The Community Forum at The
Birdhouse (part of the Scout.com network) has selected its top 20 St. Louis Cardinals minor league prospects for the 2009 season. The selections
have been made as part of their third annual voting on the top 50 prospects in
the Cardinals’ system.
For the second straight year, Colby Rasmus has taken home the top prospect honors. Despite a season
where he struggled offensively and battled injuries, the 21-year-old outfielder
was an overwhelming selection as the top prospect though he was not a unanimous
pick as in the previous year. The complete top 20 list includes
(last year’s community rank in parentheses):
1. Colby Rasmus (1). Rasmus was
named the #1 prospect in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) by Baseball America (BA)
following the season. The 22-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder
batted .251/.346./396. at Triple-A Memphis in 2008. Selected for the
2008 USA Olympic Team (did not play do to injury).
2. Chris Perez (5). 1-1, 3.20
ERA, 11 saves, 38K/12BB in 25.1 innings at Triple-A Memphis and 3-3, 3.62 ERA in
41.2 innings at St. Louis. Perez received several votes as the number 1
prospect. The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher has been pegged by
many as the team’s future closer. Perez was BA’s 12th ranked prospect in
the Pacific Coast League.
Brett Wallace (NR). The 22-year-old left-handed hitting third baseman was
the Cardinals’ number one draft pick (#13 overall) and played himself all the
way to Double-A Springfield in his first professional season where he posted a
.367/.456/.653 line after going .327/.418./490 at A level Quad Cities. BA
named him the #5 prospect in the Midwest League.
4. Bryan Anderson (2). The
21-year-old left-handed hitting catcher split time between Double-A Springfield
and Triple-A Memphis this past season, posting lines of .388/.412./525. and
.281/367/.379, respectively. He finished the season ranked as BA’s #
14 prospect in the PCL
5. Daryl Jones (NR) jumps back into the rankings in a big way after being ranked 22nd
two years ago and then falling completely out of the rankings last
year. The 21-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder finally showed
his often talked-about potential by compiling a ,326/.406.426 line at High A
Palm Beach and following that up with a .290/.409/.500 at Double-A
Springfield. After the season, Jones was named BA’s #13 prospect in
the Texas League. He was also named the Cardinals organizational Minor
League Player of the Year.
Jess Todd (18). The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher was recently named the
Cardinals’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year and ranked as BA’s # 7 prospect in
the Texas League. Todd pitched across three levels, putting together a combined
record of 8-6 with a 2.88 ERA and 136 K’s and 42 walks in 153
innings. Opposing hitters batted just .213 against him for the
7. Jaime Garcia (3).
Many voters for Garcia indicated that he would have been selected higher had he
not suffered a season-ending arm injury that required surgery which should keep
him on the shelf the entire 2009 season. The 22-year-old left-handed
pitcher was still ranked highly based on the strength of record of 3-2 with a
2.06 ERA at Double-A Springfield and a 4-4, 4.44 ERA and 59 K/26 BB in 71
innings at Triple-A Memphis. Garcia also played in 10 games for
St. Louis this
season. He is ranked by BA as the # 16 prospect in the Texas League this
8. David Freese
(19). The 25-year-old right-handed hitting 3B who was acquired last
off-season in exchange for Jim Edmonds put up a solid .306/.361./550 line with
26 HR and 91 RBI at Triple-A Memphis to jump 11 spots in this year’s
rankings. Following the season, he was named to BA’s Triple-A
9. Mitchell Boggs (17). Another member of the BA Triple-A All-Stars, Boggs
compiled a record of 9-3, 3.45 ERA at Memphis and pitched in eight games for the big
league Cardinals during the season. The 24-year-old right-hander is
the 17th ranked prospect by BA in the PCL.
10. Jon Jay ( 27). The 23-year-old
outfielder put up a solid .306/.379./457 line at Double-A Springfield before
moving up to Triple-A Memphis where he went .345/.406./500. Jay was BA’s # 16
prospect in the Texas League.
11. Adam Ottavino (4). 23-year-old
right-handed pitcher went 3-7 with a 5.23 ERA at Double-A
12. Jason Motte (26). 26-year-old right-handed pitcher went 4-3 with a 3.24 ERA, 110K
and 26 BB in 66.2 innings at Triple-A Memphis. He also posted a line of 0-0,
0.82 ERA with 1 save, 16 K/3 BB in 11 innings for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Named to BA’s Triple-A All-Star Team.
13. Pete Kozma (12). 20-year-old
right-handed hitting SS went .284/.363/.398 at A-level Quad Cities and
.130/.231./.182 at High A Palm Beach. Ranked as the #15 prospect in the Midwest
League by BA.
14. Richard Castillo (NR). 19-year-old right-handed pitcher impressed with a 9-4 record,
2.37 ERA, 88 K/28 BB in 95 innings at A-level Quad
Cities and High A Palm
15. Clayton Mortensen (15). 23-year-old right-handed pitcher posted a line of 8-10,
4.96 ERA with 105 K/64 BB in 139.2 innings between Double-A Springfield and
16. Allen Craig (8). 24-year-old 3B hit
.304/.373./494 with 22 home runs and 87 RBI at Double-A Springfield.
17. Niko Vasquez (NR). 19-year-old
shortstop hit .317/.416./462 at Rookie level Johnson City and also had a brief stint at
Class-A Quad Cities.
18. P.J. Walters (11). 23-year-old right-handed pitcher had a 1-2 record, 3.25 ERA,
34 K/8 BB in 34 innings at Double-A Springfield and a 9-4 record, 4.87 ERA with
122 K/62 BB in 122 innings at Triple-A Memphis.
19. Josh Kinney (24).
29-year-old right handed relief pitcher went 0-0 in seven innings for St. Louis. Sat out
most of the 2008 season due to recovery from elbow injuries.
20. Francisco Samuel (NR).
21-year-old right-handed pitcher. Between A-level Quad Cities and High-A
Samuel was 6-6, 2.83 ERA with 30 saves. He had 94 K/53 BB in 63.2
innings. Opposing hitters hit just .191 against him. Samuel was BA’s
#18 prospect in the Florida State League.
Those wishing to
participate in the remaining selections can still vote by going here.
The Birdhouse staff will make their annual top 40 prospect selections later in
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