For weeks now, I knew I was going to be in St. Louis to see the Cardinals take on the Giants in late May. What I had no way of knowing was that I would also see the debut of uber-prospect Oscar Taveras, a hard-swinging outfielder long compared to the great Vladimir Guerrero. Sometimes life hands you a gift, and like so many in my existence, this gift was explicitly baseball related. Continue reading
Through his the first 23 games at Memphis this season, Oscar Taveras is hitting .326/.383/.558/.941. Meanwhile, the CF position for the Cardinals has produced a line of .214/.289/.320/.610. Though Taveras has long projected to be a corner outfielder, he can play a passable center field and has done so for the bulk of his minor league career.
The 2013 MLB amateur draft has really come out of nowhere (or at least it seems that way to us), but that doesn’t mean we’re not excited. Tomorrow morning we will preview the draft from the Cardinals’ point of view and take a look at what picks the organization has, what players might wind up donning the birds on the bat, and whatever else we feel like discussing. For today, however, it seems appropriate to take a look at the state of the farm system as it currently stands.
The Cardinal farm system has never been as stacked as it is right now; multiple authorities were willing to anoint the St. Louis system as the best in the game before the start of the 2013 season, and the mileage the big league club has gotten out of these guys this spring has done little to convince us those experts weren’t correct. Top prospects like Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez have already made their MLB debuts, while Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal have already become integral parts of a team that sports the best record in the game. It’s a very good time to be a Cardinal fan, so forgive us if this examination of the minor league system’s depth feels a whole lot like a gloating victory lap. Continue reading
So Carlos Beltran wants to come back to St. Louis next year, eh?
That’s the impression he left in an article by Jennifer Langosch posted to the Cardinals website. In the article, he said he loves St. Louis and “his family has embraced the city.” That’s not a foreign concept to Cardinals fans, who have heard similar statements over the years from players like Larry Walker, Mark McGwire and yes, even Albert Pujols. Cardinals nation is extremely loyal and supportive, so why wouldn’t a player want to play in the Busch Stadium environment? Continue reading
Now a full-fledged, power-wielding member of the United Cardinal Bloggers faction, it’s time for StanGraphs to participate in its very first feature for the group. As the UCB crew does each September, we’ll be running down the top seven prospects in the Cardinal system according to our own fail-proof ranking system. I suppose it’s a good idea to describe our ranking system to you in a more in-depth manner, though doing so might only serve to make you immediately leave this page and head to Neosho, Missouri in search of those nachos Spencer likes to talk about making.
I just realized that when I say “ranking system,” what I really mean is that Spencer and I had a lengthy discussion about the order in which we should place the best prospects in the St. Louis system at this point in time. We’re going largely off numbers, expert opinions, recent trends, personal preference, and how we decided to weigh a player’s ceiling versus his floor. Swagger may have also been a factor; I’m not sure. You’ll find the results of this conversation below, along with some additional discussion as to how we arrived at the conclusions we did.
Thanks to the wonderful and talented Danny Byrd, I was able to catch some Springfield Cardinals action at Hammons Field on Monday night. A big thanks to Danny for the tickets and for enabling another edition of Drunk Scouting in the process. The Springfield squad took on Houston’s Double-A affiliate, the Corpus Christi Hooks. I’ve long wondered exactly what the Hooks are named after. Could it be a slang term for curveball? What about something you hang your coat on upon entering a room? Better yet, perhaps the insinuation is that the team is full of one-handed pirate players who are able to throw a baseball only by stabbing it angrily with their, you guessed it, hooks.
Team nomenclature aside, this was a very entertaining game even if there wasn’t a whole lot of run-scoring action. The only real disappointment was that Oscar Taveras failed again to lash a deadly home run in a game I was at, though he did lace a rapid single to right field which resulted in a runner being thrown out at home plate. Should Taveras’ base hit have scored the run, the game would have never gone 13 innings and Springfield would have won. Unfortunately the baserunner (don’t hold me accountable when it comes to knowing the man on second base’s name) did not realize that Taveras hit the ball so hard it actually traveled back in time, so he didn’t even bother to slide. Continue reading
It’s safe to say we have no reason to talk about Zack Cox anymore when we do our fortnightly minor league updates. Now in Miami, which I know is infested with murderers from watching “Dexter,” Cox has his work cut out for him. No other Cardinals farm hands were forced to join other organizations, so I’ll mostly be checking in to see how our usual heroes of the future are faring with the vast majority of the minor league season now completed. Continue reading
If you read Friday night’s live blog, you should already know that I, Spencer Hendricks of the amazing StanGraphs, was in my hometown Springfield, Missouri for a large portion of this weekend. After spending the first evening with the other half of the StanGraphs creation team in a combination of such things as baseball, booze, and Boggle (there was also a late night trip to Willard to visit a sister and snake), I decided to act more my age on Saturday, enjoying a respectable family lunch at Soo’s Korean Restaurant followed by a Springfield Cardinals baseball game. Que whatever Drunk Scouting theme song you feel is most appropriate, because when either Brian or I (certainly if both of us are involved) attend a Springfield game, it’s time to break out our non-existent radar guns and throw back a few drinks. Continue reading
Yes, lovelies, it’s that time of the month again. No, not that time; it’s time to check in on the eight active minor league teams in the St. Louis farm system. We’ve seen a lot of shuffling over the past few weeks, as many names you’ve been reading in these updates have found themselves getting a chance at the Major League level due to injuries and general crappiness from the parent club’s bullpen. Hop on our backs and let us fly around the nation in hopes of examining the developing youngsters the Cardinals hope will one day bolster their real roster.
Memphis Redbirds (35-60)
So I know it’s minor league baseball and all, but the Memphis Redbirds are terrible. Despite their inability to win at baseball, there are still certainly a few names worth discussing on the roster. Former first-round selection Zack Cox continues to get better results, although his overall season line is still very ugly. Cox has raised the ol’ OPS from .674 to .699 (.253/.292/.407) since we last check on him. He’s flashed a little more power, which is encouraging since that’s been such a weak area of his game. Matt Adams is back down in Memphis and will just keep crushing every pitch he sees at the level until he finds his way at the Major League level. Ryan Jackson has slipped a bit, and over a large enough sample size it’s looking like his bat is doubtful to provide enough punch for him to be a big league starter despite his plus glove. Triple-A starter and non-prospect Barret Browning is now with the serious team, while Maikel Cleto finds himself back in horrible Memphis after flashing hard fastballs and an extreme desire to allow extra-base hits while in St. Louis. John Gast is getting hit hard, while Shelby Miller has started to regain some of that lost velocity. Miller, whose name has been mentioned in trade rumors, has been a little better of late and may be on his way to righting the ship. Continue reading
Along with Cole Hamels, Zack Greinke has to be the most sought-after player possibly available on this summer’s trading block. Greinke is a true ace, and he has the credentials to back it up even if his name doesn’t always command the mainstream respect it should. He leads all National League pitchers in WAR this season at 3.5, he doesn’t walk anyone, he’s a strikeout pitcher with a wide assortment of offerings, and he’s still only 28 years old. Landing Greinke would transform almost any rotation into one to be reckoned with. While I don’t necessarily advocate St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak piecing together a deal for Greinke, there are admittedly plenty of reasons why a deal for the quirky right-hander makes absolute sense. It’s time to examine those reasons, if for no other reason than that just continually saying never to dismantle the finally ripe farm system is getting boring. Continue reading