September monthly Cardinals prospect rankings

Our monthly subscriber-only, in-depth report on rising and falling St. Louis Cardinals prospects.

This is the September edition and final CariocaCardinal's Monthly Top 40 Prospect List for the 2012 season. I hope that this report remains a launching pad for discussion regarding St. Louis Cardinals prospects.

Every month during the season, I present my top 20 prospects (updated through the end of the month), my second 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

There is very little change in this month's report from last. By now, players have pretty much settled into their positions.

#1. Oscar Taveras (1). The only question with Taveras regarding rankings is how high he will rank overall across the minors.

#2. Shelby Miller (2). Really strong the last two months and so far in the majors. May have worked his way back into the top 20 overall.

#3. Michael Wacha (7). I probably have Wacha higher than anyone else, but I am totally sold on this guy. If he was putting up big numbers at Batavia or Quad Cities, I'd be impressed. To do it at Palm Beach and Springfield is amazing. Some discount him because he's only pitching in relief, but I see no reason to think he wouldn't do the same as a starter

#4. Carlos Martinez (3). A solid all-around season. I am anxious to see how far he advances next year.

#5. Kolten Wong (4). A great first full season. His AFL season will tell us a lot.

#6. Trevor Rosenthal (6). Showing himself to be solid as a major leaguer. The only question now is how high is his upside.

#7. Matt Adams (5). Injury was almost certainly the only thing that kept him from a September call up.

#8. Tyrell Jenkins (8). Injury cut short a disappointing season. Hopefully, he bounces back strongly next year.

#9. Anthony Garcia (9). Another player whose season was cut short by injury. Showed great power but rising strikeout rate is a concern.

#10. James Ramsey (10). Most have soured on Ramsey with his poor opening season, but he was playing at a level above every other just-drafted hitting prospect in baseball.

#11. Ryan Jackson (11). Being placed behind Pete Kozma on the major league depth chart is disappointing, but not the end of his prospect status.

#12. Seth Maness (12). If not for a few poor outings (to go with the rest of his outstanding ones), he might have cracked the top 10.

#13. Carson Kelly (13). Continued to show good power with low strikeout rates - a good formula for long term success.

#14. Greg Garcia (14). Can he stick at shortstop? If so, he probably ranks higher.

#15. Stephen Piscotty (15). Finished strongly. Could move quickly next year.

#16. John Gast (17). Was mediocre after return from injury but finished with a gem.

#17. Adron Chambers (18). Will he ever get a true shot in St. Louis?

#18. Breyvic Valera (19). Was solid from start to finish.

#19. Starlin Rodriguez (21-40). Solid power showing the last month gets him into the top 20.

#20. Jordan Swagerty (20). Will he be ready to start the year in 2013?

Wisdom: unofficial #21
21 through 40 are in alphabetical order

Keith Butler (21-40). Will he step up to the challenge of closing at Triple-A next year? Gave up as many home runs in August as in entire three years as a pro - but otherwise pitched well.

Richard Castillo (21-40). Excelled as a starter but could get crowded out and back to the pen in 2013.

Maikel Cleto (21-40). Didn't receive a September call up. Solid ERA and K rates the last month, but showed some of the wildness for which he has been known in the past.

Brandon Dickson (#20). Will he be back next year?

Adam Ehrlich (NR). OPS would have been 4th in the Appalachian League with enough at-bats.

Eric Fornataro (21-40). Excelling in Texas League playoffs.

Sam Freeman (new). I would still like to see more strikeouts.

Scott Gorgen (21-40). Some excellent outings as a starter, but a few bad ones too. Will he be better next year when he won't be coming off an injury?

Dean Kiekhefer (21-40). Only four walks all year in 44 innings. Good groundball rates as well.

Dixon Llorens (NR). Nearly two strikeouts per inning and 6:1 K:BB ratio. Better scouting reports might land him in the top 20.

Tyler Lyons (21-40). Outstanding after a weak start at Triple-A. Groundball rate is suspect, though. Came close to making the top 20.

C.J. McElroy (21-40). Will he hit well enough to be able to use his speed?

Mike O'Neill (21-40). Continued to hit after promotion to Double-A, but not playing much in the playoffs.

Eduardo Sanchez (16). Continues to drop in the rankings despite closer potential.

Kevin Siegrist (21-40). Much better in his second chance at Double-A.

Cody Stanley (new). A few more walks would make his numbers look a lot better.

Charlie Tilson (19). Hopefully he will be healthy enough for fall instructs.

Colin Walsh (21-40). AFL will give him the chance to prove that he deserved a promotion to Palm Beach in 2012.

Patrick Wisdom (NR). Solid and only 20 years old this season. Probably prospect #21.

Boone Whiting (21-40). Pitched only 35 innings this year due to injuries, but they were 35 strong innings and he continues to pitch well in Texas League playoffs.

Dropped out this month

Jonathan Rodriguez (21-40). Too many other strong candidates.

Mark Hamilton (21-40). Released.

Jermaine Curtis (21-40). Not enough power for a non-shortstop.

Just missed

Silfredo Garcia

Jacob Wilson

Lee Stoppelman

2013 Community Prospect Rankings underway

Join the discussion and voting that began this week for the new annual Cardinals top prospect list as selected by the members of The Cardinal Nation message board.

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