Editor's note: Check back here through November 25 as our local writers call out the top players – starter, reliever and position player - at each level of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. We'll conclude the series with the top three players across the entire organization – our 2007 Scout.com Cardinals Players of the Year.
How do you pick a Springfield
Cardinals player that stands out among a team that played so well as a group
that they were good enough to win the
I suppose if I had to (and I have been given the honor, so I must) select two pitchers and a position player, it would have to be Mitchell Boggs on the starting mound, with the relief pitcher award going to Jason Motte, and the position player nod, almost a no-brainer, lands in the glove and off the bat of Colby Rasmus - perhaps the St. Louis Cardinals' best hope for the future.
Boggs, who was obtained by the Cardinals in the fifth-round (170th overall) in the June, 2005 First-Year Player Draft, finished the second half of the 2007 season in the Texas League top ten with an 11-7 record with a 3.84 ERA, pitching 152.1 innings, allowing 167 hits, recording 62 walks and a league leading 117 strikeouts.
Boggs caught the attention
Jason Motte, a former catcher who was converted to a pitcher in May of 2006, is a 6-foot, 198 pound right-hander, and was the Cards' 19th round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft . Motte finished the season with a record of 3-3, and a team-best ERA of 2.20, 63 strikeouts, 22 walks, and eight saves in 49 innings pitched, giving up just three home runs.
Motte changed positions after playing the first three years of his career behind the plate. He also finished the 2007 season with a .500 batting average, having two appearances at the plate in which he recorded a double and a strikeout. Motte makes his home in Johnson City, Tennessee, home of the Johnson City Cardinals. Like Boggs, he is currently pitching for the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.
The 21-year-old Rasmus was named
the St. Louis Cardinals' organizational Player of the Month for August and was
named the Texas League Player of the Week for the second time in 2007 during the
month of August.
Rasmus came to the Cardinals with an illustrious baseball background. In 1999, he pitched and played third base for
Though Rasmus did not figure into the top five in Texas League stolen bases in 2007, he certainly has the potential to be a threat on the running pads. In high school he ran 60 yards in 6.7 seconds. His arm was also clocked at 94 miles an hour throwing in from centerfield.
Perhaps the thing that had the greatest bearing on choosing Rasmus as 2007 Position Player of the Year was what one of the most respected men in baseball told me on opening day of the Springfield Cardinals' 2007 season. I was sitting in the press box at Hammons Field next to someone I have admired and looked-up to since I first became a Cardinal fan at the tender age of 10. That man was Red Schoendienst, who I have watched play, coach and manage the
Watching the field intently for several minutes, Mr. Schoendienst leaned over to me and whispered. "I like that centerfielder. I like the way he takes charge out there." That centerfielder was Colby Rasmus - this year's Springfield Position Player of the Year.
|Scout.com||Position Player||Starting Pitcher||Relief Pitcher|
|of the Year|
|Springfield (AA)||Colby Rasmus||Mitchell Boggs||Jason Motte|
|Palm Beach (A+)|
|Quad Cities (A)|
|Johnson City (SS)||Beau Riportella||Brian Broderick||Eduardo Sanchez|
|Gulf Coast (SS)||D'Marcus Ingram||Carlos Gonzalez||Reynier Gonzalez|
|Domincan (SS)||Juan Mosquera||Arquimedes Nieto||Angel Tapia|
|Venezuelan (SS)||Ismael Cardona||Richard Castillo||Carlos Oraa|
(Click on the team name highlighted above to be taken to that detailed article.)
Next up: Batavia Muckdogs of the short-season Class-A New York-Penn League.
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