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St. Louis Cardinals to promote top prospect Stephen Piscotty

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The Cardinals' top position-player prospect will reportedly join St. Louis in Chicago for the club's interleague series against the White Sox.

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals will promote top prospect Stephen Piscotty to the majors on Tuesday, Rob Rains of STLSportsPage.com tweeted on Monday afternoon. Later in the day, Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak confirmed the news to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Cardinals selected Piscotty as a third baseman 36th overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. Between 2012 and 2013, the Cardinals moved Piscotty from the hot corner, where he struggled, to the outfield. The Stanford standout's bat allowed him to shoot through the St. Louis system, ending his second pro season in Double-A before taking the Arizona Fall League by storm in the autumn of 2013.

In 2014, Piscotty hit a speed bump of sorts in Triple-A. The outfielder posted a solid batting average and on-base percentage but was relatively punchless at the bat. The result was a roughly Pacific Coast League-average line while hitting in the relatively pitcher-friendly Autozone Park in Memphis. Nonetheless, Piscotty still appeared on multiple top-100 lists entering the 2014 season.

As Eric examined earlier in the season, Piscotty made adjustments to his swing during the offseason to add power that led to an April slugging surge. Joe revisited Piscotty's development a couple weeks ago and concluded that the adjustments appear to have worked. Piscotty has been able to sustain his increased power output. He has already clubbed two more homers for Memphis in 2015 (11) than he did in 2014 (9)—in 184 fewer plate appearances. Further, Piscotty’s doubles total this year sits at 28, just four shy of the 32 he wrapped out a year ago.

Isolated Power (ISO) is a stat similar to slugging percentage (SLG). But whereas SLG includes a hitter’s singles in its calculation, ISO excludes singles and focuses exclusively on a batter’s extra-base hits. For Memphis in 2014, Piscotty posted a .118 ISO. Entering play on Monday, major-leaguers with an ISO in the .115-.120 range this year include Howie Kendrick, Joe Mauer, and Chase Headley. This season, Piscotty owns a .203 ISO. MLB batsmen who have put up an ISO in the .200-.205 range include Andrew McCutchen and Evan Gattis.

Piscotty's power surge and other top prospects receiving their MLB promotions have caused him to climb even higher on some top-prospect lists. Right now, many talent evaluators consider him a top-50 prospect in all of baseball.

  • In the Minor League Ball midseason top 75, John Sickles ranked Piscotty as the 50th best prospect in baseball (up from 157 in the preseason).
  • However, Piscotty fell in the Baseball Prospectus rankings. BP ranked him 32nd in its preseason top 101 list. Piscotty came in at No. 40 in the BP midseason top 50.
  • Piscotty ranked 79th in the Baseball America preseason top-100 list, but did not make their midseason top 50.
  • Piscotty did not make Keith Law's midseason top 50 at ESPN Insider.

The Cardinals recently ordered Piscotty to move from the outfield to first base. With Mark Reynolds and Dan Johnson handling the position the St. Louis, there is an immediate opportunity to play first base in the majors if Piscotty helps. To date, he has played six games at first. Where he will play upon his promotion is an open question. With the Cardinals in need of a DH during their series at Chicago against the White Sox, there are plenty of at-bats to go around for outfield types.

Stephen Piscotty’s Career MiLB Stats

Year

League

Level

Age

PA

BABIP

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

ISO

wOBA

wRC+*

2012

MWL

A

21

237

.320

.295

.376

.448

.823

.152

.377

134

2013

FLA

A+

22

264

.300

.292

.348

.477

.826

.135

.375

134


TEX

AA

22

207

.304

.299

.364

.446

.810

.147

.360

129


AFL

-

22

100

.427

.371

.430

.506

.936

.135

.430

158

2014

PCL

AAA

23

556

.313

.288

.355

.406

.761

.118

.342

100

2015

PCL

AAA

24

372

.304

.272

.366

.475

.841

.203

.372

125

*At Fangraphs, weighted runs created plus (wRC+) for MLB is adjusted to take into account park effects. However, Fangraphs' minor-league wRC+ does not include park effects. It merely places a player's batting production on a scale where 100 is exactly league average, every point above 100 is a percent better than average, and every point below 100 is a percent worse than average.