Randy Flores: “It’s competition. And it’s real stakes.”

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

While the Cardinals and Giants met in the rubber game of a three-game series on Sunday night, Cardinals scouting director Randy Flores spent about 10 minutes fielding questions about the upcoming First-Year Player Draft.

You’ll be able to find a Draft preview on Cardinals.com on Monday with more information about this year’s pool of prospects and the organization’s approach. In the meantime, here are some highlights from Flores’ question-and-answer session:

What is the scouting department’s schedule leading to the June 9-11 Draft?

“It’s adrenaline now. Our scouts just came in today, and all of them have that wide-eyed look where they’ve been up and working hard, but they’re ready to go. Today everyone is just traveling in. I was with our national crosscheckers [earlier], just connecting with them and laying out the expectations I have for our player discussion over the next couple of days. Tomorrow will be some preliminary exercises that we’ve created, kind of ranking specific groups of players. We’ll spend the next couple of days just talking about our big board and making sure that we leave no stone unturned.”

Will those meetings include mock drafts and simulations?

“Mock drafts, spot exercises, probing questions, whatever it is. One hundred percent. They’ve done it before. I believe in it. To put on the baseball, former player hat, it’s reps. The amount of time you’re comfortable slowing down something to play at game speed, that’s something you’re comfortable with.”

Is the structure of that preparation any different from the approach of previous scouting directors?

“It’s almost like coaching. There are only so many things that you can teach. There are new ways to message it and new ways to incorporate and execute it. And so I think I might be making some small changes, but certainly no one would go into the room that I’m leading and say, ‘Wow, this has never been done before.’”

Can you take a riskier approach early in the Draft since the organization has three of the top 34 picks?

“I think it’ll depend on the board. I think my job and the job of our department is to prep for all those scenarios. But certainly there might be a scenario that allows for us to use some creativity.”

How would you assess the talent that you’ve seen while scouting this spring?

“I know that I was brutal when I was in high school, so I compare everyone to me and it’s like, ‘Wow, everyone is really good.’ That’s because I threw 78 mph and had yet to grow any facial hair. But there are guys out there who have full beards and throw very hard or hit the ball very far. If we’re in a position to grab one of those players – collegiate or high school – I think, more than in years’ past, we’re able to do it.”

What was the most surprising thing you’ve learned in your first year going through this process?

“As a guy who was not a prospect, as a guy who was a senior-sign out of college, undrafted out of high school, parts of nine years in the minor leagues, I assumed that scouts hated me. They didn’t hate me. They didn’t hate players like me. They evaluated me. And so I was surprised and have just been thrilled to see the excitement that is on the faces of scouts when they talk about players. It’s easy to say that players are no good and they’re not going to get to the big leagues. That happens more often than not. What’s fun is seeing our scouts say, ‘See, this guys has this or he has that.’ [You] hear them advocate for the specific skill set that they’re looking into the future picturing him wearing the birds on the bat.”

How do you think your nerves on Draft night will compare to the nerves you had pitching in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS?

“The cool thing is I bought a couple of rosin bags, so before the Draft I’ll be throwing the chalk on my hands. It’s the same feelings. It’s competition. And it’s real stakes. It matters to millions of Cardinals fans. It matters to my bosses. It brings a lot of that back.”

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15 Comments

Rolaids baby, Rolaids.

Yeah, he’s taken the place of that guy Correa, who hacked into the Astro’s database. So the scrutiny on Flores might be all that more?

Perez, huh? I guess he can replace Peralta in more ways than just SS.

MM gambles with Waino and wins. What a manager.

The Yankees have no first baseman. Maybe there’s a deal there. They’re over 500 for the first time this year and might give up more than they want too. I’ll bet the Braves will be contacted about Freeman. We need to pull the triger there, but who?
Adams or Moss? I’d say Moss. His power surge will have him at his highest value. Keep the younger Adams for now and maybe that will give him the confidence he needs to continue his rise????

I don’t think MM will trade either Moss or Adams. It’d alter the status-quo. By Sept 1st, when the active-roster goes to 40….the Cards may need everybody on-deck, if they want make the play-offs.
Besides, in this morning’s interview….MM commented how great it is to have 2 crazy guys like Gyorko & Moss on the team. “Not only are they hard-working veteran competitors, but they bring a whole lot of humor along with that”, MM laughed.
Additionally, Adams is saying that Moss should get some of the credit for his improved bat. Having Moss’ personal support has apparently helped.
Mo keeps an eye on the business end of things, sure. But keep in mind that MM has an strong emotional side to him that affects his decisions.
As for pitching? Guess we just gotta’ wait right now. But more than one time I’ve heard someone say that Reyes would be the likely replacement for anyone in the starting rotation who goes into a downward spiral (hello Jaime?) or if one of ’em gets injured. Looks like that’s about the only option there is at the moment.
And boy, after seeing both the Pirates’ catchers go out with injuries last nite? I guess it’s good that we have both Pena & Fryer as back-ups, eh?
I was thinking 30 y/o Fryer (free agent in 2021) deserves a shot as the back-up catcher. However, some comments I’ve heard are saying once 34 y/o Pena (free agent in 2018) returns, his experience will likely put him behind Yadi in the #2 slot.

But what if it was Andrew Miller?

Tonight was the best game the Cards have played all year. Great pitching,super defense( 3 Dps ) and offensively we beat Liriano who usually owns us. 5 in a row and the 2nd win of a series from a good team. Now lets sweep them…..payback.

Sorry 4 in-a-row. Hoping for 5.

Now its 5 in a row.

Yup, we swept the Pirates. Simply pay-back for our first 3 games this season. That’s all. Hahaha.
As for your question about Andrew Miller, Dave? Maybe. I dunno’.
But the Cards are known for their frugality….plus wouldn’t Reyes be called up first before “buying” another pitcher?
Besides…the front office may feel they haven’t been getting their full $80-million’s worth from Leake (at least so far)…and are reticent about going that route again.

The Yanks would never give up Miller for any of our 1B.
As for beating the Pirates, it makes us 4-5 against them. Vs. the Cubs we’re 2-4, vs. the Reds 4-2 and Mil. 4-2. Overall 14-13 in the division. NOT good enough….. yet.
On the plus side,and this one always points to the winners,is our run/differential of +74. Only Wash. +76, Bos. +85 and Chi. + 162. Based on previous years this would get us 2nd place this yr. and the WC spot. Pitts. is only +7 at this point.

Well, yeah. That’s what I meant. We’d have to “buy” Miller, if Mo wanted him. NO trade would do. And I don’t think the Mo wants to pay a whole lot for ANY addition to the team at this point. Like you said, we seem to have the potential and are getting there…just not yet.
Looks like the Bucco’s might be crippled for a bit with the injuries they incurred just recently. The Birds need to take advantage.

Nats beat the Cubs 4-1. Scherzer did it exactly the way I discussed a while back. The Cubs team BA and their lack of contact means that you have to throw strikes against them. Heck, even down the middle gives you a better than even chance of getting them out. I know not everyone is Max Scherzer,but attacking the Cubs line up seems to be the best way to stop them.

Yep, I agree with that, Dave! And you were right about Scherzer. : )

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