Peoria Chiefs (Cardinals class A)
I can't tell you how hard it is for me to not look up the Quad Cities River Bandits, but I'll get used to it soon enough.
Pitchers - Kurt Heyer, drafted in 2012 out of Arizona, Heyer was the top starter for the Wildcats. He projects as a low-ceiling, high floor guy and a quick mover. But, the highest ranked prospect on the team is Tyrell Jenkins. Hector Hernandez, my personal sleeper pick is also on the staff.
Infield - Peoria has a very interesting infield with three 2012 draftees in 3B - Patrick Wisdom, 2B - Jacob Wilson and SS - Alex Mejia. But, they also have Breyvic Valera, one of 2012's top sleepers vying for playing time at second.
Outfield - The Chiefs have 2011 2nd rounder Charlie Tilson in center, who missed all of 2012 with an injury. Will be exciting to finally see what the kid can do given really playing time.
Palm Beach Cardinals (Cardinals class A+)
Pitchers - Sam Gaviglio (to way oversimplify it) is the Kurt Heyer out of the 2011 draft class. Righthander, college arm, fast mover. The rest of the staff is lacking the sizzle of the Peoria staff however.
Infield - Slick-fielding and light hitting Ronny Gil is at short and I continue to have a soft spot for the young man as he moves up the ladder. Colin Walsh is at 2nd with Jonathan Rodriguez, (J-Rod part deux) at 1st. Cody Stanley, one of the St. Louis Cardinals few catcher prospects is behind the plate for the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Outfield - The Palm Beach outfield is quiet interesting with two advanced outfielders from the 2012 draft class in James Ramsey in center, he'll need to stick in center to raise his prospect profile and he'll need to stay one step ahead of Charlie Tilson, a player he is about 3 years older than. Also, there is Stephen Piscotty, although listed as a 3rd baseman will have both his future and his present in the outfield. Exciting up and comer, Anthony Garcia fills out the other corner outfield spot as he attempts to build on his strong 2012 in A ball. Nicholas Longmire, a name most people remember around these parts for his short season hype will be the 4th outfielder.
Springfield Cardinals (Cardinals class AA)
Pitchers - Springfield has a very interested, deep and crowded starting rotation. They've got Richard Castillo, who used to be way too young for his league when he was in Palm Beach 3 years ago, but now he is just about average age for his league. They've also got Boone Whiting, reigning Cardinals minor league player of the year in 2012. They also have highly drafted Seth Blair with Scott McGregor and Anthony Ferrara in the rotation. Their DL has some players on it as well, with highly thought of Jordan Swagerty and Scott Gorgen both situated there. 40-man rosterees Michael Blazek, Keith Butler and Kevin Siegrist have (perhaps permanently) been shifted to the bullpen, which shows where the organization thinks of them going forward.
Infield - The X-man Xavier Scruggs is at 1st, but 2012 breakout star Starlin Rodriguez steals the show at 2nd base and newly acquired Jake Lemmerman is at shortstop.
Outfield - Tommy Pham, who was drafted all the way back in 2006 and has been around what seems like forever is in centerfield, but listed as a DH.
Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals class AAA)
Pitchers - The St. Louis Cardinals really took a lot of the sizzle out of this pitching staff, with all three of Miller, Rosenthal and Kelly staying with the big club. There are however, some names still to watch. Spring Training darling Michael Wacha and control expert Seth Maness headline the pitching staff with intriguing lefties John Gast and Tyler Lyons following them in the rotation. Lots to like here even without the top trio, which shows you the level of high end, near major league ready pitching the Cardinals are blessed with.
Infield - Greg Garcia and Kolten Wong, who have been a double-play pairing since their time in college at Hawaii, continue to hold down the center of the infield defense. And Ryan Jackson was returned to Memphis yesterday and hopes to regain the mojo that made many consider him the Cardinals best defensive shortstop. However, he looks to be a utility infielder both in Memphis and St. Louis.
Outfield - Oscar Taveras. Period. Oh yea, and there's Adron Chambers too.