The selection process is most straightforward. We have already unveiled our top 40 prospects in the system via the "40 Days, 40 Nights, 40 Prospects" series. Putting together this year's All-Prospect Team is as simple as culling the top-ranked player at each position from that top 40.
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals All-Prospect Team includes 12 players – eight position players, including two corner outfielders considered as one group, plus four pitchers – left and right-handed starters and relievers. The left-handed reliever, a constant challenge for the organization, is included separately for the second time. Listed are each player's overall ranking in the top 40, age and predominant level played in 2012, as measured by at-bats or innings pitched.
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals 2013 All-Prospect Team
|Catcher||Adam Ehrlich *||34||20||R|
|First Base||Matt Adams||7||24||AAA|
|Second Base||Kolten Wong||6||22||AA|
|Third Base||Carson Kelly *||10||18||R|
|Corner Outfield||Oscar Taveras||1||20||AA|
|Corner Outfield||Anthony Garcia||9||20||A|
|Centerfield||James Ramsey *||13||23||A+|
|LH Starter||John Gast||20||23||AAA|
|RH Starter||Shelby Miller||2||22||AAA|
|LH Reliever||Sam Freeman||24||25||AAA|
|RH Reliever||Eduardo Sanchez||26||23||AAA|
In an indication of tremendous stability at the top of the prospect rankings, a record nine of the 12 are holdovers from last year, with only three new to the All-Prospect Team (names starred above).
|Miller is back again|
Repeaters include three quarters of the infield in first baseman Matt Adams, second sacker Kolten Wong and shortstop Ryan Jackson. Other returnees are outfielder Anthony Garcia, left-handed starting pitcher John Gast and left-handed reliever Sam Freeman.
New members of the all-prospect team include a pair of 2012 draftees, third baseman Carson Kelly and centerfielder James Ramsey, plus one selection from the 2011 draft – catcher Adam Ehrlich.
TCN/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals All-Prospect Teams – 2006 through 2013
|Catcher||Adam Ehrlich||Tony Cruz||Bryan Anderson|
|First Base||Matt Adams||Matt Adams||Mark Hamilton|
|Second Base||Kolten Wong||Kolten Wong||Daniel Descalso|
|Shortstop||Ryan Jackson||Ryan Jackson||Pete Kozma|
|Third Base||Carson Kelly||Zack Cox||Zack Cox*|
|Corner Outfield||Oscar Taveras||Oscar Taveras||Oscar Taveras|
|Corner Outfield||Anthony Garcia||Anthony Garcia||Allen Craig|
|Centerfield||James Ramsey||Charlie Tilson||Adron Chambers|
|LH Starter||John Gast||John Gast||John Gast|
|RH Starter||Shelby Miller||Shelby Miller||Shelby Miller*|
|LH Reliever||Sam Freeman||Sam Freeman|
|RH Reliever||Eduardo Sanchez||Eduardo Sanchez||Eduardo Sanchez|
|Player of Year||* M. Carpenter|
|Pitcher of Year||* T. Rosenthal||* B. Dickson|
|Catcher||Robert Stock||Bryan Anderson||Bryan Anderson|
|First Base||Mark Hamilton||Curt Smith||Mark Hamilton|
|Second Base||Daniel Descalso||Jose Martinez||Jose Martinez|
|Shortstop||Pete Kozma||Pete Kozma||Pete Kozma|
|Third Base||David Freese||Brett Wallace*||Allen Craig|
|Corner Outfield||Daryl Jones||Nick Stavinoha||Joe Mather|
|Corner Outfield||Allen Craig||Jon Jay||Jon Jay|
|Centerfield||Jon Jay||Colby Rasmus||Colby Rasmus|
|LH Starter||Jaime Garcia||Jaime Garcia||Jaime Garcia|
|RH Starter||Shelby Miller*||Jess Todd||Adam Ottavino*|
|Reliever||Eduardo Sanchez||Jason Motte||Chris Perez|
|Player of Year||* David Freese|
|Pitcher of Year||* Lance Lynn||* P.J. Walters|
|Catcher||Bryan Anderson||Bryan Anderson|
|First Base||Mark Hamilton||Mike Ferris|
|Second Base||Jose Martinez||Jose Martinez|
|Shortstop||Tyler Greene||Tyler Greene|
|Third Base||Randy Roth||Travis Hanson|
|Corner Outfield||Nick Stavinoha||Nick Stavinoha|
|Corner Outfield||Cody Haerther||Cody Haerther|
|Centerfield||Colby Rasmus||Colby Rasmus|
|LH Starter||Jaime Garcia||Eric Haberer|
|RH Starter||B. Hawksworth||Anthony Reyes|
|Reliever||Chris Perez||Tyler Johnson|
Winners from the previous seven seasons are included for comparison purposes with our TCN/Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year in those years listed in bold. The current organizational winners are Seth Maness and Taveras, respectively. The Cardinal Nation agreed on Taveras, but labeled Trevor Rosenthal our top 2012 hurler.
|New CF Ramsey|
The three 2012 top prospect team members leaving the list for 2013 each had a different reason. Catcher Tony Cruz graduated to the majors, where he remained the entire season, third baseman Zack Cox was traded away and centerfielder Charlie Tilson's progress was slowed by injury, opening the door for draftee Ramsey to overtake him.
In terms of positional turnover, third base remains the champion, with Kelly becoming our seventh hot corner leader in eight years. In recent years, though, centerfielder has seen the most annual change. Ramsey is the fifth centerfielder in five years, following Tilson, Adron Chambers, Jon Jay and Colby Rasmus.
Age and experience
Due to the addition of Kelly, who played at the age of 18 last season, this year's All-Prospect Team has a greater spread in ages than last year, with Freeman oldest at 25 years of age. Last year, the low was one year older with Taveras, Garcia and Tilson all at 19 and Cruz oldest at 25. The average age of the 2013 team at 22.0 years is comparable to 2012 at 21.7 years.
The primary level reached by the average player is listed as Double-A, but mathematically, it is slightly below that level. Last year, it was exactly on the line between Double-A and A-Advanced, so the 2013 team is slightly more experienced.
In an indication of the top prospects marching toward the majors, six of the 12 prospects on the team played the majority of their 2012 campaign at Triple-A or higher. That compared to just two the year before. Ramsey making the team broke a three-year dry spell for Palm Beach (A-Advanced) players missing the Top Prospect Team. Only three of the 12 were at Class-A or below last season.
Our 2013 top 40 series continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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