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Cardinals Farm Inventory: Corner Infielders

In the interest of keeping these inventory lists in a readable format, I'll just be listing the C or better prospects rather than every single player at the relevant positions within the organization. If you missed it, here's the catcher inventory post from last week.

Do the Cardinals have another Matt Carpenter in their current crop of minor league corner infielders?
Do the Cardinals have another Matt Carpenter in their current crop of minor league corner infielders?
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

If your farm system is void of all manner of high upside bats, there's usually at least a couple of corner infielders knocking around the middle levels to give some hope that all is not lost.

That's just simply not the case for the Cardinals in 2015. This is about as paltry a list of corner infielders as one could likely find anywhere in baseball. And not just this year either, but about any year in the last three full decades since Jack Clark came to St. Louis. I can safely say I can't remember any farm system in baseball having such a group of no-show prospects at positions where good bats are usually fairly easy to find.

Now, I've excluded any players who can play in the middle infield or are more suited to the corner outfield from this list, so guys like Mason Katz, Jacob Wilson, and Bruce Caldwell will find there way onto the middle infield list where they will have a bit more value due to that utility. What's left is a bunch of guys that either need to be defensive wizards to make a run at anything or finally find themselves at the plate.

The Newcomers:

Danny Diekroeger: State College (2014) - 287 PA, .286/.331/.424, 5 HR, .383 wOBA; 10th Round in 2014, Stanford

If you're looking for the guy who could possibly become the next Matt Carpenter, this is probably your best bet. Diekroeger took over at 3B for Stephen Piscotty, Diekroeger pairs an excellent approach with good contact rates and some moderate power. Not sure he's good enough defensively to hack it at the hot corner long term (he split time at first base a lot his senior year at Stanford) but he's been solid there so far. Hard to see him replicating Carpenter's success, but all the skills are there, just maybe not quite the high ceiling.

Casey Grayson: Johnson City (2014) - 264 PA, .279/.379/.432, 5 HR, .387 wOBA; 21st Round 2014, Houston

A solid debut, but Grayson was also a good 2 years older than the average age for that league and still hasn't made his full season league debut at age 23. Not a good sign. Another solid contact hitter without much power from the left side...the Cardinals seem to be collecting these like Hot Wheels cars as of late, and none of them ever seem to pan out.

Jake Gronsky: Gulf Coast Cardinals (2014) - 92 PA, .288/.370/.413, HR, .365 wOBA; Amateur Free Agent, Monmouth College

The sentimental baseball fan's choice of player to root for in 2015, Gronsky was so under the radar that he wasn't even selected in a draft where Johnny Manziel saw himself go up on the board. Hard to understand why that was, though, as Gronsky was an absolute monster hitter for the Hawks on his way to earning three straight all-conference selections during a stellar college career. If you're rooting for a fun story this summer, one really can't hope for much more than Gronsky putting up a big year after being totally ignored in the 2014 draft.

Potential Breakout Candidate

Allen Cordoba: After an excellent age 17 season in the Dominican Summer League, Cordoba slipped back a bit in 2014, hitting just .258/.301/.328 in 268 PA's. It will be interesting to see what he can do when he finally gets stateside, but a season similar to what Edmundo Sosa put up last year would not be totally out of the question as the 2013 international free agent signee has the tools, makeup, and frame that suggest a high ceiling.