Monthly Cardinals prospect rankings: April

Our monthly subscriber-only, in-depth report on rising and falling St. Louis Cardinals prospects is back for 2012! Scott Gorgen's stock is improving.

Welcome to the inaugural 2012 edition of CariocaCardinal's Monthly Top 40 Prospect List. I hope that this report will be the launching pad for discussion regarding St. Louis Cardinals prospects.

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.

Note: Players remain eligible for the list as long as they maintain their prospect status (less than 50 innings pitched or less than 130 plate appearances in the major leagues.)

On to the report!

Prospect Rankings

Behind each player's name in parentheses is where I ranked him over the winter. These votes were rolled up into the overall site Top 40 for 2012.

The Top 20

#1 Shelby Miller (1). Not a strong spring, but still number one in the system.

#2 Oscar Taveras (3). Will play in Double-A as a 19 year old.

#3 Kolten Wong (4). Advancing rapidly to Double-A.

#4 Carlos Martinez (2). Delivery issues knock him down a notch or two.

#5 Lance Lynn (6). Finished 2011 strongly and will open 2012 in the major league starting rotation.

#6 Matt Carpenter (7). Has shown improved power this spring. Looks ready to be a starter, but no position is open.

#7 Eduardo Sanchez (9). Appears healthy for 2012 but will begin in Memphis.

#8 Trevor Rosenthal (13). A big jump based on strong spring camp.

#9 Tyrell Jenkins (8). Received raves for maturity this spring.

#10 Matt Adams (10). Looks ready to hit big league pitching. 2012 will be for polishing.

#11 Zack Cox (5). Others passing him by, but he still looks like a solid major league starter.

#12 Ryan Jackson (17). I think the major league staff would be comfortable with him at shortstop if forced to promote him due to injuries.

#13 Charlie Tilson (14). It doesn't look like he will start 2012 in full season ball.

#14 Jordan Swagerty (11). Out for 2012 with injuries. Will most likely be passed by others as the season progresses.

#15 Tony Cruz (15). Solid spring nets him a spot on the major league roster.

#16 Anthony Garcia (12). I still seem to be the only one sold on this guy.

#17 Maikel Cleto (17). Had a chance to excel this spring but failed. Now a reliever.

#18 Scott Gorgen (35). Has proven himself healthy this spring with equal or improved velocity. May rise even more after he pitches in a few games.

#19 Bryan Anderson (27). Spring training might not mean a lot, but hitting nearly .500 in any league is an amazing accomplishment.

#20 Adron Chambers (19). Didn't make the major league roster but I still like him better long term than Komatsu.

21 through 40 are in alphabetical order

Brandon Dickson (36).

Greg Garcia (34).

John Gast (21).

Ronny Gil (NR).

Mark Hamilton (18). When was the last time he wasn't in the top 20?

Erik Komatsu (40a). Slowly buying into the Rule 5 addition.

Aaron Luna (24).

Joe Kelly (23). Moves into Memphis rotation.

Audry Perez (43).

Tommy Pham (20).

Tyler Rahmatulla (32).

Adam Reifer (26).

Shane Robinson (NR). Anyone on the major league roster deserves to be here.

Starlin Rodriguez (25).

Jonathan Rodriguez (31).

Rainel Rosario (29).

Kevin Siegrist (NR). Good major league camp showing.

Cody Stanley (30). Suspension has little bearing on prospect status.

Breyvic Valera (38).

Boone Whiting (22).

In conclusion

There have been many changes since the end of the year based on spring training performance and buzz. Gorgen and Gil are my fast risers of the month.

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