Cardinals prospects on BaseballHQs Mega-Lists

Matt Adams: 4th-ranked 1B in minors

Some of baseball's preeminent minor league experts from BaseballHQ share their rankings of St. Louis Cardinals prospects on several tools-related "best of" lists, along with five players in their overall top 100. Plus bonus 2012 draft recap.

BaseballHQ's annual "Minor League Baseball Analyst" arrived in my mailbox recently. The first prospect guide to fully integrate sabermetrics and scouting includes detailed reports on over 1000 minor leaguers.

In Part one, we reviewed their top 15 St. Louis Cardinals prospects with the details as to why they're ranked where they are. In Part two, Cardinals' organizational rankings in areas such as pitching, hitting, depth and top talent were compared to their National League Central Division competitors. Then we followed with a look at individual player movement and projections changes from 2012 to 2013.

Here in the final installment of this annual series, we will compare several of the top Cardinals prospects to the best in the game overall, by position in terms of long-range potential in the Major Leagues as well as in top skills. Closing this article will be a review of the Cardinals 2012 draft.

The Cardinals made a very strong showing compared to other organizations with six in the overall top 100 prospects. Only one other organization, San Diego, also had six prospects in this year's 100 best. Also notable is that four of the Cardinals are in the upper half.

Top 100 Prospects of 2013 - Top 100 minor league prospects in terms of long-range potential in the major leagues.
5. Oscar Taveras, OF, STL (up from #78 in 2012)
16. Shelby Miller, RHP, STL (up from #17)
34. Carlos Martinez, RHP, STL (up from #37)
47. Kolten Wong, 2B, STL (up from #68)
54. Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, STL (up from NR)
84. Michael Wacha, RHP, STL (NA in 2012)
NR Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, STL (down from #91)

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Catcher
1. Travis d'Arnaud, NYM
11. Steve Bean, STL (NA in 2012)

Top 15 Prospects by Position – First base
1. Jonathan Singleton, HOU
4. Matt Adams, STL (up from #9 in 2012)

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Second base
1. Nick Franklin, SEA
2. Kolten Wong, STL (same as 2012)

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Third base
1. Miguel Sano, MIN
14. Stephen Piscotty, STL (NA in 2012)

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Shortstop
1. Jurickson Profar, TEX
No Cardinals ranked (same as 2012)

Top 45 Prospects by Position – Outfield
1. Wil Myers, TAM
2. Oscar Taveras, STL (up from #23 in 2012)

Top 75 Prospects by Position – Starting pitcher
1. Dylan Bundy, BAL
8. Shelby Miller, STL (down from #2 in 2012)
14. Carlos Martinez, STL (down from #11 in 2012)
22. Trevor Rosenthal, STL (up from #72 in 2012)
37. Michael Wacha, STL (NA in 2012)
57. Tyrell Jenkins, STL (down from #37 in 2012)

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Relief pitcher
1. Bruce Rondon, DET
No Cardinals ranked

Note that while Jenkins fell off the overall top 100, he still is number 57 among right-handed pitchers. That is down from his #37 placement one year ago.

Note the following lists are unordered.

Top Power - Top 25 prospects that have the potential to hit for power in the Major Leagues, combining raw power, plate discipline, and the ability to make their power game-usable.
Oscar Taveras, OF, STL
Matt Adams, 1B, STL

Top Batting Average - Top 25 prospects that have the potential to hit for high batting average in the major leagues, combining contact ability, plate discipline, hitting mechanics and strength.
Oscar Taveras, OF, STL

Top Speed - Top 25 prospects that have the potential to steal bases in the Major Leagues, combining raw speed and base-running instincts.
No Cardinals listed (again)

Top Fastballs - Top 25 pitchers that have the best fastball, combining velocity and pitch movement.
Carlos Martinez, RHP, STL
Trevor Rosenthal, RHP, STL

Top Breaking Balls - Top 25 pitchers that have the best breaking ball, combining pitch movement, strikeout potential and consistency.
Carlos Martinez, RHP, STL

Bonus coverage - St. Louis CARDINALS 2013 DRAFT RECAP
The Cardinals rapidly improving farm system was given additional depth as they had 5 of the first 59 picks in the '12 draft. The Cardinals once again did an excellent job of filling organizational need and adding across the board depth.

The club's first selection was Texas A&M right-hander Michael Wacha. At 6-6, 200 pounds, Wacha was one of the more projectable college hurlers available. He showed a 90-93 mph fastball, but clocked in a 96 mph at times. He mixed in a good slider, a curve, and a change-up. Wacha was so effective in his debut that he progressed all the way up to Double-A and could make his MLB debut in 2013. In 21 IP, Wacha posted an ERA of 0.86 with 4 BB/40 K and a WHIP of 0.57.

The Cardinals also added Florida State OF James Ramsey at #23, Stanford 3B Stephen Piscotty at #36, St. Mary's 3B Patrick Wisdom at #52, and high school catcher Steve Bean at #59. The club also added Wake Forest lefty Tim Cooney who also had a very strong debut (3.40 ERA with 8 BB/43 K). Adding a character player in CF (Ramsey), two corner guys, a finesse lefty, and an impressive catcher in Bean, the Cardinals did remarkably well.

Sleeper: Brett Wiley (2B) was the Cardinals 13th round pick out of Jefferson JC in Missouri. Wiley is a solid all-around player who has a good approach at the plate with a short, compact stroke and decent plate discipline. He has gap power and slugged .443 in his debut. He moves well with good range and a strong arm and played SS in junior college. In his debut, Wiley hit .300/.386/.443 with 12 doubles and 19 BB/27 K in 149 AB.

Draft Grade: A (up from B in 2012)

In closing, thank you to BaseballHQ for giving us this special look into their data. Please respect them and copyright laws by not duplicating this material.



Link to Part one of this report: "BaseballHQ's top 15 Cardinals prospects: 2013"
Link to Part two: "BaseballHQ pegs Cardinals system #2 in MLB"
Link to Part three: "2013 Cardinals prospect changes from BaseballHQ"



Special bonus for The Cardinal Nation subscribers: The first two readers who post their interest on the special thread discussing this article series located on our "Cardinals Insiders" message forum will receive a special prize.

Rob Gordon has provided copies of the brand-new 2013 Minor League Baseball Analyst, which will be mailed to both of the winners. Thank you for subscribing and for reading. Good luck!



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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