Monthly Cardinals prospect rankings: June

Our monthly subscriber-only, in-depth report on rising and falling St. Louis Cardinals prospects. Oscar Taveras is among those whose stock is improving.

This is the June 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 last month. Another point of reference is the overall site Top 40 for 2012, compiled during the off-season.

Wong
The Top 20

#1 Oscar Taveras (2). I'm passing the torch. And no, I'm not concerned that Taveras hasn't hit a home run in nearly a month.

#2 Shelby Miller (1). Hopefully this first half has just been a bump in the road.

#3 Kolten Wong (3). I see Memphis in his future this year.

#4 Carlos Martinez (4). Promotion to Double-A will allow him to rise or fall on this list.

#5 Matt Adams (5). Probably as good a major league start as anyone expected.

#6 Trevor Rosenthal (6). I like that he seems to be showing steady improvement throughout the year.

#7 Tyrell Jenkins (7). As inconsistent as they come. I guess that's why they call it development.

#8 Matt Carpenter (8). Only injury keeps him qualified for this list for another month.

#9 Eduardo Sanchez (10). Appears to be getting it back together.

#10 Ryan Jackson (9). Continues to be solid on both offense and defense.

#11 Joe Kelly (16). Though he was slow to come around to his potential, I'm now expecting a late season call up in 2012.

#12 Zack Cox (11). Could this sure-fire bat not be so sure after all?

#13 John Gast (21-40). I bump him down and all he does is get promoted and pitch well in Triple-A.

#14 Anthony Garcia (14). Still gets no love by other prospect watchers but why? .985 OPS in June and still young for his league.

#15 Charlie Tilson (12). Injury will have him steadily dropping.

#16 Jordan Swagerty (13). His Tommy John outage now affecting his ranking as well.

#17 Scott Gorgen (15). Continues to be inconsistent but K rates are rising.

#18 Seth Maness (21-40). Hopefully his quick rise will turn out as well as P.J. Walters, to whom he is compared.

#19 Shane Robinson (18). Lots of debate about his upside, but he most likely graduates off the list next month anyway.

#20 Brandon Dickson (20). Pitched well while up with St. Louis. Not sure why he was sent down.

Butler
21 through 40 are in alphabetical order

Bryan Anderson (21-40). Unless things change, he will most likely drop into prospect oblivion after draftees sign and short-season ball starts.

Keith Butler (new). Currently closing at Double-A. Said to have a devastating slider.

Richard Castillo (new). The ex-prospect seems to have found new life this year.

Maikel Cleto (21-40). Looked much better in May. Good enough to get back to the majors, in fact.

Adron Chambers (19). Did nothing wrong to drop. Just lost among all the other prospects until he does something to shine.

Tony Cruz (17). Really needs to go to Triple-A and get some work.

Jermaine Curtis (new). The guy continues to hit and get on base. Doesn't seem to be in the organization's plans though.

Chuckie Fick (21-40). Didn't embarrass himself in his first big league stint.

Eric Fornataro (new). Performing well and getting lots of buzz after conversion from starter to reliever.

Greg Garcia (21-40). Needs to finish the year strong at Double-A.

Mark Hamilton (21-40). Has shown flashes of his old power but still struggling. Strong candidate for outrighting if team needs a 40-man roster spot.

Dean Kiekhefer (new). May be the best of the up-and-coming LOOGY candidates in the system.

Luis Mateo (new). Surprising power. Could be a sleeper prospect in the middle infield.

Tommy Pham (21-40). Will the Cards eventually give up on his potential due to injuries?

Tyler Rahmatulla (21-40). Playing a lot of 3B and has show some power. Bat still plays much better at 2B.

Adam Reifer (21-40). Solid but not overwhelming anyone this year.

Starlin Rodriguez (new). Has improved his walk rate this year. If his glove is steady at 2B, he could move soon to Double-A.

Cody Stanley (21-40). Needs to show that he is back from suspension layoff.

Breyvic Valera (21-40). Will get to show his stuff in games starting this month.

Colin Walsh (new). Power plus OBP. If he can stick in the middle infield, he could be a real find. Otherwise he will struggle for a utility role.

Dropped out this month (all were 21-40 in May)

Jonathan Rodriguez. Power is way down this year. FSL affect or something more?

Rainel Rosario. Potential will only take you so far.

Kevin Siegrist. Injuries keeping him from showing what he's got.

Ronny Gil. I really like Gil but at some point he has to perform to his potential.

Kyle Conley. Not getting the bat on the ball enough to show his true power.

Boone Whiting. When a player is a prospect based on performance and not potential, to keep his ranking he needs to be on the field performing.

Musings

Just missed May Player of the Month Mike O'Neill (Palm Beach). Minor league OBP near .420 in three seasons, but is moving slowly and old for his league.

LOOGY Alert. Springfield's Tyler Lyons is holding lefties to a .212 BAA and striking out lefties at a rate of over 12 per 9 IP in a small sample size this year.

By next month, we could see some 2012 draftees on this list. I will only consider placing a drafted player here once he has signed.



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