To be considered, players had to meet the following criteria:
- Retain minor league eligibility status (not too much Major League experience)
- Be on an active roster in the Cardinals' system at season's end
- Have a minimum 200 at bats
35 players met these criteria and therefore were eligible for consideration for this award. These performances were then ranked in a number of different offensive areas such as on-base percentage, slugging percentage, strikeout and walk rates, OPS and home run rate, among others.
Weight was given to the level at which a player performed and the age of the player. Additionally, ranking in certain categories, like runs scored, gave inherent weight to the length of each player's season. The performances of several players stood out from the rest but there was a clear winner – the same as in 2006.
And the winner is….
Colby Rasmus – Centerfield – Springfield Cardinals
It is most encouraging when the Cardinals' top prospect puts together the best performance of the 2007 season, let alone repeating the act from the previous year. Our winner did just that at a higher level than in 2006, all at the age of 21 years. As such, this one little slice of the baseball world seems to be aligned just the way it should be.
As you know by now, Colby Rasmus is that prospect and his 2007 season was just that, the best overall performance by a position player in St. Louis' minor league system.
Rasmus went a combined .275/.381/.551 in 472 at bats with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League. He slammed 29 home runs, drove in 72 and scored 93 times. He fanned 108 times but drew 70 walks.
The left-handed hitter not only displayed further improvement over his already-impressive 2006, but he led the Cardinals organization in a number of categories. Rasmus' slugging (.551), OPS (.932), runs created (98.1) and isolated power (.269) were all pace-setters. His on-base percentage (.381 – fifth), home runs (29 – second) and stolen bases (18 – tie for third) each ranked in the top five system-wide. Rasmus' 2007 season showed us an all-around balanced demonstration of speed, batting eye and power.
All of this was accomplished by a player in his second full season of professional ball that turned 21 in August and along with fellow top prospect Bryan Anderson was among the youngest players to qualify for Player of the Year consideration.
For those accomplishments, Rasmus has been the most highly-decorated Cardinals minor leaguer in recent memory. Not only was he our 2006 Player of the Year, he also took the organization's honor for last season.
Once the season was underway, Rasmus really kicked it into gear during May as he posted a .340/439/.699 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line. That month, he was named the Texas League Player of the Month, the Cardinals' minor league player of the month and earned our honor here at Scout.com, too.
Even more amazing is that his full-season results were accomplished around a dreadful two-month period when Rasmus was slowed by a nagging illness. During the months of June and July, Rasmus went 37-for-182 (.203). Once well, he batted 40-for-110 (.364) the rest of the way.
The talented centerfielder was Texas League Player of the Week at least three times during 2007 and took our Player of the Month award again in August.
Between being selected as one of eight Springfield Cardinals to play in the Texas League Mid-Season All-Star Game and joining their Post-Season All-Star squad, Rasmus also was tabbed to play in the All-Star Futures Game, held in San Francisco in conjunction with Major League Baseball's All-Star Game.
The Birdhouse staff congratulates Colby Rasmus on his fine 2007 season, which just completed as he led Team USA in the IBAF World Cup competition in Taiwan. That precluded his earlier invitation to compete in the Arizona Fall League.
For those interested in the numbers behind the story, following are the 2007 results posted by the top qualifiers by statistical category by team. It is worth noting that all categories are not treated equally.
Here's how we apply the data. The top five players in each category plus any other team leaders are logged. We then sort by the number of ranked categories, with the finalists being those ranked most often. Next, we look at the categories themselves, with the most weight given to OBP, slugging, OPS, runs created and stolen bases – essentially if the player can get on base and combine power and speed. Tie-breakers include age, level and prior professional experience.
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||0.286||57||199||Johnson City|
|TL||Toribio, Guillermo||2B/SS||0.257||44||171||GCL Cardinals|
|3||Toribio, Guillermo||2B/SS||0.389||44||34||3||171||GCL Cardinals|
|TL||Nelson, Dan||Utility||0.378||116||80||3||442||Palm Beach|
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||0.341||57||17||1||199||Johnson City|
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||0.402||11||0||4||199||Johnson City|
|TL||Lara, Edgar||RF/DH||0.500||7||4||8||160||GCL Cardinals|
On-Base Plus Slugging
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||0.341||0.402||0.743||Johnson City|
|TL||Lara, Edgar||RF/DH||0.326||0.500||0.826||GCL Cardinals|
"Runs Created" or RC is a statistic created by Bill James to measure a player's total offensive production. Bill James describes it by saying that scoring runs consists of two actions: First - getting on base or creating base runners and Second - the advancing of those runners around the bases. The formula we used to ascertain each player's RC incorporates the stolen base element of offense.
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||27.0||Johnson City|
|TL||Lara, Edgar||RF/DH||24.7||GCL Cardinals|
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||4||199||49.8||Johnson City|
|TL||Lara, Edgar||RF/DH||8||160||20.0||GCL Cardinals|
Isolated Power (ISO) is one of five primary production metrics used in identifying a hitter or pitcher's comparables. PECOTA uses a slightly modified version of Isolated Power that assigns the same value to triples as to doubles (extending a double into a triple is generally an indicator of speed, rather than additional power).
|5||Lara, Edgar||RF/DH||0.219||GCL Cardinals|
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||0.116||GCL Cardinals|
Runs Batted In
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||29||199||Johnson City|
|TL||Lara, Edgar||RF/DH||32||160||GCL Cardinals|
|2||Jones, Daryl||RF/LF/CF||22||12||Quad Cities|
|T3||Nelson, Dan||Utility||18||7||Palm Beach|
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||4||3||Johnson City|
|TL||Toribio, Guillermo||2B/SS||8||5||GCL Cardinals|
Best Battin' Eye – walks to strikeout ratio
(It should be noted there is only one qualifier in this category!)
If it came near the plate, they started swinging…
|1||Lara, Edgar||RF/DH||55||178||3.24||GCL Cardinals|
|5||Toribio, Guillermo||2B/SS||49||212||4.33||GCL Cardinals|
|TL||Yarbrough, Brandon||C||84||427||5.08||Palm Beach|
|TL||Vera, Nick||3B/1B||35||220||6.29||Johnson City|
2007 Cardinals Minor League Awards
|Scout.com||Position Player||Starting Pitcher||Relief Pitcher|
|of the Year||Colby Rasmus||P.J. Walters||Luke Gregerson|
|Memphis (AAA)||Rick Ankiel||Mike Parisi||Mark Worrell|
|Springfield (AA)||Colby Rasmus||Mitchell Boggs||Jason Motte|
|Palm Beach (A+)||Allen Craig||Adam Ottavino||Luke Gregerson|
|Quad Cities (A)||Jared Schweitzer||Brandon Dickson||Kenny Maiques|
|Batavia (SS)||Steven Hill||Jess Todd||Josh Dew|
|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 name highlighted above to be taken to that detailed article.)
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