My Top 30 Cardinals Prospects

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My Top 30 Cardinals Prospects 

Post#1 » by Karmaloop » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:21 pm

Posted this on another forum, figured I'd share with you guys.

Only doing reports for the top 10, if you guys want more about our guys let me know.

CW21's Top 30 St. Louis Cardinals Prospects

1.) RHP Alex Reyes
Fastball: 60/70 | Curveball: 55/65 | Change-Up: 30/50 | Command/Control: 30/50
ETA: 2017

Alex Reyes took a rather unusual path to MLB opting to move from New Jersey back to the Dominican Republic before his senior year. The Cardinals, a team who historically doesn't throw big money at single LA talent, offered a 950k bonus to Reyes to get him to sign with them. He's got good size for an MLB pitcher at 6'3", 185 with plenty of room to add more weight and potentially more velocity. His fastball is easily his best pitch at it was currently sitting in the mid 90's (93-96 MPH), although he was reportedly touching triple digits this summer. It's got good two-seam movement, which already allows it to be a plus pitch. With the projected jump in velocity as well as better control of the pitch, his fastball could easily become a plus-plus pitch. His curveball also projects as a plus pitch with its slow deception that hitters often give up even before the ball is there, and breaks late. This curve shows up in the 75-78 MPH range and Reyes has shown an improved consistency with this pitch. His change-up comes in roughly 10 MPH slower than his fastball, and comes from a similar delivery as his fastball which helps deception. Unlike his first two pitches, he still needs to continue to develop his stuff. His command/control is still a bit of an issue (5.02 BB/9 this year), but he showed an improved control from June 11th when his BB/9 dropped to 3.8 BB/9. Combine that with his 11.8 K/9 over the same period in SS Peoria, he's going to most likely start the year off in High-A Palm Beach and if he continues to show improved control there he'll get a chance to get a late season promotion to Memphis for a brief taste there. He's easily our best prospect and the one with the highest upside as well. He was ranked the top prospect in the Midwest League this year by Baseball America and should be a consistent top 50 prospect in baseball.

2.) OF Stephen Piscotty
Hit: 60/65 | Power: 40/50 | Run: 40/40 | Fielding: 45/55 | Arm: 65/65
ETA: 2015

Coming out of Stanford, there were legitimate questions regarding his future. Where was he going to play, and would he hit for enough power to warrant sticking at that position? So far, he's shown the ability to hit consistently He hit .288 this year at AAA Memphis with a respectable 7.7% BB%, and 0.7 BB/K rate this year. The belief is that he should be able to hit around .300 for most of his career and keep his OBP around .360. One of the biggest questions going into the draft was he going to hit for much power, and while he hasn't done anything to change that concern he does hit for significant amount of doubles. Of his 41 extra-base hits last year, 32 of them were for doubles. Based on this hitting profile, he projects as a very nice #2 hitter and very much in the mold of Matt Carpenter. Defensively, he was moved from third to corner outfield where combined with his strong, borderline plus, arm has made him a natural fit in right field. On the base paths, he is a smart base runner which allows him to steal bases but he's not a huge base stealing threat. With the untimely death of Oscar Taveras, he profiles as the starting RF for the Cardinals in the near future and a possible #2 hitter to plug into the lineup behind Matt Carpenter. The Cardinals might not be overly comfortable with handing him the starting RF gig considering he wasn't overly dominant against AAA pitching and he could stand to continue to improve defensively. The lack of power in his swing likely keeps him from being a consensus top-50 prospect.

3.) LHP Rob Kaminsky
Fastball: 50/60 | Curveball: 60/70 | Change-Up: 45/55 | Command/Control: 45/55
ETA: 2017

Rob Kaminsky might have gotten overlooked going into the 2013 draft between the fact that he came from New Jersey and his less than ideal pitcher’s size, he’s doing his best to make people watch. Coming from New Jersey, those that were not serious scouts often would overlook him due to his lack of exposure and combine that with his less than ideal build would cause him to be devalued. Despite these issues, the Cardinals took him 29th overall and he has not looked back since. After posting strong numbers in a limited time in rookie league last year, he posted a 3.28 FIP over 100.2 innings of Low-A ball. While those numbers as a whole do not jump off at you, it is the improvement he has made since joining the Cardinals organization. His fastball sits in the 89-92 MPH range, but has touched as high as 95 MPH in limited innings but more importantly showed the ability to speed it up or slow it down as needed. His curveball is his bread and butter pitch, and is already a borderline plus pitch and as he continues to harness this pitch it is pushing a 70 grade. Ultimately though, I think a 65 grade is the more realistic. The one knock on him is that he is over reliant on his curveball, but the Cardinals have been doing a great job making him throw his fastball and his change-up, which was reportedly around 70% of the time. Unlike most youngsters, he has shown a strong feel for his change-up and it remains a work in progress. Combine three pitches that are at least average, including two potential plus pitches and strong command and you are looking at a really good pitching prospect. I anticipate him landing around the backend of the top 100, but you could make an argument he could easily be in the 50-75 range. He’ll likely start the year off in Palm Beach and travel a similar career of Alex Reyes, maybe even slightly more accelerated.

