The Minor Leaguers on the St. Louis Cardinals 40-Man Roster

ST. LOUIS, MO -SEPTEMBER 5: Reliever Maikel Cleto #63 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitchers against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on September 5, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Brewers defeated the Cardinals 4-1. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

On Friday the Cardinals added minor-league pitchers Sam Freeman, Chuckie Fick, and Adam Ottavino to the club's 40-man roster in order to protect the trio from being selected in the Rule V Draft. As Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch tweets, the additions brought the Cardinals' 40-man roster total to 36 players. The minor-league players on the current 40-man are an interesting collection of talent. Since each of these players has a leg up on his minor-league peers in the competition to make it to The Show, I thought we might take a look at these prospects today.

In order to try and give you some context for these players' minor league production, I've used Statcorner's wonderful minor league stats for tRA and wOBA, which also include the "plus" stats. The Statcorner glossary, which contains a short explanation for each of the stats, can be found here. I've also included the average age of the league for batters and pitchers, as provided by Baseball America. I used the average MLB age for the 2010 season because I could not find the average age of a major leaguer for the 2011 season.

SAM FREEMAN, LHP

Listed at five-eleven, 175 pounds, this southpaw's June birthday saw him turn the Texas League average age of 24 while he pitched for Springfield this summer. Freeman's fastball reportedly sits in the high-80s, rarely breaking 90 MPH. Freeman's inclusion on the 40-man is puzzling until one takes a step back and looks at the left-handed pitching in the system. There is a southpaw shortage down on the farm. 

 

‘11 Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

tRA

lgTRA

tRA+

tRAr

FIP

SPR

TEX

AA

24.0

24.0

4.53

4.91

108

4.94

4.06

 

CHUCKIE FICK, RHP

Fick is a 6'5" righty who has split time between relieving and starting as he ascended through the organization. In 2010, he made three starts for Memphis but spent all of 2011 in the bullpen where Fick struck out 7.81 batters per nine innings while walking 4.73. Even though the strikeout rate is a bit lower and the walk rate higher than you'd like to see, Fick pitched well compared to his Pacific Coast League peers.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

tRA

lgTRA

tRA+

tRAr

FIP

MEM

PCL

AAA

25.0

26.9

4.33

5.20

117

5.01

3.37

 

ADAM OTTAVINO, RHP

That Ottavino is the same age as Fick feels surprising--Ottavino feels like he has been around for a long time. After some injury concerns in 2010, Ottavino put together a most Ottavino season for AAA Memphis in 2011. Ottavino's walk rate of 4.53 indicates that the Memphis starter is still struggling with his control. Whether he is able to harness his stuff will determine whether Ottavino is ever able to become a member of the St. Louis bullpen.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

tRA

lgTRA

tRA+

tRAr

FIP

MEM

PCL

AAA

25.0

26.9

5.52

6.01

108

5.81

4.52

 

BRANDON DICKSON, RHP

Dickson spent his time with AAA Memphis as a starter and had a couple cups of coffee in the St. Louis bullpen where his fastball averaged 90.3 MPH. Dickson's walk rate was miniscule for Memphis at 1.83 over 25 starts. Dickson does not have the fastball that many of the other relievers and would-be relievers bring to the table, which makes him more reliant on command.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

tRA

lgTRA

tRA+

tRAr

FIP

MEM

PCL

AAA

26.0

26.9

4.92

6.01

118

5.42

1.92

 

MAIKEL CLETO, RHP

Cleto is probably the most intriguing of the pitchers on the 40-man roster due to his 100-MPH fastball and young age. Just 22 in 2011, Cleto pitched at four levels last season: high-A, AA, AAA, and MLB. Cleto pitched well for Palm Beach and Springfield but experienced control problems during his stint in Memphis. It will be interesting to see how Cleto performs in 2012 for Memphis. Before 2011 I assumed Cleto was destined for relief, but, if he can again show the control he found in Palm Beach and Springfield, his future becomes much more enticing.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

tRA

lgTRA

tRA+

tRAr

FIP

PB

FSL

A+

22.0

23.0

2.91

4.71

138

4.79

3.06

SPR

TEX

AA

22.0

24.0

3.75

5.02

125

4.95

3.23

MEM

PCL

AAA

22.0

26.9

5.46

6.01

109

5.99

4.38

 

MATT CARPENTER, 3B

Carpenter had an impressive Spring Training that led to La Russa keeping him on the big-league squad late into the preseason. He was one of the last players sent to minor-league camp. Carpenter put together another excellent offensive season for AAA Memphis with a .401 wOBA on the foundation of a .419 OBP the result of a 15.7% walk rate. Carpenter also experienced a call-up to St. Louis that more a sip of coffee than a full cup. In his 19 plate appearances, he drew four walks.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

25.0

26.8

.880

.401

.405

113

4.2

STL

NL

MLB

25.0

27.2

.396

.217

.293

68

-0.1

 

 MARK HAMILTON, 1B

Hamilton absolutely mashed while in AAA this season but failed to hit much during his 51 PAs in the majors. There are many players like Hamilton on AAA rosters across the Pacific Coast and International Leagues. His future in St. Louis is as tied to the Pujols negotiations as it is to Mike Matt Adams's batting average.

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

26.0

26.8

.911

.406

.347

113

1.7

STL

NL

MLB

26.0

27.2

.552

.271

.220

86

-2.0

 

PETE KOZMA, IF

As improbable as it may sound, Kozma spent 2011 in AAA and received a call-up to St. Louis where he received four more plate appearances than Matt Carpenter did. The former first-round pick was in over his head at the AAA level. His poor offensive line is made all the worse by the fact that it was posted by a man playing in a league that is a hitter's paradise. It is confounding that Kozma is still occupying a spot on the 40-man roster.

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

23.0

26.8

.569

.267

.291

75

-1.6

STL

NL

MLB

23.0

27.2

.568

.282

.299

89

0.0

 

TYLER GREENE, SS

Greene was recently described by new manager Mike Matheny as the best athlete in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. It's hard to argue with this point of view. Greene possesses a mix of skill that reminds of a created player on a video game: power, speed, strong throwing arm, and a decent walk rate. Unfortunately, he also strikes out a great deal. Greene tore up the Pacific Coast League in 2011 but struggled during his limited time in majors. Out of options and entering his age 28 season, 2012 is Greene's make-or-break season.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

27.0

26.8

.990

.435

.409

123

3.5

STL

NL

MLB

27.0

27.2

.610

.312

.310

99

-0.4

 

ZACK COX, 3B

Cox started slow but heated up quickly for Palm Beach. This earned him a quick promotion to Springfield where he played his home games in a wonderful ballpark for left-handed hitters. Cox did not take to the Texas League as quickly as one would hope the most polished hitter in his draft would. Cox is only on the 40-man roster as a result of his contract. Hopefully that won't be true come next Hot Stove.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

PB

FSL

A+

22.0

22.8

.819

.375

.376

117

1.5

SPR

TEX

AA

22.0

24.2

.787

.356

.351

102

1.6

 

ADRON CHAMBERS, OF

The view of Chambers within the organization is perhaps evidenced by the fact that Corey Patterson was included in the Rasmus trade and then actually received a fair amount of playing time with the Cardinals. Patterson contributed a .179 wOBA to the Cardinals which opened the door for Chambers once rosters expanded. Chambers kicked the door open with production accompanied by an enthusiastic playing style. It remains to be seen whether the left-handed slap hitter will be able to earn a spot on the 25-man next season.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

24.0

26.8

.782

.366

.359

103

2.3

STL

NL

MLB

24.0

27.2

1.000

.420

.356

135

0.1

 

SHANE ROBINSON, OF

In the opening series of the season, Robinson was involved in a brutal outfield collision that caused him to miss a fair chunk of the season. Robinson is a right-handed hitting outfielder that can play any of the three outfield spots. The problem is that Robinson probably isn't a good enough fielder to play center and probably can't hit well enough to play a corner outfield spot. It will be interesting to see if the Cardinals attempt to trade for or sign a right-handed hitting outfielder who can play center field this Hot Stove.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

26.0

26.8

.821

.367

.381

105

0.8

STL

NL

MLB

26.0

27.2

.125

.090

.235

28

-0.1

 

BRYAN ANDERSON, C

The once hit-first catching prospect--and a left-handed hitting one at that--Anderson's defense did not meet former manager Tony La Russa's standards. Making matters worse for Anderson is the fact that he has sputtered a bit at AAA, not posting the type of offensive line one would like to see from a hit-first prospect in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. With La Russa retired, general manager John Mozeliak has stated that Anderson will battle Tony Cruz in Spring Training for the back-up catcher role. 

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

24.0

26.8

.766

.341

.354

96

1.5

 

TONY CRUZ, C

When Gerald Laird suffered an injury this season, Tony Cruz was called up to serve as the back-up to Yadier Molina. Cruz burst onto the big-league scene with a surprisingly hot stretch of hitting. Cruz's numbers for the Cardinals evened out by the end of the season, as numbers often tend to do. Even so, Cruz made an impression and will have the opportunity to earn a spot on the 25-man roster this coming spring.

 

Team

League

Level

Age

LAA

OPS

wOBA

wOBAr

wOBA+

WAR

MEM

PCL

AAA

24.0

26.8

.704

.322

.348

91

0.4

STL

NL

MLB

24.0

27.2

.662

.308

.265

97

0.2

 

ADAM REIEFER, RHP

Reifer is a flame-throwing reliever who made only five relief appearances for AAA Memphis in 2011 before his season was lost to a leg injury. If Reifer earns a major-league paycheck, it will be as a reliever. After his 2010 season for Springfield, he seemed likely to make that happen. If Reiefer is able to return from his injury with his fastball intact and control on par with his 2010, he may cash that first major-league paycheck sooner than later.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Join Viva El Birdos

You must be a member of Viva El Birdos to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Viva El Birdos. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker