Scout.com ‘07 Cards Minors Player of the Year

Outfielder Colby Rasmus is recognized as delivering the top performance by a position player in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system for the second consecutive season.

We have come to our final player award of the 2007 season for the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system. The Scout.com 2007 Cardinals Player of the Year is a performance-based award presented to the position player having the best overall offensive season at any level of the organization.

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.

Following the season, Rasmus was named our Player of the Year for the Springfield Cardinals and was selected as a member of the TOPPS Double-A All-Star Team.

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.

Stats section

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.

Batting Average

Rk Player  POS  AVG  AB  Team
1 Hoffpauir, Jarrett 2B 0.323 127 393 Memphis/Sp
2 Hill, Steven 1B/LF/C 0.320 96 300 QC/Batavia
3 Craig, Allen 3B/1B 0.311 139 447 Springfield/PB
4 Buckman, Brandon 1B/DH 0.310 141 455 PB/QC
5 Gonzalez, Edgar 2B/3B 0.308 142 461 Memphis
TL Mitchell, Travis CF/LF/RF 0.276 61 221 Batavia/JC
TL Vera, Nick 3B/1B 0.286 57 199 Johnson City
TL Toribio, Guillermo 2B/SS 0.257 44 171 GCL Cardinals

On-Base Percentage

Rk Player  POS  OBP BB  HBP AB  Team
1 Hoffpauir, Jarrett 2B 0.407 127 55 2 393 Memphis/Sp
2 Derba, Nick C/DH 0.397 60 41 7 224 QC/Batavia
3 Toribio, Guillermo 2B/SS 0.389 44 34 3 171 GCL Cardinals
4 DeJesus, Antone CF/RF 0.385 45 36 11 189 QC/Batavia
5 Rasmus, Colby CF 0.381 130 70 12 472 Springfield
TL Nelson, Dan Utility 0.378 116 80 3 442 Palm Beach
TL Edwards, Jon RF 0.357 59 30 2 221 Batavia/JC
TL Vera, Nick 3B/1B 0.341 57 17 1 199 Johnson City

Slugging

Rk Player  POS  SLG 2B 3B HR AB  Team
1 Rasmus, Colby CF 0.551 37 3 29 472 Springfield
2 Craig, Allen 3B/1B 0.541 27 2 24 447 Springfield/PB
3 Mather, Joe RF/1B 0.522 27 1 31 487 Memphis/Sp
4 Hill, Steven 1B/LF/C 0.513 20 1 12 300 QC/Batavia
5 Buckman, Brandon 1B/DH 0.508 29 2 19 455 PB/QC
TL Edwards, Jon RF 0.457 16 1 8 221 Batavia/JC
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

Rk Player  POS  OBP SLG OPS Team
1 Rasmus, Colby CF 0.381 0.551 0.932 Springfield
2 Craig, Allen 3B/1B 0.367 0.541 0.909 Springfield/PB
3 Hoffpauir, Jarrett 2B 0.407 0.473 0.880 Memphis/Sp
4 Mather, Joe RF/1B 0.357 0.522 0.879 Memphis/Sp
5 Hill, Steven 1B/LF/C 0.355 0.513 0.869 QC/Batavia
TL Buckman, Brandon 1B/DH 0.346 0.508 0.854 PB/QC
TL Edwards, Jon RF 0.357 0.457 0.814 Batavia/JC
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

"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.

Rk Player  POS  RC Team
1 Rasmus, Colby CF 98.1 Springfield
2 Mather, Joe RF/1B 88.6 Memphis/Sp
3 Craig, Allen 3B/1B 87.7 Springfield/PB
4 Buckman, Brandon 1B/DH 79.8 PB/QC
5 Gonzalez, Edgar 2B/3B 78.8 Memphis
TL Hill, Steven 1B/LF/C 53.6 QC/Batavia
TL Edwards, Jon RF 34.6 Batavia/JC
TL Vera, Nick 3B/1B 27.0 Johnson City
TL Lara, Edgar RF/DH 24.7 GCL Cardinals

