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St. Louis Cardinals Top 20 2016 PRE-SEASON prospects, mid-season review

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Aledmys Diaz
Aledmys Diaz
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing with our series of mid-season prospect reviews, we turn to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Remember, this is the PRE-SEASON LIST.

THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST

THESE ARE PRE-SEASON GRADES

Let's discuss current system happenings in the comments section.

This list was originally published March 3rd, 2016

1) Alex Reyes, RHP, Grade A/A-: Late start due to recreational drug use suspension; 10 starts in Triple-A with 4.86 ERA, 67/22 K/BB in 46 innings, 43 hits; command has been inconsistent and he doesn't appear quite ready for the majors but stuff excellent and reflected in high strikeout rates. 

2) Luke Weaver, RHP, Grade B:
Late start due to injury but pitching excellently right now, 1.31 ERA in 55 innings in Double-A, 65/8 K/BB, 51 hits; command and control are obviously superb.

3) Jack Flaherty, RHP, Grade B:
3.90 ERA in 85 innings in High-A, 80/25 K/BB, 90 hits; continues to draw praise for command and polish and has had some dominant starts as well as some where he's been hit hard; just 20 years old.

4) Tim Cooney, LHP, Grade B-/B: Hasn't pitched this year due to shoulder trouble; on DL in Triple-A.

5) Edmundo Sosa, SS, Grade B-/B:
Hitting .269/.308/.338 with 19/70 BB/K in 346 at-bats in Low-A at age 20, more effective last year in rookie ball; makes contact but rather impatient; I think there is more pop in the bat than his current ISO indicates but objective evidence sparse at this point.

6) Harrison Bader, OF, Grade B-/B:
Hitting .286/.351/.488 between Double-A and Triple-A, just one year removed from the University of Florida; strong defensive outfielder; has shown more isolated power than expected but at the expense of a high strikeout rate; overall it is hard to knock his debut and has plenty of time to make any needed adjustments.

7) Jake Woodford, RHP, Grade B-:
Age 19, comp round pick out of high school in Florida in 2015; 2.83 ERA in 83 innings with 57/25 K/BB in Low-A; very impressive especially for his age; would like to see more strikeouts but throws strikes with four average pitches.

8) Magneuris Sierra, OF, Grade B-:
Hitting .288/.316/.365 in Low-A, 18 steals, 14 walks, 69 strikeouts in 351 at-bats at age 20; some effective line drive hitting but would like to see more power and/or patience as he moves up.

9) Aledmys Diaz, INF, Grade B-:
What I wrote back in March, noting his strong second half in 2015: That’s what he was supposed to be when he signed but he had to work some rust off and get over nagging injuries. Defense meets steady definition. He’s back on the 40-man now. I think the second half explosion was real. I was optimistic but this is way better than expected: .317/.387/.535 in the majors. Looks real to me. Wish I had ranked him higher.

10) Paul DeJong, 3B, Grade B-:
Hitting .251/.311/.460 in Double-A with 17 homers, 27 walks, 106 strikeouts in 335 at-bats; a bit more power than expected but with weaker contact; glove has been solid.

11) Marco Gonzales, LHP, Grade B-:
Tommy John surgery; out for season.

12) Nick Plummer, OF, Grade B-:
Age 19, first round pick from high school in Michigan in 2015, hasn't played this year due to wrist injury.

13) Sam Tuivailala, RHP, Grade B-/C+:
5.24 ERA with 50/15 K/BB in 34 innings in Triple-A; still showing blistering stuff but inconsistent command.

14) Junior Fernandez, RHP, Grade B-/C+: Age 19, combined 4.21 ERA in 92 innings between Low-A and High-A, 72/42 K/BB; 94 hits; reports from Midwest League early in the year were highly complementary especially regarding his fastball.

15) Austin Gomber, LHP, Grade B-/C+:
2.79 ERA in 106 innings between High-A and Double-A; 97/27 K/BB, 92 hits; typical Cardinals strike-throwing college-trained number four starter type who may continue to exceed expectations.

16) Charlie Tilson, OF, Grade C+
: Hitting .283/.353/.408 in Triple-A with 15 steals, 33 walks, 47 strikeouts in 321 at-bats; seems like he'd be a worthy fourth outfielder to me.

17) Anthony Garcia, OF, Grade C+:
Hitting just .224/.305/.356 between Double-A and Triple-A, very disappointing following .283/.392/.477 line at the same levels in 2015.

18) Corey Littrell, LHP, Grade C+
:  3.47 ERA in 49 innings between Double-A and Triple-A, 49/11 K/BB, adapting well to bullpen role after starting in past seasons; should be a good LOOGY at least and maybe more.

19) Ronnie Williams, RHP, Grade C+:
Looking good so far in the New York-Penn League; 2.45 ERA in 40 innings with 30/6 K/BB; has made progress commanding secondary pitches to go with low-90s heat; second round pick in 2014.

20) Daniel Poncedeleon, RHP, Grade C+:
3.45 ERA in Double-A, 91/39 K/BB in 104 innings, 85 hits; low-90s heater with four secondary pitches; even minor command improvements could take him a long way.

OTHER GRADE C+: Sandy Alcantara, RHP; Eliezer Alvarez, 2B; Mike Ohlman, C

OTHERS OF NOTE: Jayson Aquino, LHP; Matt Bowman, RHP; Allen Cordoba, SS; Bryce Denton, 3B; Jacob Evans, LHP, Carson Kelly, C; Ian McKinney, LHP; Trey Nielsen, RHP; David Oca, LHP; Darren Seferina, 2B; Alvaro Seijas, RHP; Jacob Wilson, INF

Discuss!