As those who followed our Top 40 Prospects countdown over the last month and a half know, the selection of the master list was a melding of the individual views from four of us here at The Birdhouse, stlcardinals.scout.com.
As a result, a handful of deserving players on each of our personal lists did not make the consolidated Top 40. This is the third of four articles where each of us will highlight those prospects – our “Best of the Rest”.
Here is the overall Top 40, with the list of the Scout.com Cardinals message board community next to it. Highlighted are the names unique to each list.
||Roberto De La Cruz|
||Roberto De La Cruz
Overall, there were not great differences between the Community list and the
final Birdhouse rankings. The Community had four players ranked that were not in
the final ranking. Those included the Community #38, 39 and 40 prospects
(Domnit Bolivar, Jarrett Hoffpauir, Amaury Marti) and one slightly higher ranked
player, Mark Diapoules, whom the Community ranked #32.
Other players that were included in both lists but had significant differences (five or more spots) include P.J. Walters (Community #17/Birdhouse #23), Tyler Greene (Community #23/Birdhouse #17), Roberto De La Cruz (Community #24/Birdhouse #35) and Scott Gorgen (Community #31/Birdhouse #26).
Here are recaps of the players who were on the Community list but did not make the final Birdhouse list.
Mark Diapoules - Community (32). Diapoules was the one player that stood out in the Community rankings but did not make the final Birdhouse ranking. In fact, the Community was the only group that ranked him. What did the Community see that the other rankers did not?
Diapoules split playing time between Quad Cities (13 games, 8 starts) and Palm Beach (11 games, 10 starts), posting a combined record of 8-4 with a 3.93 ERA. Possibly what the Community keyed on that others did not weigh as heavily was the fact that prior to his last two starts, Diapoules had an ERA of 2.81 in 9 games (8 starts) prior to giving up 12 runs in last 8.2 innings and finishing with an ERA in high A of
4.29. This was accomplished by a player who last year was just 19 when starting his first year of full season ball.
Diapoules is slated to return to Palm Beach to start 2009 but if he pitches similar to how he did last year prior to his last two starts he probably won’t be there long.
Domnit Bolivar - Community (38). Bolivar was one of the more hotly debated picks of the Community. Questions of how to evaluate his performance relative to his age abounded. In any case, he certainly is one of the more advanced Cardinals prospects for his age (19). His .257/.288/.391 line between Batavia and Quad Cities was accentuated by a strong month of August during which he hit .295/.308/.495 and prompted some to believe that he has strong power potential that will manifest itself as he matures. The flip side of the coin is that many think if he doesn’t learn to take a walk he won’t last long, even in the minor leagues.
Bolivar should start back at Quad Cities this year (probably at 3B) where he will need to perform well as he is surrounded by good prospects both ahead of and behind him.
Jarrett Hoffpauir - Community (39). Hoffpauir followed up his break out 2007 season (.323/.407/.473) with a much weaker 2008 (.273/.352/.383). He dropped in several categories but particularly in the power department. His lack of versatility and average defense requires that Hoffpauir be above average offensively if he is going to make it at the major league level.
Hoffpauir will be in major league camp supposedly fighting for a major league job. Realistically however, he is destined to return to AAA Memphis to see if he can recapture the magic he showed in 2007.
Amaury Marti - Community (40). Marti, like Bolivar, was also hotly debated due to his age but in the antithesis of Bolivar with his advanced age being in question. Marti is also hard to judge as much of his last two years have been played in Mexico. He did show significant improvement this year in Mexico going from .337/.407/.555 to .420/.493/.617. Marti has also played well this winter in the Dominican Winter League hitting .314/.390/.535. My guess is that this will be the year Marti gets a chance to show what he can do in the US, most likely at AAA Memphis.
To reference our entire list of top 40 Cardinals prospects for 2008 and read about each individual player, click here. You can also learn more about each of the voters’ philosophies in making their selections and much more.
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