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Is Jake Lemmerman More Than Just Another Guy?

The Cardinals picked up Jake Lemmerman as a bonus while dumping Skip Schmaker. Is Lemmerman more of a player than we thought when he was acquired?

The Cardinals acquired Jake Lemmerman during the offseason for internet punching bag and talk radio superstar Skip Schumaker. Lemmerman was instantly compared to Pete Kozma and even Skip Schumaker himself before he even hit the field for the Cardinals. Lemmerman is on his third tour of duty at the double-A level, but obviously his first in Springfield.

The 24 year old has started hot in Springfield and being just above the average age for players in double-A, he's not terribly old for the league despite 3 years running in the league. Let's start with the good, he can play shortstop, he has been described as "reliable" and "consistent". Those are great traits to have, but he's not really jumping off the screen with those adjectives. So far this season, he has his best OPS at AA at .775 and average at .266, which is helped by a BABIP of .375. That BABIP is high, but a 20% LD rate indicates that he's making solid contact. He's always been able to get on base and his .370 OBP looks sustainable as a 70-90 point level over his batting average.

However, a player like Lemmerman really needs to eliminate the strikeouts as much as possible. He's striking out 22.8% of his plate appearances. Additional bad news, for Lemmerman is that he is blocked by one, possibly two players at Memphis. Greg Garcia is certainly a better prospect than he is at this point, and Ryan Jackson is most likely a better defender (although I'm not sure where the club stands on that one right now to be honest.).

I'm going to qualify the question in the headline here as I don't think Lemmerman's "Just Another Guy" as he should be at least a solid defender at short and a major league utility guy within 3 years, however with the Cardinals stacked farm system, he IS just another guy in the middle infield because they have more talented players ahead of him in the pipeline. His acquisition seemed like the Cardinals shedding Schumaker and receiving a player who could fit in their pipeline between Garcia ahead of him and Ronny Gil and Alex Mejia behind him. The fact that the Cardinals have the luxury of a double-A shortstop that has an OPS of .775 as an "Org Guy", is yet another fantastic sign of the health of their system.