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Viva El Birdos Cardinals 2018 Prospect Rankings: #24 Tommy Edman

Aaron Miles made himself into a major leaguer, maybe Edman can, too.

Atlanta Braves v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Editor’s Note: A.E. Schafer aka the red baron has once again compiled a rather impressive list of Cardinals prospects doing a write-up on 40 individual prospects. As a convenience to our readers, he releases the list in a couple big chunks so everyone can read about all of the prospects at once. While that is a convenience to all of us who eagerly await the arrival of prospect lists, it might not be as convenient if you are looking for a player’s particular scouting report. So, as a further convenience, we are putting the individual scouting reports in separate posts to make individual players easier to find. You can find the full lists on our 2018 prospect page here. —CE

#24: Tommy Edman, SS/2B

5’10”, 180 lbs; Bats/Throws: Switch/Right

DOB: 9 May 1995; Drafted Rd 6 2016

Level(s) in 2017: Peoria (Low A), Palm Beach (High A), Springfield (AA)

Notable Numbers: 118 wRC+ (A), 106 wRC+ (A+), 80 wRC+ (AA)

So, what’s so great about this guy?

Tommy Edman burst out of the gate in his pro career like a house on fire, putting up a 151 wRC+ and 15.5% to 9.1% walk to strikeout ratio last year at State College. The plate discipline was the thing that stood out most about Edman; hitters who walk over 50% more than they strike out, at any level, are exceedingly rare. He swiped 19 bases in 22 attempts, as well, adding some baserunning value to his profile. The power was modest, but there was plenty of reason to be optimistic about the new kid from Stanford.

With all that in mind, expectations for Edman were probably a little too high, as even with a strong start to the season in Peoria (where it’s always tough to be a hitter in April), the fact he wasn’t laying waste to the league was seen as somewhat of a disappointment. Even so, the walks and strikeouts were almost even, he showed a little bit of pop with a .155 ISO, and he stole 8/10 bases, all while playing primarily shortstop. He was bumped up to High A, saw his strikeout rate unexpectedly (and almost certainly temporarily), spike to 22%, and was then promoted again to Double A Springfield after just 82 trips to the plate in Palm Beach. He was okay in Springfield, but looked a little out of his depth. Edman was actually promoted a third time to Memphis for the playoffs, but to my eye should probably return to Double A to begin 2018.

The good with Edman is still very good contact skills, a sound approach at the plate, plus speed that actually works very well on the bases, and what looks like a decent glove even at shortstop. The bad is a lack of size, lack of strength, and a frame that doesn’t seem to lend him a great amount of projection going forward. He’s cut from the same cloth as a lot of other Cardinal utility infielders over the years, including the current model in Greg Garcia. A little less patience, a little more speed, but very much in the same genre.

The fact Edman appears able to handle shortstop defensively is a huge boon to his future prospects, and should make him at the very least a good fit for that utility infield role. It’s a pretty limited ceiling, I think, but teams need players like this, and growing them from within is always preferable to having to look outside the organisation.

If he’s good, it will look like: A switch-hitting utility infielder with good contact ability, who lacks size and strength, and once Steven Segal’d his way out of a hostage crisis? Why, that’s Aaron Miles, of course! Okay, so Edman has not, so far as I know, ever taken out a group of international terrorists with his bare hands, but he has better raw tools than Miles, so there’s a chance he could be a better version of that sort of player. A little more patience, better speed, and more ability to handle short are all on Edman’s side, but the speed is really the only spot where he has a big advantage.

Oh, also: he looks eerily like Matt Bowman. So, if they’re on the team at the same time, get ready for some wacky hijinks, probably.

via Alec Dopp: