2014 Future Redbirds Community Top 20 Prospect Rankings

Who's going to run away from the pack this year? - Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the first annual Future Redbirds Community Top 20 Rankings, where everyone shares the blame when that one dude never makes it to the big leagues...


I know, I know -- you're wondering: Is the Future Redbirds staff going to rank prospects this year?

Don't worry, we are, we just want to share the fun (and the pain, the misery, the overall stress) of sticking your neck out there to rank some 19 or 20 year old kid who can't even legally have a frosty cold Bud after the game. You might have seen these guys play once, you might never have seen them play at all, and either one of those would make you....well, no different than most of us, actually -- we're just the guys that pony up the $50 a year for Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America.

The prospect nerds. The guys who crowd around the lunch table swapping Donruss Rated Rookies, swapping cards like they were trading stocks, trying to corner the market on their best bets, dreaming of one day crashing the world economy doing the same thing. The ones scrambling out the door to get their hands on the new Topps 2013 Heritage Minor League set when it hits stores (Note: Seriously, hit that link -- these are Awesome. Yes, with a capital "A")

The one's poring over minor leagu....hey - what the...

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LAMBERT: "SUP NERDS! How's it, uh, hangin'!!!"

FOURSTICK: "Shit, not again. You've got to be kidd--I thought you'd been banished for good after last time!"

LAMBERT: "Nah, man. Just takin' a break from the ol' ghostin'. But check this out: I'm one of YOU now."

FOURSTICK: "One of us? No, you got that wrong: You were one of us...and then you broke a lot of hearts and ruined a lot of lists. We don't like it when you ruin lists Chris, we spend a lot of time researching this stuff an..."

LAMBERT: "No, like I'm a NERD, man! Certified, even. Got a degree to prove it and everything. I started readin' all these VEB posts about numbers and it just hit me: I like numbers. Mostly the real ones, y'know. So I went back to school got my degree in Economics."

FOURSTICK: Well, you know what they say about economists...

LAMBERT: "What's that?"

FOURSTICK: Never mind...so I take it you're out of the ghosting biz? Whatcha up to now?

LAMBERT: "Analyzing stuff. I'm an analyst. Here, check it out. Excuse the hair -- it was a windy day."

FOURSTICK: "...."

LAMBERT: "You still there?"

FOURSTICK: "....yeah, phew, I'm here. Just setting up a Google Alert on my stock portfolio."

LAMBERT: "Awww, you're not still sore at me are ya man? Bygones be...gones and stuff. Time to move on -- you got a new list this year right? A new crop of dudes to rank and analyze?

FOURSTICK: "You're really liking that word aren't you?

LAMBERT: "Part of my title...I like to practice using it a lot."

FOURSTICK: "More or less than your two-seam fastball?"

LAMBERT: "Sticks and stones 'stick, sticks and stones will break my bones..."

FOURSTICK "...but your curveball never hurt anyone."

LAMBERT: "Harsh. Anyway, I just popped by to say adios, I got lots of analyzing keepin' me busy nowadays while you guys are gettin' whooped in the World Series. Just thought I'd pop by to kick off this thing you're doin' and say my goodbyes."

FOURSTICK: "Floor is yours Ghost Lambert, got anything ground-breaking to say?"

LAMBERT: "Just this: Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Oh, and this too: Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. Read those in one of my books during college. Good tips, might save your life some day.

*********

We've spent the last two months covering about 45 players in the Cardinals farm system, so feel free to peruse back through the Hatchlings posts, swing over to Fangraphs for Hulet's Top 10, check out Baseball America's group that's put together by Birdland scribe Derrick Goold or make a stop by the excellent CardinalsFarm. For low minors talk, there's Nathan Baliva's excellent series of podcasts, featuring Jim Callis, Jason Parks, some dude named Joe, and yours truly.

The Google Form below has 20 spots, one for each prospect: Put them in order, 1 to 20 and click submit at the bottom. That's it! Don't worry about mis-spelling or anything like that -- just get as close as you can, but copy/paste is a nice feature, give it a whirl if you haven't already.

Voting will stay open through the 12:00 a.m. CST on Friday, so you've got some time to put your list together. Next week will be prospect week at VEB, with the community list running on Monday with the Future Redbirds, VEB, and Baron's list running throughout the week.

*********UPDATE*********

Here's a list of 2014 Cardinals prospects listed by position.  This should help with your copy/pasting skills as well as jog your memory:

Starting Pitchers Catchers Corner Outfield
Robert Kaminsky Steve Bean Malik Collymore
Alexander Reyes Carson Kelly Mike O’Neill
Cory Jones Casey Rasmus Anthony Garcia
Tyrell Jenkins Cody Stanley Stephen Piscotty
Boone Whiting Audry Perez Starlin Rodriguez
Marco Gonzales Joey Butler
Zach Petrick Ronald Castillo
Tim Cooney Oscar Taveras
John Gast Corner Infield
Tyler Lyons Patrick Wisdom
Nick Petree Xavier Scruggs Center Field
Mike Mayers Jonathan Rodriguez CJ McElroy
Ian McKinney Kenneth Peoples-Walls
Ryan Sherriff Charlie Tilson
Jimmy Reed Vaughn Bryan
Steven Farinaro Randal Grichuk
Zach Loraine Middle Infield Rafael Ortega
Chris Rivera Tommy Pham
Relief PItchers Oscar Mercado James Ramsey
Seth Blair Breyvic Valera
Jordan Swagerty Colin Walsh
Lee Stoppelman Greg Garcia
Eric Fornataro Kolten Wong
Jorge Rondon Mason Katz
Angel Castro Edmundo Sosa
Sam Freeman Juan Herrera
Sam Tuivailala Jacob Wilson
Dixon Llorens
Fernando Baez

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