clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Future Redbirds 2013 Top 20 Prospects: #5 - #1

The Cardinals top prospects are revealed.


5. Kolten Wong
2012 Ranking: #6
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 5, azru - 4, jroman - 6


Wong posted okay production for Springfield, though his overall numbers were a little disappointing after an exciting start that included an above eight hundred OPS over the season’s first three months. Wong then suffered through a miserable July in which he was hindered by results on balls in play. Compared to his time in Quad Cities the previous year, Wong’s walk and strikeout rates both trended in the wrong direction by two percent. His performance in the Arizona Fall League was a mixed bag. Should we be comforted by his solid average or dismayed by his impatience (only two walks in 76 PA) and lack of power (three extra base hits)? - Andy

Another player that varied greatly as I tried to vary my list, I had Wong drop to #8 on one list but never higher than #4. In the end, I went with the scouting reports and the draft pedigree. The reality is that Kolten Wong's 2012 performance was a disappointment. He showed little power and so-so plate discipline. Defensive reports have been measured. I'm still waiting for Kolten Wong to truly wow me in his professional career. I hope this ranking doesn't look foolish in the future. - azru

4. Carlos Martinez
2012 Ranking: #2
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 4, azru - 5, jroman - 4


Asked to throw his fastball more often - a strange request for most prospects - Martinez responded well by improving his peripherals in high-A Palm Beach and then contributing in a major way to double-A Springfield’s championship season. Although his strikeout rate declined at the higher level, he incorporated a sinker that helped him induce more ground balls. While some pundits question Martinez’s durability as a starter because of a smaller body frame and high-effort delivery, apologists can point to sustained velocity for reassurance as at least one stadium radar gun registered 100-mph in September. - Andy

Carlos Martinez’s great season was lost in the Taveras, Miller and Rosenthal hype this year, but he had a great one between A+ and AA. This year was his age 20 season and he actually was promoted to AA while on the DL. The Cardinals have faith in him and believe he will be able to continue his great results. As Andy said, his delivery screams bullpen to some, but most believe that late inning reliever or closer is in fact his floor as a prospect. A #1 prospect in at least 10 other organizations, his inclusion at #4 proves the strength and depth of the Cardinals system. - jroman

3. Trevor Rosenthal
2012 Ranking: #7
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 3, azru - 3, jroman - 3


Rumors of surprise 100-mph velocity in spring training were confirmed on national television in October, a month in which Rosenthal struck out fifty percent of the batters he faced. Of course, that feat was accomplished by relying on his fastball eighty percent of the time out of the bullpen. The eighteen games he started between double-A and triple-A last season yielded less gaudy results (though still respectable), so Rosenthal might benefit from refining his off-speed stuff before he’s slotted into the Cards’ rotation. Still, 2012 was a wildly successful year for Trevor Rosenthal. - Andy

Trevor Rosenthal’s velocity through the minor leagues is only matched by his velocity on the mound. Rosenthal spent the whole season in Quad Cities in 2011 and found himself a key part of the major league bullpen in September and October of 2012. His velocity has announcers and fellow teammates watching the radar gun after every pitch. He does have other offerings besides the elite fastball that will get major league hitters out, but when pitching out of the bullpen, why even attempt them? Rosenthal has hit future squarely in the major league rotation for the Cardinals and at 22, he has his entire future ahead of him. - jroman

2. Shelby Miller
2012 Ranking: #1
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 2, azru - 2, jroman - 2


Shelby Miller got downgraded from his perennial number 1 prospect perch through a tremendous season by Taveras and not necessarily much he did to change his own ranking. He had struggles early in the season after rumors were floated that he was too thin and then too fat. He had a "no shake" situation as well, along with an inflated HR rate but at the end of the season, Miller had a great year as a 21 year old in AAA and made a cameo in the major league bullpen in September and in the playoffs and showed everyone why he was the top prospect and why his prospects for 2013 and beyond are still quite bright. - jroman

Shelby Miller had a good 2012. He ended extremely well with a 10:1 K:BB ratio over his last 10 starts. Even the hiccups that Shelby Miller had were remarkably normal for a pitcher his age. The visibility that Miller, a former first round pick, carries with him exacerbates small issues into large issues. Rosenthal may have excelled out of the pen in the major leagues but small sample size shouldn't trump the full history of these two players. Miller still has a bright future in front of him, much like Trevor Rosenthal. - azru

1. Oscar Taveras
2012 Ranking: #4
Individual Rankings: AndyB83 - 1, azru - 1, jroman - 1


It’s unanimous. There’s a new position player donning the top of the prospect tree, and he claimed that spot by offering production for Springfield that was on par with the Cards’ last number one prospect to play CF at that level, Colby Rasmus, but they displayed quite different skill sets. What Taveras lacks in patience, he makes up for in impressive contact (reduced strikeouts by nearly five percent despite skipping a level) and continued success on balls in play. His downside is being destined for a corner outfield position. - Andy

Shelby Miller is dethroned but only because I can't vote for a 1A prospect. Miller had a good year that wouldn't have hurt his prospect status if not for Oscar Taveras having a ridiculously good year. Elite power, excellent contact skills and improving defense simply made the likelihood of Taveras achieving his ceiling more probable than last year. The media narrative is that the club challenged him and Taveras responded with exceptional character to rise to their challenge. Regardless of that accuracy, Taveras is a potential centerfielder with a high level offensive profile. Those kinds of prospects don't come around very often. Oscar Taveras is the best prospect in the Cardinals farm system. - azru