
Arizona Phil 22 hours 49 min ago (view)
And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September).
Arizona Phil 22 hours 52 min ago (view)
The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher.
crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
ATL signs cole hamels 1/18m...a'ite then.
also, z.wheeler 5/100+ to the phillies.
Charlie 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
I think without the off-field issues, a front-office might at least be tempted to gamble on Russell's youth and dreams of his upside. But with what we all know about him now, the challenges of improving both on and off the field are too great to gamble on.
George Altman 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
This was the easiest non-tender decision, maybe ever. As if there weren't enough off-field reasons alone, there were even more baseball reasons. He became a sub .700 OPS hitter with bottom of the order OBA results. His defense, formerly his strength, became inconsistent due to attention deficit issues. He turned himself into bench infielder with suspect skills which is someone you don't pay more than $1--1.5M/yr.
crunch 2 days 23 hours ago (view)
he was due for a 3.5-4m payday (3.4m last year) at a minimum, anyway.
it's as good of a time as any to cut him loose. nico hoener's spring just became a lot more important.
Craig A. 2 days 23 hours ago (view)
Addison Russell, to no one's surprise, was non-tendered. I still think he has the talent to excel in the major leagues, but it'll take a new attitude for him to realize his potential. It can't be easy to deal with his baggage in front of millions of fans. I won't forget his contributions in 2016, or that beautiful play that used to be the banner of TCR.
crunch 4 days 18 hours ago (view)
keuchel doesn't have draft pick compensation attached to him and he's a decent enough ground ball pitcher...that will be attractive to a lot of clubs. that would put 3 lefties in the cubs rotation (pending a trade) again, though. not sure they want to go for that look again.
that said, i still imagine the cubs are probably looking to make this thing happen via trade. it's hard to tell what their $$ situation is, but they've done a great job signaling they're not looking to spend $$ this offseason.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 48 min ago (view)
Looking for impact starting pitchers, but won't be shopping at the top of the market? So I guess they won't be in the market for impact starting pitching.
Still hoping they find a taker for Q.
crunch 5 days 2 hours ago (view)
"Patrick Mooney of The Athletic writes the Cubs are in the market for impact starting pitchers but won't be shopping at the top of the market."
darvish, lester, hendricks, Q, (???, a.mills, t.chatwood)...pending trades
d.keuchel? r.porcello? trade target pitcher?
Arizona Phil 5 days 3 hours ago (view)
HAGSAG: I suspect going into his age 30 season and coming off a great year as a pinch-hitter, LaStella wanted a chance to be an everyday player, and since that obviously wasn't going to happen if he stayed with the Cubs, TLS (or his agent) may have asked the Cubs to trade him somewhere he could get that opportunity.
crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)
dunno any official reasoning, but his D is miserable and they decided to "upgrade" there with descalso for similar loot as well as getting a trade piece back. the whole a.russell thing was lingering over the team.
it's not like descalso is great with the glove, but la stella plays a miserable 2nd and meh 3rd.
i do wonder if things would have turned out differently if russell wasn't due to miss significant time.
Sonicwind75 5 days 7 hours ago (view)
Was just thinking about this, maybe that isn't a good thing for TLS? I wonder if Maddon will use TLS differently after seeing his success last year. That's my gripe with people complaining about Theo trading away a player that turns into an All Star. If TLS had stayed with the Cubs, Maddon would most likely kept using him in the same manner and with the same results.