The Cardinals have built one of the best systems in baseball; a far cry from where they were 10 years ago. They have about 5 guys who are Top 50 worthy and continue to draft well.
Note: Avg ranking takes the average of any site I could find that had team rankings (sum of ranks divided by total sites). Comp ranking is the composite for the organization; it basically is a ranking of the averages.
|Rank||Player||Pos||Avg Ranking||Comp Ranking||Low||High|
Sites Used (13): Baseball America, Bullpen Banter, Baseball Intellect, Baseball Prospectus, Bleacher Report, Fangraphs, Future Redbirds, Minor League Ball, MLB.com, MLB Prospect Portal, Prospect 361, Razz Ball, Top Prospect Alert.
Taveras is one of the top prospects in the game, so it’s no surprise that he was the consensus number one of the system. He could see time in the majors this season and should hit with no problems. Miller is right up there as far as pitchers goes, although there were concerns after his struggles last season; I think we’ve seen that he’s matured and the hype should still be there. Martinez is another great prospect, but he didn’t advance as many would hope last season; he did skip a level and was in Double A in his second full season in the minors. The question remains will he be in the rotation or bullpen, and many ask this due to his size.
The rotation vs ‘pen question is also in the equation for Rosenthal. He should see time in the majors this year, but will probably work on his secondary pitches in Triple A. The top 6 is rounded out by Michael Wacha, the 2012 draftee that made it to Double A in a matter of month; many thought he might move back to get more experience, but he’s had a great spring and could start higher than anticipated (Wong is 5, but wanted to focus on the pitching).
So far, it’s been all pitching, but there are plenty of hitters in the season. The most intriguing, and closest to the Majors, are second baseman Wong and first baseman Adams. Wong faltered over the second half of last season, but it was the most ball he’s played as a pro; he will probably be ready next year after the durability concerns are addressed. Adams could make the Cardinals bench this spring, but I think he’ll be in the minors to get full time work. He’s got the power for the majors and should hit for average.
Once you get to the bottom half of the list, there are about 20 interchangeable guys; I listed the ones that I found to be the most promising. Guys like Tilson, Jackson, and McElroy have stuff to offer the major league club, it’s just about developing what they need.
I did want to point out that many people forgot about Swagerty; the pitcher missed last season with Tommy John surgery. He was borderline Top 10 last year, so he either dropped for lack of development or an increase of prospects in the system.