Of the Cardinals' 41 picks in this year's draft, we take a look at 10 takeaways from those three long days. 

By Rob Rains

The Cardinals selected 41 players during the three days of this year’s amateur draft, going for an abundance of college players and pitchers in particular. Here are 10 takeaways from the draft:

Best pick (position player)
– Nolan Gorman, taken with the 19th overall choice in the draft. If the first pick is not the best, at least a couple of days after the draft, that probably isn’t good. Gorman, a high school third baseman from Arizona, brings a lot of power-hitting potential to the organization and only 18, he has a lot of time to grow and develop. As scouting director Randy Flores said, there is a difference between raw power and game power. That is what the Cardinals hope he provides.

Best pick (pitcher) – Steven Gingery. This selection comes with an asterisk, which is that Gingery has to be healthy to earn this status and we won’t be able to start to see the answer to that question until 2019. Gingery will miss all of this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in February, just one start into his junior season at Texas Tech. Coming off a sophomore season in which he was the Big 12 Conference pitcher of the year, a full season as a junior likely would have kept the left-handed Gingery from staying on the board until the Cardinals drafted him in the fourth round.

Best bet to have the quickest path to the majors
- Griffin Roberts. This choice also comes with a caveat; it depends on whether Roberts is a starter or reliever. He did both at Wake Forest, and as a reliever would likely have a quicker path to the majors because of a high-end slider. Flores said, at least initially, the Cardinals intend to have him start, but admitted those plans could change once he gets into the system. The right-handed Roberts, a junior at Wake Forest, was the Cardinals’ pick with the competitive balance selection after the first round, the 43rd overall pick in the draft.

Riskiest pick
– Luken Baker, selected with the 75th overall pick, awarded to the Cardinals as compensation for losing free agent Lance Lynn. There is a medical risk with Baker considering both his sophomore and junior seasons at TCU were cut short because of injuries. He broke his arm in 2017 and broke a leg this year, both in unusual on-field collisions. There also is a baseball risk with Baker, who size (6-foot-4. 265 pounds) makes him exclusively a first baseman in the NL. He has hit for power in college but has to prove he can do that as a professional.

Hardest pick to sign
– Jaden Hill. The Cardinals only drafted five high school players and just one high school pitcher, Hill, in the 38th round. A right-hander from Ashdown, Ark., Hill is committed to LSU and if teams thought they could buy the two-way star (he also was highly recruited in football as a quarterback, including an offer from Missouri) out of his college scholarship he likely would have been drafted no later than the third round.

Best chance of being a sleeper pick
– Brandon Donovan. The Cardinals’ seventh round pick was overshadowed on his South Alabama team this season by Travis Swagerty, the first-round pick of the Pirates. While Swagerty hit more homers, Donovan actually hit for a higher average, .302, and drove in more runs, 55, in 57 games. He also has played third base during his college career.

Pick with the most interesting background – Francisco Justo. We profiled the right-handed pitcher selected in the 12th round on Wednesday. Justo, 19, pitched at Monroe (N.Y.) Junior College this year, where he was 10-0 and struck out 121 hitters in 71 innings. Justo was born in the Dominican Republic and moved with his family to New York when he was 8. He was limited in how much baseball he could play as a senior in high school because he had to work to help support his family, then went back to the Dominican to train for six months before returning to begin college.

Picks most likely to push a current prospect
– Mateo Gil and Kevin Vargas. The two high school shortstops might put some pressure on former number one pick Delvin Perez, who has had a disappointing start to his Cardinals’ career. Perez likely will begin this season at State College, but assuming both Gil and Vargas sign, they could be nipping at his heels soon if they get off to good starts. Both are young, Gil won’t turn 18 until July and Vargas, considered the best prospect in this class from Puerto Rico, turned 18 in February. Gil was picked in the third round, Vargas in the 22nd round.

Best bloodlines – In the 34th round, the Cardinals selected Benito Santiago Jr., the son of the longtime National League catcher. Santiago Jr. also is a catcher, having spent the last four seasons at the University of Tennessee. The Cardinals’ third-round pick, high school shortstop Mateo Gil, also is the son of a former major-leaguer, Benji Gil. In the 20th round, the Cardinals drafted right-handed reliever Parker Kelly from Oregon, the younger brother of Carson Kelly.

Greatest long-shot to reach the majors – Brandon Purcell, a catcher from Georgia College selected in the 32nd round. A senior, Purcell already is 23 years old and will turn 24 in July, just a couple of weeks after beginning his professional career. Purcell was the oldest player drafted by the Cardinals. He is coming off a big senior season, hitting .383 and also stealing 19 bases, but he also was one of four catchers in this year’s draft class.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains