Future Redbirds 2013 Top 20 Prospects: #15 - #11

Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Find out the Cardinals top 20 Prospects!

2012 draftees, hard thrower, soft throwers and, arguably, the biggest miss from last year make up the next phase of the Future Redbirds 2013 Top Prospects.

15. Stephen Piscotty
2012 Ranking: 2012 draftee
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 14, azru - 15, jroman - 18

Comments:

Piscotty was one of the players I was not thrilled by the Cardinals selecting in the draft, but so far, he has proved more than capable in the first part of his career with his 134 wRC+ in 237 PA. His hit tool was never in question, it was whether he could stick at 3rd to justify the hitting profile and limited power. So, far he was used at 3B almost exclusively at Quad Cities and his value will really continue to depend on his ability to stick there. He’ll continue to hit and continue to get on base and should be quick moving through the system. - jroman

Stephen Piscotty can hit. That I've come around on from draft time when I wasn't terribly enamored of this pick. I think he hits enough to be interesting in a corner outfield position because I don't see him sticking in the majors as a 3rd baseman. The Cardinals lack pure bat prospects in the system right now besides Matt Adams but they've found ways to incorporate guys like Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter at the big league level despite questionable fielding. The 2012 draft selection before Piscotty, James Ramsey, did not make this year's list. Widely panned at the time of the draft, he faltered in Palm Beach while Piscotty excelled at Quad Cities given limited playing time. - azru

14. Maikel Cleto
2012 Ranking: #15
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 20, azru - 14, jroman - 12

Comments:

Cleto is a guy who is very often overlooked, especially because he was up in the majors for a cup of coffee in both 2011 and 2012 and did not necessarily know where his 100 MPH fastball was going. However, his fastball allows his other offerings to be at an increased velocity as well, including an average 91 MPH splitter and 87 MPH changeup. Despite the fact that he walks a lot of batters, he still strikes out twice as many. His future is in the major league bullpen, but if he puts his at least one of his secondary offers together, he can be an elite end of bullpen asset. - jroman

Of those pitchers with at least fifty innings pitched in triple-A’s Pacific Coast League, Cleto struck batters out at the fourth highest rate (28.4%). It was easy to overlook his 2012 numbers because of terrible results on balls in play, but he took some impressive strides (compared to 2011 in Memphis) by increasing his strikeout rate by seven percent and decreasing his walk rate by four percent. He still needs to improve his control, but his ability to miss bats makes him difficult to ignore. Another right handed pitcher who throws 100 MPH. Ho-hum. - Andy

I had Cleto as low as 19 and as high as 12. He throws hard but he's also a reliever. Certainty versus updside. - azru

13. Carson Kelly
2012 Ranking: 2012 draftee
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 9, azru - N/A, jroman - 16

Comments:

The Cardinals paid one million dollars over slot to sign Kelly, one of the youngest players they drafted in 2012. It’s pretty difficult to project a 17-year-old, but talent evaluators seem to believe he can stick at third base and he flashed some raw power in his first taste of professional ball. Besides the nine home runs in 222 PAs, I was most pleased by his strikeout rate (14.9%) which was far below the league average. On the other hand, Kelly only walked in 4.5% of his plate appearances, so he could use a little more patience, but he obviously has plenty of time to develop that as he matures. - Andy

I'm always slow to move on newly signed players. Carson Kelly carries a ton of risk in his projection given his age and his current skill set. He's a boom or bust kind of prospect and, while it's great to see those kinds of players taken when the farm system already has depth, the bust rate on these prospects is very high. His two-way status at draft time (he sits low 90s on the mound) skewed some of the reporting on his abilities given the novelty factor of a prospect who could legitimately go either way. Maybe Kelly excels as a third baseman or maybe he's the next Sam Tuivailala. I'm betting the latter. - azru

12. Seth Maness
2012 Ranking: Unranked
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 11, azru - 18, jroman - 15

Comments:

I understand why azru and Jeff gave Maness a lower ranking, but his astounding walk rate was just too enticing for me to overlook. You’ll certainly find players lower on this list who have greater potential, but you won’t find anyone who can match Maness’ success thus far. He’s a two-trick pony who relies on impossible control (ten walks in 160+ innings last season) and a groundball inducing sinker. That’s not a very intimidating animal, but it is one that Maness has ridden successfully to double-A. We’ll see if it can take him further. - Andy

I’m never going to be certain that Maness will continue to avoid the walks until I see it in the majors, but the ground ball tendencies are great news for his potential. However, with a fastball that does not quite light up the radar gun, he will have to have some serious command and control going forward to be a major league prospect. However, there is no denying the fact that Maness has kept up his numbers as he has moved through the system. Only time will tell if he can keep it up permanently. - jroman

11. Greg Garcia
2012 Ranking: Unranked
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 13, azru - 9, jroman - 10

Comments:

Greg Garcia has played both shortstop and second base in his career, but was positioned at shortstop in 2012 as Kolten Wong (his former middle infield mate at Hawaii) was written in pen at second base at Springfield. As Garcia got pushed to the higher profile middle infield position, he has proved that his previous seasons were no fluke. Garcia’s offensive profile looks even better at short with a high OBP and solid average. He had only 2 more strikeouts than walks in 2012! - jroman

Greg Garcia has never matched Wong in terms of acclaim from prospect gurus, but he plays the more difficult middle infield position, has superior patience, and provided better offensive production for Springfield’s championship season. His walk rate has steadily increased at each level he’s played, culminating in an impressive 15.9% last season. Furthermore, Garcia strikes out at a below average rate. There’s a sense that he’s just playing shortstop because Wong gets priority at second base, but if he can stick at that position, maybe he can be a post-Furcal answer. At the very least, Garcia offers insurance should Wong not reach his potential. - Andy

Greg Garcia walks like Matt Carpenter but can play a legitimate middle infield. He'd be below average relative to peers at shortstop and is better suited for second base. He doesn't have the draft pedigree of college teammate Kolten Wong but he put up the better 2012 season. The combination of defense and a steady, improving offensive profile snuck him into my personal top 10. He's a nice second tier kind of prospect that might surprise you. It was a mistake not to rank him last year. - azru

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