Each month, I present my top 20 prospects (updated through the end of the month), my next 20 prospects (not ranked but listed in alphabetical order), as well as whatever observations I feel are relevant at the moment.
This report reflects my opinions and not that of the entire The Cardinal Nation staff, so feel to address any comments or criticisms directly to me either through a premium message board post or via PM if you prefer.
On to the report!
These rankings were initially influenced by how players performed in Spring Training and are changing as more minor leaguers get a chance to strut their stuff in regular season games. The number in parentheses is how I ranked the player the previous month.
The Top 20
#2 Carlos Martinez (2). Had a couple of outings that proved he was human. National prospect gurus have taken notice still.
#3 Zach Cox (4). Amazing what a 1.000+ OPS month can do for your prospect status.
#4 Kolten Wong (3). As many walks as K's as a first year player in A ball is impressive.
#5 Oscar Taveras (6). I wasn't completely sold until this month.
#6 Matt Carpenter (5). Mr. Consistency - his OBP has been above .400 every month. A September call up?
#7 Tyrell Jenkins (8). Suffering the inconsistencies of youth and inexperience but showing enough flash to move up and also to get the National ranking gurus talking.
#8 Lance Lynn (7). Keeps getting it done in relief at the major league level.
#9 Matt Adams (9). Slumped in July but has started taking more walks.
#10 Eduardo Sanchez (11). Would be ranked higher without shoulder injury.
#11 Anthony Garcia (NR). Huge jump in the rankings for the 19 year old from Puerto Rico. Hitting better in the Appalachian League than Taveras did last year.
#12 Tony Cruz (10). Still hitting over .300 in the bigs. Will he stay there when Craig returns?
#13 Jordan Swagerty (15). Excelling in relief after an excellent run as a starter. Why hasn't he seen Springfield?
#14 Trevor Rosenthal (14). Showing signs of returning to early season domination.
#15 Mark Hamilton (12). Really struggled in July. Has his time come and gone?
#16 Ryan Jackson (16). Texas League Player of the Week the last week in July. Does he need to spend a month in Memphis so we can find out if his numbers are merely a mirage due to Texas League parks?
#17 Maikel Cleto (13). Control issues rearing their ugly head as he struggles at AAA.
#18 John Gast (20). Every time I start to write him off, he throws a gem.
#19 Boone Whiting (NR). First appearance in the top 20 for this control artist. Numbers are reminiscent of PJ Walters but Whiting is younger than PJ was hen he broke out.
#20 Tommy Pham (18). Will he be able to come back strong from wrist injury?
Prospects #21-#40 (not numerically ranked but in alphabetical order)
Bryan Anderson - .976 OPS in July yet not a hint at a call up.
Andrew Brown - July was a poor month for Brown. Is he starting to believe his own hype? Turns 27 in September.
Keith Butler - Getting some organizational buzz. Is he the next great hope to be a closer in St. Louis?
Adron Chambers (19) - Solid after a slow start, Has he reached his upside?
Brandon Dickson - Continues to mix in good games with poor ones. Overall, not as good as last year.
Greg Garcia (new) - Still just 21 years old and playing solidly at Quad Cities.
Joe Kelly - Has struggled after promotion to AA Springfield.
Pete Kozma - After acquisition of Furcal is unlikely to see St. Louis again this year. Will he ever see it again?
Aaron Luna - Demotion to Springfield seems unwarranted.
Adam Ottavino - Seems to be getting more consistent and walking fewer batters. Should the team make him a full time reliever?
Audry Perez - Solid performance in AA most likely spells the end for Bryan Anderson.
Tyler Rahmatulla (new) - A higher slugging percentage than Matt Adams had at Johnson City. Is he for real?
Adam Reifer - Added back after I realized I was overplaying his injury.
Rainel Rosario - Does he deserve a promotion to Springfield?
Starlin Rodriguez - Just missed the top 20. Will be interesting to see how Rodriguez and Wong are juggled next year in terms or promotions and playing time.
Jonathan Rodriguez - Power and OBP skills compensate for moderately low batting average.
Kevin Siegrist - Has struggled recently and been on the DL twice in the last month.
Cody Stanley - 1.000+ OPS in July.
Michael Swinson (new) - Playing in the second half like the player everyone has hoped to see.
Justin Wright - Off the DL and pitching at Palm Beach. His control hasn't been quite as good as before but the K's are still there and he has yet to give up an earned run.
#17 Alex Castellanos - Traded
Ronny Gil - Still has the potential but others are playing better.
Seth Blair - Is the former first round pick a bust?
Samuel Freeman - Comeback from TJ surgery has not been smooth. Will another off season help?
Nick Additon - When you don't have the tools, performance is everything.
Note 1) Eligible players include all system players without more than 134 AB's or 50 IP's in the majors. Once a player reaches one of these thresholds he will be removed from the next report.
Note 2) The rankings are based almost entirely from statistics, media reports, and first-hand reports of others. There are very few of these players who I have seen in person.
Note 3) Stats are current through the end of July.
#howgoodaretheseguys? Recent draftees Todd McInnis (25th round) and Seth Maness (11th round) are pitching every bit as good as former top picks Lance Lynn and Clayton Mortensen did in their inaugural seasons at Batavia. Are they also future major leaguers in the making?
#thealmostmadetherankingslist for this month included 2011 third round pick C.J. McElroy, Roberto De la Cruz, Anthony Ferrara (too many walks kept him off) and Hector Hernandez.
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