Laurila: Q&A with Dan Kantrovitz, St. Louis Cardinals scouting director

From SABR member David Laurila at FanGraphs on October 8, 2014:

Dan Kantrovitz is one of the reasons the St. Louis Cardinals are good. More so, he’s one of the reasons they promise to remain good. The 36-year-old former Ivy League shortstop has been the club’s Director of Scouting since January 2012. Under his watch, the Cardinals have drafted Michael Wacha, Marco Gonzales and a number of soon-to-reach-St. Louis prospects.

Kantrovitz’s background is atypical of most scouting directors. Prior to his first stint with the Cardinals [2004-2008], he earned an undergraduate degree from Brown and a master’s degree in statistics from Harvard. He was in charge of international scouting for the Oakland A’s from 2009-2011.


Kantrovitz on economizing through the draft: “We view the draft as a mechanism to save money. That may seem counter intuitive – it’s a spending environment – but its arguably the best bang for your buck in any area of procurement. The more you spend on the draft, assuming it’s a disciplined approach, the more our club might be able to save down the road in the free-agent market.

“Fortunately, our ownership has been very supportive and allowed us to spend up to the five-percent overage in each year of the current CBA since the 2012 draft. It’s not a new idea, but if we play our cards right and draft a future mid or top of the rotation guy, for example, that would save our club quite a bit of money on the free-agent market. That’s money that our GM can allocate to another area, or a more abundant, cheaper, position. Likewise, hitting on one of those “low-ceiling, high-floor” college players on day 2 or 3 and having him turn into a super-utility type has plenty of surplus value as well.”

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Originally published: October 8, 2014. Last Updated: October 8, 2014.