Cards may draft pitching first

Monday, June 7, 2004

ST. LOUIS -- Need would seem to dictate the St. Louis Cardinals select a position player with their first-round pick in today's draft.

The team is awash in pitching prospects, including Dan Haren and Adam Wainwright at Class AAA Memphis, and record-setting Class AA right-hander Brad Thompson, who threw 48 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings earlier this year.

Still, don't be surprised if the Cardinals go for more pitching with the 19th overall pick. Despite their need, there are more good arms early in the draft than position players.

"The problem is this year's draft is so thin on position players," said John Mozeliak, the team's assistant general manager. "So I don't think we're getting the best player possible if we strictly focus on a position player. I would love to get one, but I'm not just going to pick one to pick one."

Not knowing what will happen ahead of the Cardinals, Mozeliak has targeted eight to 10 players for the first-round pick.

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