By Rob Rains
There was at least one tangible result from the Cardinals perspective of the amateur draft being conducted a month later this year than has been the case in the past.
Introducing right-handed pitcher Andre Granillo, selected by the Cardinals in the 14th round on Tuesday on the third and final day of the draft.
Had the draft been conducted as usual in June, there is a strong likelihood that Granillo would not have heard his name called, at least by the Cardinals.
Granillo, a right-handed reliever, only appeared in eight games this spring for the University of California-Riverside, logging a total of 10 1/3 innings. But like many players, Granillo took advantage of the later draft to head to a summer league, in this case the Cape Cod League, to try to gain additional experience and perform in front of more scouts.
Granillo joined the Cotuit Kettleers and was able to pitch in four games, a total of 11 innings in which he allowed two earned runs, recorded 17 strikeouts and walked only two hitters. During his college season, the 6-foot-4. 245-pound Granillo allowed seven earned runs in his 10 1/3 innings.
“It certainly gave the conviction behind the pick,” said Randy Flores, the Cardinals’ assistant general manager and director of scouting. “When you have more information, you have a little more conviction as a tie breaker. Having the opportunity to scout him on the Cape gave us live looks that raved about him.”
It also allowed the Cardinals to get a report from a scout other than the area scout who watched Granillo perform for Cal-Riverside in the spring.
“What we try to get our staff to do is work as a team and usually when you get to this day in the picks it’s very territorial,” Flores said. “I’m proud of the fact that we took a team approach. It didn’t matter if a guy was in your backyard or very far from your backyard on the Cape. What did another staff member think of the player? What did the analytical group think fo the player? You get the best possible answer. I think we took a step forward this year.”
Perhaps at least in part because of how that draft pick unfolded, Flores was pleased with the results of delaying the draft.
“I was pleased with both what our development people did with it (the extra month) and what our scouts did with it,” Flores said. “The question that is important is what do you do with more days? What do you do with more looks? In our case we really had some confidence in some of these selections because of what they did in the month after a normal season ends, that this later draft afforded us.”
Granillo was one of five college pitchers selected by the Cardinals on the third day of the draft, giving them 10 college pitchers among their 21 total selections. They also picked one high school pitcher.
Another of the day 3 selections was lefthander Alex Cornwell from USC, the 15th round pick, who missed both the 2018 and 2019 seasons with injuries. He appeared in 15 games for the Trojans this spring, going 5-6 with a 5.35 ERA.
“We do think there is some exciting stuff in there,” Flores said of Cornwell. “We’re excited to get him to our player development group and advance to the next steps in his career.”
Here is the list of the 10 players drafted by the Cardinals on Tuesday:
Round 11 – Mack Chambers, SS, U. of New Mexico
Round 12 – Chris Gerard, LHP, Virginia Tech
Round 13 – Hayes Heinecke, LHP, Wofford
Round 14 – Andre Granillo, RHP, California-Riverside
Round 15 – Alex Cornwell, LHP, U of Southern California
Round 16 – Aaron McKeithen, C, UNC-Charlotte
Round 17 – Elijah Cabell, OF, Florida State
Round 18 – Andrew Marrero, RHP, U of Connecticut
Round 19 – Thomas Francisco, 1B, East Carolina
Round 20 – Xavier Casserilla, 3B, V.P. Easton H.S. (Texas)
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains