St. Louis Cardinals Top 20 Prospects in Review

This list was originally posted January 11, 2008.  THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST!!! THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND THE OLD GRADES!!!!!!!!

1) Colby Rasmus, OF, Grade A
   .249/.346/.395 with 11 homers, 15 steals for Triple-A Memphis, out for the rest of the year with injury. Sunk by a poor first month, but he rebounded eventually before getting hurt. Retained good strike zone judgment and I still like him long-term.
2) Chris Perez, RHP, Grade B
     3.20 ERA with 38/12 K/BB in 25 innings, 11 saves for Memphis, 4.18 ERA with 22/13 K/BB in 24 innings for the Cardinals. Terrific stuff, just needs to control it.
3) Jaime Garcia, LHP, Grade B
     Dominated Texas League early, then 4.44 ERA with 59/26 K/BB in 71 innings in Triple-A. Has done OK in limited major league action, four runs in nine innings. A solid pitcher.
4) Adam Ottavino, RHP, Grade B
   5.61 ERA with 76/45 K/BB in 87 innings for Double-A Springfield, 95 hits allowed. Not a good year, a blow to his status.
5) Bryan Anderson, C, Grade B-
     .303/.384/.400 for Memphis. Continues to hit for average with strong contact skills but weak power.
6) Tyler Herron, RHP, Grade B-
      Has pitched great in the Florida State League (2.31 ERA with 29/3 K/BB in 35 innings) but struggled in the Texas League (5.20 ERA with 59/29 K/BB in 81 innings, 101 hits allowed). Stock has dropped a bit.
7) Clayton Mortensen, RHP, Grade B-
     4.32 ERA with 88/48 K/BB and 118 hits in 119 innings combined between Double-A and Triple-A. Numbers similar at each level, main difference is less impressive GO/AO in Triple-A.
8) Pete Kozma, SS, Grade B-
     .284/.363/.398 with 12 steals for Class A Quad Cities, which is pretty solid performance for the hitting-difficult Midwest League. Strong plate discipline.
9) Jess Todd, RHP, Grade B-
     3.19 ERA with 78/22 K/BB in 96 innings in Double-A, 78 hits 
10) Allen Craig, 3B, Grade B-
      .309/.374/.503 with 20 homers, 39 walks, 75 strikeouts in 447 at-bats for Springfield. Hard to argue with his production though could tighten the strike zone.
11) P.J. Walters, RHP, Grade B-
      Pre-season sleeper call with mixed results. 4.77 ERA in Triple-A, but 8-3, 96/45 K/BB in 94 innings, 99 hits. Needs to get the walks down, K/IP remains strong. Still a sleeper though the grade was a notch too high.
12) Jose Martinez, SS, Grade B-
     .237/.277/.327 for Springfield. Obviously this grade was too high too.
13) Mitchell Boggs, RHP, Grade C+    
      3.61 ERA with 61/35 K/BB in 95 innings for Memphis, 7.41 ERA with 13/22 K/BB in 34 innings for the Cardinals. i felt he was somewhat overrated by others pre-season. He hasn't convinced me I was wrong yet.
14) Jon Jay, OF, Grade C+
      I predicted a rebound and he has come through, .308/.381/.464 between Double-A and Triple-A. Excellent contact hitting skills with improving power.
15) Brian Barton, OF, Grade C+
      .306/.414/.571 in Triple-A, .246/.331/.369 in the majors. I think he just needs consistent playing time.
16) Joe Mather, OF, Grade C+
       .303/.406/.630 in Triple-A, .244/.309/.465 in the majors. Like Barton, he has some skills but needs playing time to show the  marginal, but good power.
17) Dave Freese, 3B, Grade C+
      .299/.351/.528 for Memphis. Marginal plate discipline but good overall production.
18) Cody Haerther, OF, Grade C+
      .260/.331/.358 for Memphis. He's not going to have enough pop to be useful I fear. 
19) David Kopp, RHP, Grade C+
       3.76 ERA with 30/15 K/BB and strong ground ball tendency for Palm Beach in the Florida State League, but limited pitching time due to injury.
20) Steven Hill, C-INF, Grade C+
       .303/.330/.505 for Springfield but on the DL since June.

The Cardinals system has made a lot of progress the last few years. Some of my sleeper calls look dicey right now, but I'm glad to see Jay progressing as he has been a favorite of mine since he was in college a Miami. I think Rasmus just needs to reset and start over next year, but I retain faith in him long term. Kozma is a breakout candidate for 2009.

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