Monthly Cardinals prospect rankings: July

Our monthly subscriber-only, in-depth report on rising and falling St. Louis Cardinals prospects. See how the 2012 draftees fit in.

This is the July 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.

The Top 20

#1 Oscar Taveras (1). The outfielder confirmed his #1 ranking with strong play and Texas League All-Star Game MVP award.

#2 Shelby Miller (2). Despite a strong last start, he is closer to #5 than #1 right now.

#3 Kolten Wong (3). I had hoped for more power but the second baseman is still very young.

#4 Carlos Martinez (4). Looking good so far at Double-A.

#5 Matt Adams (5). Back in the minors and mashing again. Way too early to think he is just a AAAA player.

#6 Trevor Rosenthal (6). Continues to improve his control that plagued him early in the year.

#7 Michael Wacha (NR). Top draft choice has yet to debut but all reports are that he could move fast.

#8 Tyrell Jenkins (7). Continues to disappoint but talent remains.

#9 Eduardo Sanchez (9). I am praying he doesn't become the Tyler Greene of pitchers. Still has closer potential but who knows if he will realize it at this point.

#10 Anthony Garcia (14). OPS now over .900 for the year.

#11 Joe Kelly (11). Right is hanging tough at the big league level.

#12 Zack Cox (12). Heated up substantially during June.

#13 Ryan Jackson (10). Drop this month was more others rising than him falling.

#14 James Ramsey (NR). First-round pick will skip over four levels to start at High-A Palm Beach.

#15 John Gast (13). Good ERA but his peripheral stats don't wow you.

#16 Seth Maness (18). Still keeping men off base and still climbing the charts.

#17 Charlie Tilson (15). While injured, he is slowly dropping as others are rising.

#18 Jordan Swagerty (16). Would have been nice to see if his meteoric rise last year was the real deal.

#19 Stephen Piscotty (NR). Breaking in at this number is low for the #36 pick in the draft, but it shows the strength of the Cardinals system.

#20 Carson Kelly (NR). Receives the benefit of the doubt due to large signing bonus.

21 through 40 are in alphabetical order

Steve Bean (NR). Supplemental first round picks need to be among a team's top 40 prospects!

Keith Butler (21-40). Probably the strongest closer presently in the Cards' minor league system.

Richard Castillo (21-40). Hasn't pitched a bad game all year. Continues with high groundball rates.

Maikel Cleto. (21-40). Appears to be getting a handle on his raw stuff.

Adron Chambers (21-40). Would like to see him get some extended playing time in the majors to see what we've got.

Brandon Dickson (#20). Second straight solid Triple-A season.

Eric Fornataro (21-40). I expect to see him in Triple-A very soon.

Greg Garcia (21-40). Would have made the top 20 had draft choices had not been added.

Scott Gorgen (17). Continues to be inconsistent though K rates are rising.

Mark Hamilton (21-40). Quietly had fantastic June with 950+ OPS.

Dean Kiekhefer (21-40). Continues to pitch well in High-A. Needs to be promoted to Double-A this year.

Luis Mateo (21-40). Where was he when there were no 2B candidates in the system?

C.J. McElroy (new). Off to hot start in rookie ball.

Tommy Pham (21-40). Injured OF is barely holding on to his top 40 spot.

Tyler Rahmatulla (21-40). Slow start at high-A but it is still early.

Jonathan Rodriguez (NR). A good month of June put him back in the rankings after he had dropped out.

Starlin Rodriguez (21-40). Continues to hit well at high A.

Kevin Siegrist (NR). Dropped out of the rankings while injured but strong performance since coming back puts him back in.

Breyvic Valera (21-40). Off to hot start and good reviews in short season ball.

Colin Walsh (21-40). Continues to show good hit tool. Continues to show no glove tool.

Patrick Wisdom (NR). Recent draftee has yet to demonstrate power he showed in college.

Dropped out this month

Matt Carpenter (8). graduated

Shane Robinson (19). graduated

Bryan Anderson (21-40). Has shown very little this year since Spring Training.

Cody Stanley (21-40). Not shown much since coming back from suspension.

Tony Cruz (21-40). Major league back up but has really struggled this year.

Jermaine Curtis (21-40). The infielder tanked to a below-.700 OPS in June.

Chuckie Fick (21-40) Just not missing enough bats.

Adam Reifer (21-40) Has shown very little since coming back from last season's knee injury.

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