Merry Christmas! The St. Louis Cardinals still have Oscar Taveras. This morning a million kids and maybe a few regionally successful, soon-to-be-underemployed sports bloggers are going to open up a Wii U, and it's going to promise a ton of fun, and all of that fun is going to be hidden behind an incredibly painful 5 GB software update, even though I'm holding the GamePad in my hand and it's so neat.
The "next great Cardinals star" (that's John Sickels) is fully established as a .570-slugging, .330-hitting top prospect in the high minors, and he's successfully overthrown Shelby Miller. We've already started enjoying him, but the really good part is still a few months away. So we're stuck watching the progress bar after two big-deal prospect lists come out.
Here's the Future Redbirds list and the John Sickels list, both of which you should read in their entirety. Players appear in bold at their highest rank; players who appear in one list but not the other are in italics.
|1||Oscar Taveras||Oscar Taveras|
|2||Shelby Miller||Shelby Miller|
|3||Carlos Martinez||Trevor Rosenthal|
|4||Trevor Rosenthal||Carlos Martinez|
|5||Michael Wacha||Kolten Wong|
|6||Kolten Wong||Michael Wacha|
|7||Matt Adams||Matt Adams|
|8||Tyrell Jenkins||Tyler Lyons|
|9||Anthony Garcia||Tyrell Jenkins|
|10||Carson Kelly||Anthony Garcia|
|11||Patrick Wisdom||Greg Garcia|
|12||Stephen Piscotty||Seth Maness|
|13||Greg Garcia||Carson Kelly|
|14||Seth Maness||Maikel Cleto|
|15||John Gast||Stephen Piscotty|
|16||Starlin Rodriguez||Starlin Rodriguez|
|17||Ryan Jackson||John Gast|
|18||Maikel Cleto||Ryan Jackson|
|19||Tyler Lyons||Jordan Swagerty|
|20||Breyvic Valera||Boone Whiting|
Most of these are random flipped-bit differences--you can probably draw something out of putting Trevor Rosenthal one ahead of Carlos Martinez, or Kolten Wong one ahead of Michael Wacha, but the three-man committee behind the FR list would make it difficult to take much from it.
The biggest difference, or at least the one that's easiest to generalize about? Sickels, with his broader focus, is fonder of recent draft picks and newer additions; FR places a greater emphasis on system veterans (such as they are) and players who've proven compelling to people who follow the Cardinals in particular.
So Sickels includes Patrick Wisdom and deposits Carson Kelly and Stephen Piscotty higher up the list; Future Redbirds gives Jordan Swagerty another shot at Top 20 relevance and tops the list off with Boone Whiting, a stats-first HPGF favorite. Tyler Lyons, with his 250 A+-through-AAA innings, is No. 8 at FR and No. 19 from Sickels.
I don't know enough to say which one is right, but I do think the resources we have at hand are being used pretty efficiently here. Future Redbirds, home of the Daily Farm Report, should be focusing more on prospects who've been around in the system; Sickels should be scouting players we can't know much about yet.
In any case, both of these lists look pretty great. And in today's least consequential Christmas miracle, Starlin Rodriguez is the No. 16 prospect.