2008 Cardinals Prospect #27 – Cody Haerther

A prospect rarely receives more off-season ink than Haerther, changing organizations twice recently – from St. Louis to Toronto and right back again. Now that he is again a Cardinal, what will the future hold for the outfielder in a position that is crowded with competition?

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to 2007 and career stats)

2007 Ranking: 12

Position: OF

DOB: 7/14/1983

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 207

Bats: L

Throws: R

School: Chaminade College Prep (CA)

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the 6th round (192nd overall) of the June, 2002 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats

Tm

AVG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

OBP

SLG

OPS

GCL

0.333

12

1

4

1

1

0

1

1

1

0

0.385

0.583

0.968

SPR

0.289

142

22

41

13

0

5

28

16

31

0

0.377

0.486

0.862

Tot

0.292

154

23

45

14

1

5

29

17

32

0

0.377

0.494

0.871

Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (19): Haerther, The Birdhouse's 12th-ranked prospect in 2006, continues his slide down the prospect rankings. That slide has more to do with the influx of quality talent than it does a diminishing performance by Haerther. I ranked him higher than did any of my colleagues due to my (hopefully well-known) propensity to value good performance at the higher levels over either good performance at lower levels or lousy performance by ‘toolsy with big upside' players.

Despite battling injuries for much of the season, Haerther went .289/.377/.486/.862 in 142 at bats at Springfield to finish the season. While he is limited defensively, Haerther's defense is superior to that of Chris Duncan when the latter was in the minors. Like Duncan, if Haerther makes it to the Majors it will be due mainly to his bat.

Dustin Mattison (38): After missing substantial time due to a hand injury, the 24-year-old made the most of his return by posting a line of .289/.377/.486 in 37 games at Double A Springfield. Haerther has a short powerful stroke and does a good job of controlling the strike zone, posting below average strikeout totals for a power hitter. Sometimes criticized for his defense, Haerther plays an adequate left field and is capable of manning right field when needed.

The former sixth round selection is known for his hard work and good character that gets the most out of his abilities. If Haerther can stay healthy and get a little more seasoning, he could definitely be a dangerous threat coming off the bench for the Cardinals in the future.

Ray Mileur (35): Scout.com's AFL correspondent James Renwick once described Haerther this way, "He's a Cardinal through and through, hard nosed, intelligent, tough." Haerther once considered one of the Cardinals' top hitting prospects, suffered a severe bone bruise this past season, limiting him to playing in just 41 games in the minors. After the All-Star break and missing almost three months of playing time, Haerther hit .287, 5 HR, 23 RBI with 11 doubles in his final 103 at-bats.

The Toronto Blue Jays recently claimed Haerther off waivers from the Cardinals, before St. Louis had to claim him back and put him on the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft. When healthy, Haerther is still one of the better position players in the organization.

Brian Walton (26): If success was wholly driven by motivation, then Haerther would soon be in the big leagues. In just 12 months, the outfielder has encountered a wealth of extreme "growth" experiences, having gone from the elation of being added to the Cardinals' 40-man roster to the frustration of being injured in the first game of spring training, then to a mostly-lost season due to injury. Following that, there came the dizzying and somewhat puzzling sequence of transactions Ray outlined above.

Through it all, Haerther has seems to have maintained and perhaps grew his resolve, however good health will be at least as important as anything else to the Californian in 2008. Otherwise, he could remain permanently lapped by younger outfield prospects at one of the few positions where the Cardinals seem to have a decent supply of comparable, yet not eye-popping competitors.

On one hand, Haerther is a career .300 hitter; an accomplishment at any level at any time. Even in his washout 2007, he ranked in the top ten in the system in OBP (.377 - #10) and OPS (.871 - #10). On the other side, 2008 could become his fourth partial year at Double-A and he will become 25 years old at mid-season.

Even before the addition of Brian Barton via the Rule 5 draft, I ranked Haerther sixth among Cardinals outfield prospects. It is time for him to step up and show everyone – Jays, Cards, fans, writers – all of us – what kind of player he truly is. I still think Haerther could be pretty good.

Key: NR = not ranked, NA = not applicable

To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


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