St. Louis Cardinals PRE-SEASON Top 20 Prospects in Review
1) Anthony Reyes, RHP
Went 7-6, 3.64 in 23 starts for Triple-A Memphis, 136/34 K/BB in 129 innings. Looked good in 13 innings for the Cardinals. It all boils down to health with this one. He will be a fine, fine pitcher, if his arm doesn't disintegrate like Daffy Duck's pistol on planet X.
2) Chris Lambert, RHP
Crushed at Double-A Springfield: 6.35 ERA in 18 starts, 69/48 K/BB in 85 innings, 97 hits allowed. He throws hard, but his command is unreliable and he doesn't change speeds well. Conversion to relief should be considered.
3) Cody Haerther, OF
Combined to hit .307/.355/.538 between Class A Palm Beach and Springfield, hit 18 homers. Solid line drive hitter with improving power.
4) Brad Thompson, RHP
2.95 ERA in 55 innings out of the Cardinals bullpen, very nice rookie season. Good control, but below average strikeout rate is a caution flag for the future.
5) Adam Wainwright, RHP
10-10, 4.40 in 29 starts for Memphis, 147/51 K/BB in 182 innings but allowed 204 hits. Has developed into an inning-eating strike-thrower rather than a dominator.
6) Stuart Pomeranz, RHP
5.29 ERA in 18 starts for Springfield, with 66/40 K/BB in 99 innings. Velocity hasn't picked up as previously expected, was too hittable and tentative in Double-A. Only 20, still has time to develop.
7) Donnie Smith, RHP
Limited to 24 innings for Class A Quad Cities by injury.
8) Blake Hawksworth, RHP
Limited to 15 innings for short-season New Jersey, rehabbing from injury. Best name in baseball.
9) John Gall, 1B
Who is John Gall? He hit .270/.345/.433 with 13 homers in Triple-A, performance below his previous standards though he was repeating the league for the third time. He'd make a fine bat on the bench for a number of teams, though scouts continue to dislike him. Now 27 years old.
10) Brendan Ryan, SS
Hit .273/.343/.377 after promotion to Double-A. A consistent .300+ hitter in A-ball, albeit without a ton of power. He runs well but may fit best as a utility guy if he doesn't show more punch..
11) Chris Duncan, 1B
Hit .265/.358/.469 with 21 homers for Memphis. Power from the left side is real, but will struggle to break .250 in the majors and has no place to play here.
12) Mike Ferris, 1B
Hit .230/.334/.399 with 16 homers, 69 walks for Quad Cities. Took a long time to adjust to wooden bats. 2006 is his make/break year.
13) Justin Garza, RHP
3.57 ERA in 40 innings for Palm Beach, 26/13 K/BB. Components are unimpressive. In most farm systems he would not rate on a top 20 list.
14) Eric Haberer, LHP
Combined to go 12-8, 3.12 between Quad Cities and Palm Beach. 91/52 K/BB in 150 innings. Walk rate OK, strikeouts are too low to be happy about although he is an extreme ground ball pitcher, which helps.
15) John Nelson, SS
Hit .241/.326/.407 with 14 homers for Memphis. Struck out 141 times in 128 games. He has some pop in his bat, but his strike zone judgment is very erratic. Has a VERY strong arm.
16) Mark Worrell, RHP
2.25 ERA in 56 innings for Palm Beach, collecting 35 saves. 53/19 K/BB. Could be reliable bullpen contributor down the road.
17) Calvin Hayes, 2B
Hit a combined .220/.276/.275 in 88 games split between New Jersey, Quad Cities, and Palm Beach. Prospect status fading fast.
18) Skip Schumaker, OF
Hit .287/.330/.402 at Memphis, with 13 steals. Standard fast contact hitter, looking for a job as a reserve outfielder.
19) Jarrett Hoffpauir, 2B
Combined to hit .285/.361/.364 in 124 games split evenly between Quad Cities and Palm Beach. Stole 16 bases, will take a walk, but lacks power.
20) Mike Parisi, RHP
Combined record of 10-11, 3.68 in 27 starts split between Quad Cities and Palm Beach, 129/47 K/BB in 164 innings, allowed 177 hits. Throws strikes well but hittable.
Not a good farm system, but not completely empty, and showing signs of improvement over the last couple of years. Reyes should be excellent if his arm doesn't fall off.