4.) LHP Marco Gonzales
Fastball: 50/55 | Curveball: 45/55 | Slider: 40/50 | Change-Up: 60/65 | Command/Control: 60/60
ETA: 2015

After seeing the success of Michael Wacha coming out of college, the Cardinals drafted yet another highly polished college pitcher whose FB/CU combination might have been unrivaled in the draft class. His fastball sits in the 89-91 MPH range, but plays up tremendously well because of his change-up. He has shown the ability to throw two different off-speed pitches, a curveball and slider. While the initial results show that his slider was more productive, his curveball is considered his superior off-speed pitch. While neither are what you would consider anything more than above-average pitches they play up because of delivery and consistent release points. His real threat is with his change-up, which is a borderline plus pitch. Much like his off-speed stuff, his change-up plays up tremendously because it comes out of similar mechanics to his fastball. While he does not possess ideal size for a pitcher, his combination of pitchability, control/command, and athletic delivery give him a chance as a potential #3 starter if he can continue to develop his off-speed pitchers. Ultimately though, because of his smallish stature he needs to keep the ball down and away from hitters because his pitches do not have much natural sink to it. He will reportedly be given a chance to win the #5 starter role, but that seems to be Carlos Martinez’s natural spot and could either land in the bullpen or as a starter in Memphis and as injury insurance.

5.) RHP Jack Flaherty
Fastball: 55/65 | Slider: 45/55 | Curveball: 40/50 | Change-Up: 55/65 | Command/Control: 50/60
ETA: 2018

Coming into the year, Jack Flaherty had been on the map as a prospect as two years prior both Max Fried and Lucas Giolito were first round picks out of the same high school. But up until this season, most viewed his future on the field rather than on the mound. Based on those improvements, the Cardinals made Jack Flaherty the 34th pick in this past draft and he has not looked back since then. He’s already got an MLB pitcher’s body with room to add more weight to his frame, and potentially add velocity to his fastball. His fastball sat in the 91-93 MPH range coming out of college, but with a mechanical tweak he was reportedly up a few MPH with those adjustments. He shows to solid off-speed pitches, with his best off-speed pitch being his slider. He matches those pitches with an outstanding change-up, who I’ve even heard a 70 grade thrown out there with him. For as young as he is, he has an outstanding feel for his change-up. He likely starts the year off in EST before going to Advanced Rookie. Right now, he projects as a #3 starter but if his fastball continues to add velocity and he can develop either his slider or curveball into a significant third pitch then he has a chance to be a true FOR starter.

6.) C Carson Kelly
Hit: 45/55 | Power: 30/55 | Run: 30/30 | Defense: 45/60 | Arm: 60/65

Carson Kelly started his career at third base, but moved to catcher during instructional after the 2013 season. And early reports were positive, and recent reports are glowing with improvements he has made defensively. Offensively, he’s been a bit of a disappointment because he was billed as a big time power bat coming out of his Oregon high school and he has not been able to consistently to hit the ball hard. Overall though, a .270/.340/.420 line with good defense is a very realistic expectation from him. Despite not hitting for a ton of power or hitting .300+, he’s grown at the plate and he’s sported a very strong K-BB ratio and continues to work on his pitch recognition. Defensively, he’s got the strong arm to throw out most runners, but he will need to continue to work on his pop times and work on blocking balls in the dirt. Overall, he will likely spend the entire year at Palm Beach this year because of the depth in the system, but there is a chance he’ll get pushed up to Springfield at the end of the year if he performs well.
7.) CF Charlie Tilson
Hit: 55/60 | Power: 30/30 | Defense: 60/65| Arm: 50/50| Run: 60/65
ETA: 2016

Charlie Tilson spurned a college offer with Illinois to join the Cardinals organization after being drafted in the 2011 draft. He was a late signee as he was a bonus baby, so his brief debut did not lead too much of an idea of what he was but the hopes were high for him coming into the 2012 season. Unfortunately, his 2012 season got off to a poor start in spring training as he injured his shoulder which required him to miss the entire season as he recovered from the injury in what amounted to a wasted season. He started the 2013 season at Low-A and posted a triple slash line of .303/.349/.388, which didn’t show much power but showed some promise on the base paths with 8 triples and 15 stolen bases in a little over 400 plate appearances. The 2014 season saw him take a step back on the base paths, but showed a little bit more power. Ultimately though, his power isn’t his calling card as his fast bat speed should allow him to hit around .300. Defensively, he is a pretty safe bet to stick in center but he’s got the arm to play in the corner outfield if he were to somehow not be able to play center. On the base paths, he’s got the speed to be a big threat but he’s inconsistent. I haven’t seen him in person yet to see if it’s more of an issue of poor reads, poor jumps, or just overrated to begin with. He likely spends the entire year in Springfield, but a late call up to Memphis is a realistic possibility.