Home Runs

Rk Player  POS  HR AB HR/AB Team
1 Mather, Joe RF/1B 31 487 15.7 Memphis/Sp
2 Rasmus, Colby CF 29 472 16.3 Springfield
T3 Craig, Allen 3B/1B 24 447 18.6 Springfield/PB
T3 Bozied, Tagg 1B 24 451 18.8 Memphis
T5 Buckman, Brandon 1B/DH 19 455 23.9 PB/QC
T5 Hamilton, Mark 1B/DH 19 469 24.7 Springfield/PB
TL Hill, Steven 1B/LF/C 12 300 25.0 QC/Batavia
TL Edwards, Jon RF 8 221 27.6 Batavia/JC
TL Vera, Nick 3B/1B 4 199 49.8 Johnson City
TL Lara, Edgar RF/DH 8 160 20.0 GCL Cardinals

Isolated Power

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).

Rk Player  POS  ISO Team
1 Rasmus, Colby CF 0.269 Springfield
2 Mather, Joe RF/1B 0.248 Memphis/Sp
3 Craig, Allen 3B/1B 0.226 Springfield/PB
4 Bozied, Tagg 1B 0.222 Memphis
5 Lara, Edgar RF/DH 0.219 GCL Cardinals
TL Buckman, Brandon 1B/DH 0.193 PB/QC
TL Hill, Steven 1B/LF/C 0.190 QC/Batavia
TL Edwards, Jon RF 0.186 Batavia/JC
TL Vera, Nick 3B/1B 0.116 GCL Cardinals

Runs Batted In

Rk Player  POS  RBI AB Team
1 Hamilton, Mark 1B/DH 90 469 Springfield/PB
2 Bozied, Tagg 1B 82 451 Memphis
3 Craig, Allen 3B/1B 80 447 Springfield/PB
4 Buckman, Brandon 1B/DH 79 455 PB/QC
T5 Shorey, Mark LF/DH 78 448 Sp/PB/QC
T5 Richardson, Juan 3B/DH 78 430 Springfield
TL Hill, Steven 1B/LF/C 55 300 QC/Batavia
co-TL Edwards, Jon RF 40 221 Batavia/JC
co-TL Brown, Andrew 1B/3B 40 239 Batavia
TL Vera, Nick 3B/1B 29 199 Johnson City
TL Lara, Edgar RF/DH 32 160 GCL Cardinals

Stolen Bases

Rk Player  POS  SB CS Team
1 Rapoport, Jim CF 31 9 PB/QC
2 Jones, Daryl RF/LF/CF 22 12 Quad Cities
T3 Rasmus, Colby CF 18 3 Springfield
T3 Nelson, Dan Utility 18 7 Palm Beach
5 Pham, Tommy CF 17 6 Batavia/QC
TL Gonzalez, Edgar 2B/3B 15 4 Memphis
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!)

Player  POS  BB/SO BB SO PA Team
Hoffpauir, Jarrett 2B 1.4 55 39 460 Memphis/Sp

The Whiffer

If it came near the plate, they started swinging…

Rk Player  POS  SO PA K/PA Team
1 Lara, Edgar RF/DH 55 178 3.24 GCL Cardinals
2 Edwards, Jon RF 75 255 3.40 Batavia/JC
3 Mitchell, Travis CF/LF/RF 58 237 4.09 Batavia/JC
4 Richardson, Juan 3B/DH 118 488 4.14 Springfield
5 Toribio, Guillermo 2B/SS 49 212 4.33 GCL Cardinals
TL Bozied, Tagg 1B 96 517 5.39 Memphis
TL Yarbrough, Brandon C 84 427 5.08 Palm Beach
TL Derba, Nick C/DH 55 272 4.95 QC/Batavia
TL Vera, Nick 3B/1B 35 220 6.29 Johnson City

2007 Cardinals Minor League Awards

Scout.com Position Player Starting Pitcher Relief Pitcher
Cards Players
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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