1. Shelby Miller, P – After the season, I ranked the top 7 prospects Cardinal prospects for the UCB, and I had Miller second. Well, having time to think about it and seeing his throwing sessions in Spring Training, I have decided he’s the top guy right now. He’s got a fastball that will end up in the mid-90s once he matures, a curve that could be a plus pitch, and great mechanics. He could be top of the rotation when all is said and done.
2. Jaime Garcia, P – I also didn’t have Garcia as 2; since he’s proven he’s healthy and taking the 5th rotation spot, he’s moved up. He doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but he’s got a great sinker. His curve ball hasn’t lost anything. He’ll be a nice addition to the rotation this year.
3. Daryl Jones, OF – Jones was drafted as a toolsy outfielder that needed to translate those to skills. He broke out in 2008, but pretty much lost 2009 to injuries. His power still hasn’t developed and he needs to work on his pitch recognition. He has improved on his plate discipline and his speed is still good. He looks more like a corner outfielder at this time, but his power will need to come to be one.
4. Allen Craig, 3B/OF – Craig has hit at every level he’s played at. He’s got good power and decent contact ability. He can take walks, but doesn’t have a great on base percentage. He’s a man with out a position, because his defense at third is a little below average. He’s spent some time at first and left field. He looks like a corner back up right now, with the ability to be an everyday left fielder in the future.
5. Lance Lynn, P – Lynn’s calling card is his control; he won’t blow people away with this fastball, but he’s got 4 good pitches. He keeps the ball down, with a groundball rate at almost 50% and only 5 homers allowed in 2009. He won’t strike out a ton, so he’s limited to a mid-rotation guy.
6. David Freese, 3B – Freese is the third baseman in St. Louis barring injury or major struggles. He broke out in 2008 and had a chance to be the starter in 2009 until he revealed he had a car accident injury prior to spring training. He ended up going back to Triple A and had another strong season. His power has come along nicely, but his strike outs have increased as well. He’s a good defender with limited range.
7. Robert Stock, C – Stock has the ability to catch or pitch. He’s attempting to catch right now, which has looked promising. His bat look solid, but that was based off playing in the Rookie League. He’s got a great eye and plus power. His catching skills are still developing, but there is no reason to believe that he can’t be a major league catcher. When pitching, his fast ball can hit 96, with the possibility that it could add a couple of ticks down the line. I haven’t been able to find anything about his secondary pitches though.
8. Eduardo Sanchez, P – Sanchez put up some good numbers at Double A that started rumors of a late season call up. He’s was able to get a lot of strikeouts (10% of his outs) and groundballs (50% rate). He can get righties and lefties out. His control is still shaky at times, but it’s improved a lot in the last year. He’ll start the year in Triple A, but don’t be surprised to see him this year.
9. Jon Jay, OF – I think I’m higher on Jay than most people. He’s a guy that does a lot, but doesn’t stand out at anything. He’s got good speed and plate discipline, but his power won’t be much more than doubles power; double digit homers are possible, but I’d say no more than 15 in a season. He’s great defensively and can play all 3 outfield positions, which makes him look more like a 4th outfielder than a corner guy, which is where he’d play with the Cardinals.
10. Bryan Anderson, C – People are very down on Anderson, since he hasn’t shown the power that he hinted at in the low minors. They need to remember he’s only 22. Anderson is a very patient hitter who’s not afraid to draw a walk. His strikeout numbers were the highest of his career, but that could be due to battling injuries. His catching is still a work in progress, but he’s improved each year. He could still be an above average catcher, but probably for a different organization.
Tags: 30 Teams in 30 Days, Baseball, Baseball Preview, St. Louis Cardinals