Cards Prospects: Best of the Rest: Community

The third of three looks at Cards prospects that missed our Top 40 with the message board community.

Editor's note: Our Top 40 St. Louis Cardinals prospect countdown would not have been as successful had two leaders from our message board community not stepped forward once again. "Gagliano" and "BobReed" participated in the voting process and wrote over 40 player capsules, speaking for the scores of individual voters. They did a tremendous job and I greatly appreciate their contributions.

Following is the overall Top 40, with the community list next to it. Highlighted are the names unique to each list. These bolded names may still be on the respective lists, but were ranked below where we drew the line, after number 40.

Group top 40 Community
1 Shelby Miller 1 Shelby Miller
2 Carlos Martinez 2 Oscar Taveras
3 Oscar Taveras 3 Carlos Martinez
4 Kolten Wong 4 Kolten Wong
5 Zack Cox 5 Lance Lynn
6 Lance Lynn 6 Zack Cox
7 Eduardo Sanchez 7 Eduardo Sanchez
8 Tyrell Jenkins 8 Tyrell Jenkins
9 Matt Adams 9 Trevor Rosenthal
10 Jordan Swagerty 10 Matt Adams
11 Matt Carpenter 11 Jordan Swagerty
12 Trevor Rosenthal 12 Matt Carpenter
13 Ryan Jackson 13 Ryan Jackson
14 Maikel Cleto 14 Maikel Cleto
15 Charlie Tilson 15 Adron Chambers
16 Tony Cruz 16 Joe Kelly
17 Adron Chambers 17 Tony Cruz
18 Joe Kelly 18 Adam Reifer
19 Adam Reifer 19 Charlie Tilson
20 Mark Hamilton 20 John Gast
21 John Gast 21 Tommy Pham
22 Anthony Garcia 22 Mark Hamilton
23 Tommy Pham 23 Anthony Garcia
24 Aaron Luna 24 Adam Ottavino
25 Bryan Anderson 25 Aaron Luna
26 Cody Stanley 26 Bryan Anderson
27 Starlin Rodriguez 27 Boone Whiting
28 Boone Whiting 27a Erik Komatsu
28a Erik Komatsu 28 Seth Blair
29 Adam Ottavino 29 Jermaine Curtis
30 Rainel Rosario 30 Starlin Rodriguez
31 Jermaine Curtis 31 Cody Stanley
32 Brandon Dickson 32 Steven Hill
33 Seth Blair 33 Pete Kozma
34 Sam Freeman 34 Anthony Ferrara
35 Pete Kozma 35 Deryk Hooker
36 C.J. McElroy 36 Tyler Lyons
37 Tyler Rahmatulla 37 David Kopp
38 Keith Butler 38 Rainel Rosario
39 Breyvic Valera 39 Brandon Dickson
40 Chuckie Fick 40 Roberto De La Cruz
41 Amauris Capellan
42 Jose Garcia
43 Sam Freeman
44 Keith Butler
45 Chuckie Fick
46 Breyvic Valera

Amauris Capellan (#41)

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

DSL 0.305 154 26 47 10 1 5 36 27 30 0 0.411 0.481 0.891

Amauris Capellan rated 41st according to the Cardinals message board community following his breakout showing in the Dominican Summer League. Signed for nearly a half million dollars two years ago, the sturdy 5-foot-11 right fielder had a disastrous 2010 campaign in the DSL, with a line of .148/.326/.170. But (1), he was just 17 years of age, and (2), he did show exceptional patience, with 31 walks in just 135 at-bats.

Then this year, that patience began to pay off. In a league where the collective line was a meager .236/.339/.322, Cappy batted an excellent .305/.411/.481. So, he not only out-hit the age-appropriate DSL by nearly 70 points, he also posted an isolated slugging more than double his Dominican peers.

