Yearly Cards prospect changes from BaseballHQ

St. Louis Cardinals individual player movement and projections changes from 2011 to 2012 according to BaseballHQ's Minor League Baseball Analyst.

In Part one of this four-part series, we looked into the individual rankings, scouting reports and future potential of the St. Louis Cardinals' top 15 prospects according to BaseballHQ's "Minor League Baseball Analyst".

Next, we analyzed the Minor League Analyst's organizational ratings for the National League Central Division clubs with scoring of each in the areas of hitting, pitching, top-end talent, depth and overall and compared them to recent past seasons.

Here in Part three, we will look into individual player movement and changes in their projections from year to year.

Six of the top 15 players on last year's rankings are gone but they were all at eight or below. Interestingly, none of them graduated to the majors. Instead, their progress just slowed and others passed them by.

Cards top 15 Hitters on (rank) rating Hitters off (2011 #s)
2012 Taveras (3) 9D Jones (8) 8D
  Wong (5) 8C Hill (9) 7B
  Adams (9) 8D Hamilton (15) 8D
  Jackson (12) 7C  
Cards top 15 Pitchers on (rank) rating Pitchers off (2011 #s)
2012 Martinez (2) 9D Ottavino (10) 8D
  Rosenthal (11) 9D Reifer (11) 8C
    Samuel (12) 9E

Three members of the new top five make their debuts – Carlos Martinez, Oscar Taveras and 2011 draftee Kolten Wong. I think in these cases, HQ was slow to hop onto the Martinez and Taveras' bandwagons. Matt Adams, Trevor Rosenthal and Ryan Jackson are all solid additions as well.

Next are the nine players remaining on the list from last year. Here, you see the player's numeric rank in the top 15, followed by his potential/probability rating, both this year and last. A red box means the player fell in one of both of the scores from last year. Green means improvement while yellow means no significant change on a year-to-year basis.

Cards top 15 Incumbent hitters 2012 In 2011
  Cox (6) 8C Cox (2) 9D
  Pham (13) 8D Pham (13) 8D
  Carpenter (14) 7C Carpenter (14) 7C
Cards top 15 Incumbent pitchers 2012 In 2011
  Miller (1) 9B Miller (1) 9D
  Jenkins (4) 9D Jenkins (4) 9E
  Sanchez (7) 8A Sanchez (6) 8C
  Lynn (8) 8C Lynn (7) 7B
  Swagerty (10) 8B Swagerty (5) 8B
  Blair (15) 7D Blair (3) 9D

Looking at the names that go with the colors, this seems intuitive. While Zack Cox and Seth Blair received the red notations, it might be a bit misleading since they both remained among the top 15. Blair earned his slide which Cox was more a victim of an overall rise in the tide, at least in terms of his number six system-wide ranking.

While Jordan Swagerty remained an 8B, that is one of the best rankings in the system, a 70 percent chance of becoming a solid regular. Shelby Miller's chances of being elite leapt from 30 percent in 2011 to 70 percent currently.

The final table is a quick-and-dirty quality measure, yet the busy table holds a lot of information. Remember the Potential Rating for each member of the top 15, where the higher the number, the more elite the player is expected to be. In terms of Probability Rating, the lower the letter, the more likely the player should reach that potential. Therefore, the upper left is the best place to be. Lower left is arguably next best. (To review the specific values, refer to Part one of this series.)

In the cells of the table, the first number is the quantity of players in the top 15 at that level. The number that follows in parens is the change in the number of that level of players since last year. For example, there is one 8A player in 2012 after having none in 2011.

The colors of the cells indicate either fewer players in that group (red), more players (green) or no change from last year (yellow).

Cards top 15 2012 (vs '11) 9 Elite player  8 Solid regular  7 Average regular    Total
A 90% chance 0 (flat) 1 (up 1) 0 (flat)   1 (up 1)
B 70% chance 1 (up 1) 1 (flat) 0 (down 2)   2 (down 1)
C 50% chance 0 (flat) 3 (up 1) 2 (up 1)   5 (up 2)
D 30% chance 4 (up 1) 2 (down 2) 1 (up 1)   7 (flat)
E 10% chance 0 (down 2) 0 (flat) 0 (flat)   0 (down 2)
Total 5 (flat) 7 (flat) 3 (flat)   15

While the mix of elite (9), solid (8) and regular players (7) remain the same in the top 15 from last year, there was general movement in the top 15 players having a higher percentage of a chance of reaching their potential. The latter includes the first 90 percent odds player, Eduardo Sanchez.

In the final installment of this annual series, we will compare several of the top Cardinals prospects to the best in the game overall, by position in terms of long-range potential in the Major Leagues as well as in top skills. Closing the article will be a review of the Cardinals 2011 draft.

In closing, thank you again to Rob Gordon, Jeremy Deloney and BaseballHQ for giving us this special look into their findings. Please respect them and copyright laws by not duplicating this material.

Link to Part one of this report: "BaseballHQ on Cardinals Prospects: 2012".
Link to Part two of this report: "BaseballHQ Pegs Cardinals System at #15".

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column during the season at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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