October 15, 2012
How the NLCS Squads Were Built
Kevin Goldstein has moved on to a greener pasture, but we’re bringing back one of his postseason staples to illustrate how the four League Championship Series squads were built.
Astros fans should take solace in the Cardinals’ success. Yes, it sounds weird. But no other remaining team rivals the Cardinals for self-sufficiency. St. Louis drafted five of its eight positional starters, and developed another by acquiring him before he reached the upper minors. The Cardinals have gone outside the organization for its stars, but the role players are almost entirely from within.
Tony Cruz (Draft, 2007)
The Cardinals selected Molina in the fourth round, a few picks after the Indians drafted Arkansas southpaw Cliff Lee and the Royals popped Rutgers outfielder David DeJesus. Molina never dominated minor-league pitching, yet he breezed through the system and made his big-league debut at age 21. At first an offensive liability, Molina has transformed into a middle-of-the-order asset. Always great behind the plate, Molina’s offensive gains have made him one of the league’s best players over the past two years.