Moreover, Capellan's cannon arm has been exactly as advertised, with a dozen runners gunned down in just 89 pro games. Given his plus defense, and balanced offensive profile (Amauris showed solid strike zone control, with a 27/30 BB/K ratio), Capellan looks ready to bypass the Gulf Coast League and proceed to the Appy League in 2012. - BobReed

Anthony Ferrara (#34)

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

QC 13 7 3.03 23 22 0 127 103 48 7 53 93 1.37 0.227

Anthony Ferrara was the community's 34th prospect, and is probably my personal favorite from the community's Best of the Rest. A lefty who was hitting the radar at around 90 mph the game I saw him at Johnson City, he strikes me as a very plausible lefty reliever sometime in the future.

Pitching most of the year at age 21 (he turned 22 in September), Ferrara spent the season at Quad Cities. Overall, he managed a 3.03 ERA (11th best in the league) in 127.2 IP. Ferrara did walk a few more than would be ideal, at 3.7/9 IP. Interestingly, he did better against righties (OPS of .630) than lefties (.708). We should see him pitching in Palm Beach in 2012. - Gagliano

David Kopp (#37)

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

SPR 3 5 5.95 23 9 4 65.0 76 50 12 25 40 1.53 0.288
MEM 0 0 7.00 8 0 0 9.0 13 9 1 5 8 1.83 0.342
Total 3 5 6.08 31 9 4 74 89 59 13 30 48 1.56 0.295
AFL 0 2 10.13 11 0 2 10.2 19 14 0 8 5 2.43 0.404

David Kopp ranked 37th in the community rankings this year, down from #26 last time. Understandably so, as 2011 saw Kopp's ERA balloon to 5.95 in Double-A, after he posted a stellar 3.05 at the same level the year before; also, despite his severe scuffles for Springfield, the 26-year-old righty received a cup of coffee with Memphis, where he was cuffed around as a reliever for a few weeks (ERA of 7.00 over eight appearances).

Drafted 71st overall out of Clemson in 2007, David's scouting reports as a power arm have consistently outpaced his actual performance - especially when his age-relative-to-level was taken into account. But even as a collegian, Kopp's numbers, especially the strikeout rates, never really matched the hoopla, as he fanned fewer than seven per nine IP in the ACC. Combine the so-so results on the bump with David's advanced age and intermittent struggles to stay healthy (just 355 innings over five pro seasons), and it's hard to project him as anything more than a future middle relief arm, if that.

But, who knows? Solid MLB relievers can suddenly materialize out of anywhere, and if Kopp's 91-93 mph fastball shows an uptick while he works exclusively out of the bullpen, a set-up role is still possible. But time is definitely running short, as righty relief is the Cardinals' greatest organizational strength. - BobReed

Deryk Hooker (#35)

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

GCL 0 1 3.00 2 2 0 3 5 2 0 0 4 1.50 0.357
PB 0 0 0.00 1 1 0 4 3 0 0 0 5 0.75 0.200
SPR 2 6 4.94 11 11 0 58.1 58 34 8 18 39 1.07 0.266
Total 2 7 4.55 14 14 0 65 66 36 8 18 48 1.06 0.267


Deryk Hooker was the community's 35th prospect, down from 23rd last year. This was his fifth year in the system, but he's still just 22 and pitched last year at Double-A. Hooker suffered an elbow injury, limiting him to just 58.1 innings. That injury seems likely a large part of his drop in the rankings. The other is the rise of other prospects.

The good news is that Hooker did come back at the end of the year for four starts with a combined line of 21.2 IP, 18 hits, 7 earned runs, 4 walks, and 12 strikeouts. Overall (including his rehab stints), Hooker did much better against righties (OPS of .685) than lefties (.901). I assume he will be back at Springfield in 2012. Particularly given his relative youth, Hooker stands a good chance of rising back up among the top prospects this time next year. - Gagliano

Jose Garcia (#42)

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

MEM 0.333 45 10 15 3 0 0 5 5 7 2 0.400 0.400 0.800
SPR 0.318 318 49 101 15 0 5 38 24 57 19 0.374 0.412 0.786
Total 0.320 363 59 116 18 0 5 43 29 64 21 0.378 0.410 0.788

Second-sacker Jose Garcia ranked 42nd on the community list, after missing the top 50 last year. The 5-foot-11 Venezuelan enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in Double-A, posting slash stats of .318/.374/.412. Garcia doesn't excel in any one area, but seems to possess the balance of skills needed to fill the utilityman role with aplomb; he's stolen between 20 and 30 bases each of the last four years, he can play some shortstop or outfield in a pinch - and presumably the hot corner, as well.

