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System Sundays: The Preliminary List, and A Question

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The working list for the 2017 VEB top prospects list.

Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Hey there, all. Apologies for the late post today; work intruded unexpectedly.

Anyhow, we are now into November, and that means that not only is the Hot Stove season right around the corner — we’re only about three weeks out from the Winter Meetings, after all — but that it’s also that time of the year when a young man’s fancy — and probably not a few young ladies’, as well — turns to thoughts of prospects, and the future in general.

I’ll be doing the VEB Top Prospects List again this year, and I’m hoping to get it done sometime before Christmas. I’ll also probably be throwing up the first draft preview of 2017 sometime around Thanksgiving or a little after, but I’m honestly running behind on all that, having not had the chance to really start digging in to the new class much beyond my follow lists yet.

Today, though, I’m going to focus on the prospects already in the system, and I decided this year to do a thing that John Sickels always does over at his site for each system’s prospects. I’m going to put up my preliminary, working list of names, not ranked or anything yet, and ask for anyone in the community with knowledge/interest to peruse it and see if I’m forgetting anyone. Also, if you have any comments on players you particularly like, players you think might be sleepers, guys who look overrated, or anything else at all, feel free to put that here as well.

Obviously, I can’t guarantee that I’ll agree with you, and my final rankings may completely diverge from the way you feel, but I’m interested to take the temperature of the room on some of these players amongst the prospect geeks around these parts. (Also, honestly, I’m hoping by posting my preliminary list I can avoid forgetting anyone. Trying to wedge Darren Seferina in last year after I lost him somewhere along the way was a real pain, although considering how he hit this year at Palm Beach it probably wouldn’t have been an enormous tragedy if he hadn’t shown up in the rankings.)

Oh, also, before the list of names, two other things: one, I debated whether or not to include all the players eligible for the list, including guys like Marco Gonzales, Alex Reyes, and Luke Weaver, or whether to do something different, strike off in a new direction, and ignore players we’ve already seen in big league uniforms, in an attempt to get more prospects people may not be familiar with yet in front of them, and get the information out there. Ultimately, though, as much as that sounds appealing to me, it’s also a weird slope to navigate, and doesn’t seem to really be in keeping with the purpose of a prospect list, which is to (hopefully), represent as accurately as possible what the pipeline of talent in an organisation looks like. I think that requires holding relatively close to the eligibility guidelines, at the very least to try and give some perspective on how valuable or important one might think the players at the very top of the system are relative to others further down with their own associated risks and upsides.

Two, while I’m inviting feedback on players, I’d also like to invite any requests anyone might have on either specific players they’d like to see a deep dive on (the list itself will probably cover that for many, but there are plenty of other guys worth doing a feature on of some sort), or for a specific type of post you might like to see. I plan to do some more video breakdowns on some minor leaguers over this offseason, of the sorts I did with Jeremy Martinez, Carlos Soto, and Junior Fernandez, looking at mechanics and what tools we can glean from video, but if there’s another specific angle you would like to see covered in terms of prospects let me know, and I’ll at least take it into consideration. Again, no guarantees I can or will do whatever it is, but I am curious if there’s some angle of prospect coverage you would specifically like to see explored.

With all that said, here is my preliminary list for the Cardinals’ farm system heading into the 2016-2017 offseason. In no particular order, by the way; I do try to group the players by position, but those positions are also fairly fluid for some of these guys still. Regardless, this does not in any way reflect where I think players should or will actually appear in the rankings.

  • Alex Reyes, RHP
  • Luke Weaver, RHP
  • Marco Gonzales, LHP
  • Tim Cooney, LHP
  • Jack Flaherty, RHP
  • Junior Fernandez, RHP
  • Sandy Alcantara, RHP
  • Ronnie Williams, RHP
  • Connor Jones, RHP
  • Zac Gallen, RHP
  • Dakota Hudson, RHP
  • Austin Gomber, LHP
  • Johan Oviedo, RHP
  • Corey Littrell, LHP
  • Ryan Sherriff, LHP
  • Steven Farinaro, RHP
  • Jake Woodford, RHP
  • Sam Tuivailala, RHP
  • Trey Nielsen, RHP
  • Ryan Helsley, RHP
  • Ian Oxnevad, LHP
  • Daniel Poncedeleon, RHP
  • Rowan Wick, RHP
  • John Kilichowski, LHP
  • Carlos Soto, C
  • Jeremy Martinez, C
  • Carson Kelly, C
  • Andrew Knizner, C
  • Nick Plummer, OF
  • Magneuris Sierra, OF
  • Harrison Bader, OF
  • Dylan Carlson, OF/1B
  • Walker Robbins, OF/1B
  • Jonatan Machado, OF
  • Victor Garcia, OF
  • Vincent Jackson, OF
  • Mick Fennell, OF
  • Randy Arozarena, INF/OF
  • Paul DeJong, INF
  • Eliezer Alvarez, 2B
  • Darren Seferina, 2B
  • Breyvic Valera, 2B
  • Allen Cordoba, SS
  • Edmundo Sosa, SS
  • Delvin Perez, SS
  • Tommy Edman, SS
  • Bryce Denton, 3B
  • Luke Voit, 1B
  • Chris Chinea, 1B
  • Danny Diekroeger, 1B
  • Jacob Wilson, INF
  • David Washington, 1B

Shocking to see how thin the Cards are at the infield corners, though to be fair DeJong is mostly a third baseman. Still, there are a couple positions that really stand out as being very thin, and third base is number one. First base is another, considering most of the player I listed are barely prospects at this point.

Anyway, that’s the working list. If there are any omissions, let me know in the comments. If you have any specific thoughts on a player, arguing for or against him, or have a request for a post of some sort, leave that below as well.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday in this post-Cubs championship world. If you can.

And congratulations to the city of Chicago, the Northside in particular, and all Cub fans everywhere who never thought their day in the sun would come. It was a magnificent team, and a magnificent season.

Now let’s all pray it never happens again.