8.) SS Edmundo Sosa
Hit: 50/55 | Power: 30/30 | Run: 60/60 | Defense: 55/60 | Arm: 50/50

The 2012-13 IFA signing period was a good one for the Cardinals as they not only signed their #1 prospect, Alex Reyes but they also signed this Panamanian for a measly $425k. For a young hitter, he’s surprisingly advanced in his plate approach and his approach won’t offer much power but he should be able to hit around .280 should he make it to the big leagues with a strong BB-K rate. Defensively, there’s been mixed reports about whether or not his arm will allow him to stick at short. I don’t think he will ever be considered a great defensive shortstop for that reason, but I think his arm is more than capable of making the throws. And he’s got the range to stick at short, but he also has the ability to play second base if needed. He is an instinctive defender who does a good job of getting in the right place to make the throw rather than relying on his athleticism. He will start the year with State College, our short season affiliate, and his promotion will likely depend on what happens with Oscar Mercado at Peoria. If Mercado gets promoted or moved off of short, Sosa could get called up in the summer.

9.) RHP Luke Weaver
Fastball: 55/60 | Slider: 45/50 | Change-Up: 60/65 | Command/Control: 55/60

I’m a bit more bullish on Weaver than some, but as a whole I think I’m higher on him than most. I’ve seen him ranked as high as 5th, but also outside the top 15 all together which is absurd in my opinion. After the quick ascension of Michael Wacha and to a lesser extent Marco Gonzales, I think Cardinals fans have been a bit spoiled expecting their first round pick to make it to the big league year in at least a full year. Physically, he’s built very similar to Tim Hudson whose got good, but not great size for a pitcher. In the past, you saw his fastball touch as high as 97 but he sits more in that 91-93 range with natural sink. His fastball tends to straighten out as he pitches harder. The slider ultimately though is going to make or break him. If he can push that slider up to a 55/60 grade, he’s got a chance to be a lower end #2/higher end #3 but right now he’s projected as a back of the rotation starter. What gives us hope is the development of Wacha and Gonzales’ off-speed stuff after they got into the Cardinals’ system. Ultimately though, his fastball change-up combination is his bread and butter as his change-up is playable in the big leagues today if the Cardinals really needed it.

10.) CF Magnueris Sierra
Hit: 60/70 | Power: 40/45 | Speed: 60/65 |Defense: 60/65 | Arm: 55/55

Did I mention that the Cardinals did well in the 2012-13 IFA? Sierra was also one of the prospects the Cardinals signed and they forked over a measly 125k to sign him out of the Dominican Republic and the early results have been promising to say the least. I’ve heard reports about scouts think his hit tool is on par with Oscar Taveras, but I think that is a bit generous but don’t think that you should sleep on his hitting abilities. It won’t lead to a lot of power, but he should be able to hit .300 with his fast bat speed and level swing. Power wise, it projects more to be gap power with the occasional home run power. Defensively, he’s a safe bet to stick in center where his speed gives him strong range and an above-average arm strength could even play in one of the corner outfield spots should he need to move there later on in his career. Outside of hit, his speed is arguably his best tool and could be a guy who consistently has 20+ SB at the big league level. He needs to continue to work on his base running technique though. Right now, he started the year off at Peoria but I wouldn’t be surprised if they moved him back down to State College once their season gets underway.

11.) RHP Sam Tuivalala
12.) SS Aledmys Diaz
13.) OF Randal Grichuk
14.) LHP Tim Cooney
15.) 2B Jacob Wilson
16.) SS Oscar Mercado
17.) OF Rowan Wick
18.) C Cody Stanley
19.) RHP Zack Petrick
20.) SS Juan Herrera
21.) 2B Malik Collymore
22.) RHP Ronnie Williams
23.) 2B Breyvic Valera
24.) C Steve Bean
25.) 2B Darren Seferina
26.) RHP Daniel Poncedeleon
27.) LHP Austin Gomber
28.) RHP Nick Petree
29.) RHP Trey Nielsen
30.) 3B Patrick Wisdom

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