Just 23 years old, Garcia might seem at a glance to project as a possible future MLB starter, but my optimism is extremely guarded, since he never showed the ability to hit for solid average until this season. Specifically, from 2007-2010, Jose hit .264, .218, .261, and .256. - BobReed

Steven Hill (#32)

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

SPR 0.282 131 22 37 5 0 11 26 10 35 1 0.326 0.573 0.899
MEM 0.294 17 3 5 0 0 3 6 2 5 0 0.368 0.824 1.192
Total 0.284 148 25 42 5 0 14 32 12 40 1 0.331 0.601 0.933

Steven Hill was the community's 32nd prospect, down from 22nd last year. In 2010, he had a taste of the big leagues, appearing in just one game, but managing a home run. 2011 did not go as well. Hill spent most of the season at Double-A, posting an OPS of .899 in 144 at-bats. He then got a call to Memphis, where his OPS was 1.192, but....that was over just six games. Hill then suffered a broken foot and did not appear after July 3. Hill hit righties (OPS of 1.007) better than lefties (.771).

However, he seems to have fallen behind several players in the depth chart, and has been left off the 40-man roster. Hill has spent an awful lot of time at Double-A. He first played there for 103 plate appearances in 2008, then amassed 914 PA's there over 2009 and 2010. And his OBP has not been that strong, .331 in 2011, .345 in 2010, .333 in 2009, .334 in 2008. That inability to get on base frequently suggests to me that he might feast on weaker pitching, but struggle against MLB-caliber pitching.

His ability to hit for power and to play multiple positions (mostly 1B, C, and LF, though his defense doesn't seem that strong at any position) suggests he could still become a bench player in MLB, though time is running short. - Gagliano

Tyler Lyons (#36)

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2011 and career stats)

PB 9 4 4.50 33 12 1 94.0 93 51 8 29 79 1.12 0.255
AFL 3 2 4.85 7 7 0 29.2 28 16 4 7 28 1.08 0.257

Tyler Lyons was the community's #36 pick this year, after making 33 appearances (12 starts) for Palm Beach. Though his ERA was nothing special for the Florida State League, at 4.50, the southpaw was coming off a 2010 season lost to injury, so some slack is warranted.

Drafted in the ninth round two years ago, the Lubbock lefty throws 89-92 mph, plenty good for a wrong-hander, but the straight change is generally considered his bread and butter pitch. While he twirled the first no-no in Palm Beach history in August, Lyons is not considered to have plus "stuff", but instead rates as a good mixer of offerings.

At 23, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound pitcher doesn't figure to add any velocity, but reports do say he works a stronger fastball out of the pen than the rotation. All in all, 2012 should tell us much about both the Cardinal plans for Tyler (starter vs. relief) and whether he has the skill to survive the big bump up to Springfield, the toughest promotion for Redbirds pitching prospects. - BobReed

In closing
I just want to note how struck I was by the disagreements amongst the community in our later rankings. Many players received consideration, and as I looked through the list, I found most of the names mentioned plausible MLB contributors. It is nice to have that depth in the system, and I will look forward to seeing some of those lesser known prospects break through next year. Finally, I appreciate the chance to have written about the prospects again this year and hope you found the summaries useful. - Gagliano

To reference our entire list of top 40 Cardinals prospects for 2012 and read about each individual player, click here. You can also learn about each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections and much more.

Next up: This article series continues with our All-Prospect Team, the highest-ranked players at each position. We then dive into the numbers behind the top 40, take a look at our best and worst selections from 2011 and the top prospects by level of play.

Time is running out! Subscribe or upgrade by January 20 to our Annual Pass and receive the 2012 FOX Fantasy Guide / Scout Prospect Guide, a $4.95 value, for free. The perfect printed companion to "Forty Days" includes the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations will appear on newsstands all over the country in the spring. Of course, we author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.

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