Viva El Birdos Top Prospects 2015
For those interested on hearing my awful radio voice, I was on Baseball Essential's Farming the Futures podcast last night talking Cardinals minor league prospects, parsing the differences between Tim Cooney and Marco Gonzales, and discussing Alex Reyes' velocity boost. Give it a listen. on your way home from work this evening.
Reyes has the best stuff I've seen from a 20 year old in the Cardinal minors since Carlos Martinez -- in fact, he might even be more dominant in terms of swing and miss ability. Absolutely dominant for most of his sophomore season in the minors, but will command be his undoing?
There's a lot to like: Great contact rate, above average approach, uses the whole field, plus arm, good athlete...just no power as of yet. The question is whether the latter will be required for the Stanford product to make a big league impression.
The, uh, rich man's version of #6 prospect Tim Cooney, with similar command, a better breaking ball, and a plus changeup.
Matheny's "Ferrari" has graduated to the "prospect fatigue" portion of his minor league career. While he's still developing as a player, he's been forced into action based on his tools and potential in each of the last two seasons.
The Red Baron's darling of the 2013 draft, Kaminsky acquitted himself well in a full season league at the tender age of 19. Those 100 innings didn't end all the debate regarding his size and unorthodox mechanics, however, so the New Jersey native enters 2015 with just as much to prove.
The former Wake Forest star's command slipped a little in 2014 and some bad luck on the home run front didn't help either. Command, durability, and pitchability are the calling cards here, a profile common among a lot of left handed starters in the high minors.
I've seen Kelly ranked as high as 5th on some lists and as low as 15th on others. Just a year after moving behind the plate I have Kelly right around the same spot in the ranks where he was a year ago. Not because he's regressed or, quite the opposite: There's other players in the system that jumped ahead of him.
Editors Note: If you're a cranky VEB member who enjoys complaining about this list coming out with in-depth player profiles rather than as a list that you can get multiple other places on the web, I've done you the service of linking to the entire list here. Enjoy.
Probably one of the lowest rankings out there for Tilson heading into 2015, but I don't feel like he's improved much developmentally over the last few years. Basically, he's the same guy the Cardinals drafted out of high school without much added to his game.
The Gulf Coast League affiliate was loaded with talent last year. You've heard a lot this winter about Magneuris Sierra, no doubt. Malik Collymore too. I covered Ronnie Williams and Frederis Parra already in this top 25. The guy you probably haven't heard a lot about might also have the highest ceiling of anyone on the GCL Cardinals roster a year ago. That guy? Edmundo Sosa.
A lot of lists have Weaver nearer the top ten than I do. I guess I have more questions about his ability to get professional hitters out or just the overall depth in the current farm system is good enough that a pitcher of this quality ends up down in the mid teens.
Just one of the arms in the 2014 "Draft of Pitchers", Williams had a couple of solid but fairly unspectacular months in his introduction to pro ball. There's a lot to like and a awfully high ceiling if things head in the right direction.
The Cardinals don't have any start talents among the current position player crop in the minors. Most of the players have flaws that either limit their upside or are high upside players that haven't begun to climb the development curve.
These guys just missed inclusion in the Future Redbirds Top 25 prospects for 2015 for various reasons, but mostly due to organizational depth.