Top prospect lists have been updated.
- John Sickels published a new top-75 list to replace his preseason top-150. Oscar Taveras dropped from 2nd to 4th. Injuries will do that to you. Otherwise, several Cardinals prospects moved up including Carlos Martinez (20 to 9), Michael Wacha (34 to 17), and Kolten Wong (85 to 39). While it's exciting to see some of these guys moving up lists, it's important to remember that many players - like Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal - have graduated to MLB.
- Baseball Prospectus published a midseason top-50 list. Oscar Taveras stayed put at number 2 but then Michael Wacha (56 to 21), Carlos Martinez (43 to 22), and Kolten Wong (90 to 34) improved their standing.
- Both lists are in consensus about which four Cardinals prospects to rank in the top fifty, though they are in disagreement about which of Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha is the better pitcher. My hunch is that people who weight character and makeup will favor Wacha and those who stick to the stats will favor Martinez.
- MLB.com updated its lists over the weekend as well. Oscar Taveras (3 to 2), Michael Wacha (83 to 18), Carlos Martinez (33 to 26), and Kolten Wong (79 to 55) all were given higher ranks than their preseason spots. When it comes to the team's top-20 prospects, John Gast and Michael Blazek are somehow slotted in between Kolten Wong and Tyrell Jenkins while Tyler Lyons is nowhere to be found. This makes zero sense to me with Lyons tearing up triple-A while Gast will be recovering from shoulder surgery until some point in 2014. MLB.com's list has a nice layout with some useful information on each prospect, but I would put very little faith in their rankings.
Carlos Martinez for Alexei Ramirez? Not so fast!
- According to the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales, the White Sox turned down a deal involving Carlos Martinez and Alexei Ramirez.
- At STL-Today, Derrick Goold and Bernie Miklasz were all over explaining why this rumor never made sense. I was proud of how quickly our hometown writers laid this one to rest.
- But then Jim Bowden tweeted this yesterday, suggesting that Carlos Martinez, Joe Kelly, and Kolten Wong's names were "being mentioned" in the Cardinals' pursuit of Peavy and Ramirez.
- All of this is a bit of an eye-roller to me (and apparently Jeff and bgh too). Even if the deal included Peavy, it's hard to believe the Cardinals would part with Martinez for a marginal upgrade at shortstop and an oft-injured pitcher unless their internal evaluation of Martinez has changed. And just because the Cardinals don't have anywhere to put Kolten Wong right now does not mean they don't value the option of moving Matt Carpenter back to third base if Freese can't reassert himself. Honestly, I haven't heard any names being dangled out there who would inspire me to part with anyone more than a Joe Kelly or Tyler Lyons type prospect.
- At least Mozeliak is saying the right things.
- On July 22nd, Derrick Goold reported that Oscar Taveras' ankle sprain was bothering him again, prompting the decision to shut him down for at least another week, which would mean that today (July 29th) would be the earliest date that he could resume baseball activities. Mozeliak's quote about regretting how the team handled this injury is strange to me considering how calculated the organization has been with most moves involving prospects. Maybe that speaks to how excited they really are to adding Taveras to an already potent offense.
- More bad news for Tommy Pham who had finally reached triple-A after posting very appealing numbers in parts of four seasons spent in Springfield. According to Kary Booher, Pham will require shoulder surgery to address another injury. As Booher notes, Pham was robbed of 2010 and 2011 by wrist injuries, and now he'll lose 2012 and 2013 to shoulder ailments.
- Baseball Prospectus' Zach Mortimer had some nice things to say about Peoria's Cory Jones who is currently on the DL. According to Mortimer, Jones reaches the upper nineties with his fastball and flashes an above-average curveball at times as well. In 57 innings, Jones has combined exceptional control (5% BB-rate) with a league average-ish strikeout rate (21%). We should expect his 1.58 ERA to rise when more batted balls start falling for hits (.232 BABIP), but his 3.18 FIP is still impressive.
- Kolten Wong was recently profiled in Baseball Prospectus' Eyewitness Accounts series. Wong's hit and glove tools received the highest grades; both were rated as slightly above average by Jason Cole. Here's a video of Wong singling and stealing second in the Futures Game.
- John Sickels revisited his preseason top-20 list, adding updated comments about each player and the organization as a whole.
- A couple of nice stories about Zach Petrick have surfaced recently. Here's one from MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch and another from STL-Today's Brendan Meyer. Petrick has enjoyed a breakout season thus far despite going undrafted in 2012. He's posted a staggering 1.39/1.99 ERA/FIP in 123.1 minor league innings. Since converting to the rotation (7 games started and 37 innings) from the bullpen, Petrick has maintained excellent control (4% BB-rate) and continues to miss bats (24% K-rate).