Similar to the Texas Rangers, the St. Louis Cardinals were built with some late-round draft picks (Lance Lynn is the only first-rounder on the team), some trades, some good risks that paid off and maybe a lucky move or two.
St. Louis Cardinals: World Series roster
Catcher: Yadier Molina. 4th-round pick, 2000, Puerto Rico high school. The Cardinals' two first-round picks that year, Shaun Boyd and Blake Williams, never reached the majors.
Catcher: Gerald Laird. Free-agent signing for 2011.
Third base: David Freese. Acquired in Dec. 2007 from the Padres for Jim Edmonds. Freese hit .302 with 17 home runs in the California League -- decent, but not great numbers for that league -- and was also old for Class A ball, at 24. A late bloomer.
Shortstop: Rafael Furcal. Acquired in July from the Dodgers for minor league outfielder Alex Castellanos and cash.
Outfield: Matt Holliday. Originally acquired in a trade from Oakland in 2009 for Brett Wallace (the team's first-round pick in 2008), Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen. Signed to a big free agent contract that offseason. For the purposes of head count, we'll call this one a trade-and-sign.
Outfield: Lance Berkman. Signed a one-year, $8 million deal as a free agent, which the Cardinals extended to $12 million for 2012 in September.
Outfield: Jon Jay. 2nd-round pick, 2006, University of Miami.
Outfield: Allen Craig. 8th-round pick, 2006, University of California.
Outfield: Adron Chambers. 38th-round pick, 2007, Pensacola (Fla.) JC.
Infield: Nick Punto. Free-agent signing.
Infield: Daniel Descalso. 3rd-round pick, 2007, Cal-Davis.
Pitcher: Chris Carpenter. Free-agent signing, 2003. Originally a first-round pick of the Blue Jays, the club released him after the 2002 season after he hurt his shoulder. Carpenter signed with St. Louis, but missed the 2003 season. The club signed him again for 2004, the shoulder got better and in 2005 he won the NL Cy Young Award.
Pitcher: Jaime Garcia. 22nd-round pick, 2005 (Mission, Tex.) Garcia grew up in Mexico, but attended his senior year of high school in Texas, but was too old to play for the school team. The Orioles drafted him in the 30th round. The Orioles gave their draftees tests, but apparently Garcia's test had been poorly translated into the Spanish, and the Orioles decided not to sign him. Garcia re-entered the draft. Orioles scout Joe Almaraz moved to the Cardinals in 2005 and convinced the club to draft Garcia.
Pitcher: Kyle Lohse. Signed as free agent in 2008.
Pitcher: Jason Motte. 19th-round pick, 2003, Iona College. Originally a catcher, Motte moved to the bullpen in the minor leagues in 2006.
Pitcher: Fernando Salas. Purchased from the Mexican League in 2007.
Pitcher: Octavio Dotel. Part of Colby Rasmus deal.
Pitcher: Marc Rzepczynski. Part of Colby Rasmus deal.
Pitcher: Mitchell Boggs. 5th-round pick, 2005, University of Georgia.
Pitcher: Lance Lynn. 1st-round pick, 39th overall, 2008, University of Mississippi.
Pitcher: Kyle McClellan. 25th-round pick, 2002, Hazelwood (Mo.) West HS.
Pitcher: Arthur Rhodes. Claimed off waivers in August after getting released by the Rangers.
Draft pick: 11.
Free agent: 5.
Trade-and-free agent: 1.
Waiver claim: 1.