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Top 20 St. Louis Cardinals 2010 Pre-Season Prospects in Review

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2010 St. Louis Cardinals Top 20 Prospects in Review

Here is a review of the 2010 Cardinals prospect list, originally published December 12, 2009. THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND PRE-SEASON GRADES. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST.  The 2011 list and new grades won't be ready until the season is over and I start writing the book.

1) Shelby Miller, RHP, Grade B: 3.86 ERA, 103/25 K/BB in 79 innings for Low-A Quad Cities, 79 hits allowed. Strict pitch counts keep his innings down, but you have to love the K/BB and K/IP. He's doing well.

2) Jaime Garcia, LHP, Grade B-:  2.53 ERA, 97/46 K/BB in 121 innings for the Cardinals, 113 hits. Excellent rookie season.

3) Lance Lynn, RHP, Grade B-:   5.34 ERA, 107/49 K/BB in 128 innings for Memphis, 135 hits, 17 homers. Pitched well in May and July, mediocre in April, horrible in June.

4) Robert Stock, C, Grade B-  .213/.301/.269 in 249 at-bats for Quad Cities. Rookie league performance last year looks like an illusion, although he's still drawing a few walks. I wouldn't give up on him as a catcher just yet, but pitching is always an option if he can't get the bat going again.

5) Daryl Jones, OF, Grade B-:   .246/.341/.359 for Double-A Springfield, 13 steals. His skills just aren't evolving in the way I had hoped.

6) Eduardo Sanchez, RHP, Grade B-:   3.10 ERA, 43/17 K/BB in 41 innings, 32 hits combined between Springfield and Memphis. Not bad at all, looks like he can be a good reliever, gets lots of grounders.

7) Allen Craig, OF, Grade B-:    .322/.389/.558 in Triple-A, .205/.265/.318 in 17 major league games. He'll hit if he gets the playing time.

8) David Freese, 3B, Grade C+:   .296/.361/.404 in 70 major league games. I think the power will increase in time, if he can stay healthy.

9) Jon Jay, OF, Grade C+:   .321/.394/.491 in Triple-A, .371/.417/.553 in 54 major league games. He's not really that good, but he should be a solid player for a long time.

10) Joe Kelly, RHP, Grade C+  3.38 ERA, 78/38 K/BB in 93 innings for Quad Cities, 83 hits, 3.07 GO/AO. Love the grounders, need to see him at higher levels.

11) Dan Descalso, 2B, Grade C+:   .272/.349/.413 for Memphis. Blah.

12) Tyler Henley, OF, Grade C+:   Started off .205/.255/.295 in 26 games for Memphis, then .367/.397/.600 in 16 games for Springfield.  Now out with Tommy John surgery.

13) Blake Hawksworth, RHP, Grade C:   5.37 ERA, 45/32 K/BB in 70 major league innings, 96 hits. Obviously that's not very good.

14) Tyler Greene, SS, Grade C:   .291/.362/.465 for Memphis, .265/.359/.412 in 28 major league games. Greene is quite interesting...he has very good tools but it has taken him a long time to develop skills, and he'll always strike out a lot. This is the kind of player who could have a stunningly good year at some point (say 2011 at the age of 27) then struggle to repeat it.

15) Steven Hill, C-1B, Grade C:   .280/.353/.538 with 21 homers, 38 walks, 89 strikeouts for Springfield. Opinion hasn't changed; he's got  a lot of pop but his plate discipline would be troublesome in the majors.

16) Pete Kozma, SS, Grade C:   .237/.313/.354 in 396 at-bats for Springfield. Blah.

17) Francisco Samuel, RHP, Grade C:   3.18 ERA, 35/24 K/BB in 28 innings between Florida State, Texas, and PCL, 20 hits allowed, seven saves. Good K/IP and H/IP marks, needs to lower walks.

18) Scott Bittle, RHP, Grade C: His arm was slagged in college.

19) Mark Hamilton, 1B, Grade C:  Has been limited to 57 games (48 Triple-A, nine GCL rehab) by injury but has hit well, .284/.380/.518. 26 years old now, could have a Garrett Jones-like breakthrough next year if he finds a different position or a new team.

20) Tyler Norrick, LHP, Grade C:  5.03 ERA, 42/36 K/BB in 39 innings between High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A. Nice strikeout rate, too many walks.

A blah farm system. There are some interesting older prospects who can be useful, even very good major leaguers under the right conditions, but the lack of high ceiling guys on the list beyond Miller was obvious heading into the season and even more obvious now. On the other hand, Garcia has been great, Freese wasn't bad, and the development of Jay made Ryan Ludwick expendable.