TCN 2013 Cards Prospect #12: Stephen Piscotty

The former Stanford third baseman makes his top 40 prospect debut after a nice start in Class-A.

The Cardinal Nation/ Player Profile
(including links to full 2012 and career stats)

2012 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
NA 3B 1/14/1991 6-3 185 R R 2012 1s

School: Stanford University

Selected 2012 stats

QC 0.295 0.320 210 29 62 18 4 27 18 25 3 0.377 0.376 0.448 0.823

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

CariocaCardinal (15): As the saying goes, Stephen Piscotty "is what he is". And what is that? He is a good hitting, defensively-challenged third baseman with limited power. That would be more problematic if Piscotty was limited to being a third baseman, but fortunately he is expected to be able to make smooth transition to the outfield, where his defensive shortcomings are less.

Improving his upside with his bat may be more difficult. Almost no one who has seen his swing predicts that it will translate in to much power at the major league level. At the same time, almost no one thinks he will not be able to hit for a solid average. In other words, Stephen Piscotty is the prototypical, low floor, high chance of success draft pick.

I expect Piscotty to open 2013 at Palm Beach. I expect the Cardinals to continue trying him at third base to see if he can improve there, but that is not a given and most people seriously doubt he would be successful anyway. If Piscotty can stick at third base, or he can somehow transform his swing to generate more power, he could possibly turn himself into a top prospect and future major league star. Otherwise, I think one can expect a player who could become a solid starter, but not really a star.

Message board community (19): Piscotty was the Cards' third pick of this year's draft, but just the 36th pick overall. Baseball America had him ranked as the 18th best prospect, and there's reason to hope the Cards got a steal drafting Piscotty this late.

Playing at the age of 21, Piscotty debuted in full season ball with Quad Cities and showed he belonged there with a .376 OBP and .448 SLG in 237 at-bats. The right-handed batter hit righties (.889 OPS) better than lefties (.562), but that latter is for just 43 at-bats. Good southpaws are sometimes scarce in college ball, so he could well be adjusting to them.

There was some debate among the community about whether Piscotty would remain at third base. Some comparisons were made to Brett Wallace (.908 OPS at Quad Cities at age 21) and Zack Cox, who briefly debuted in the Gulf Coast League at 21, but started at Palm Beach when he was 22. Piscotty seems to be more athletic than those two. His arm is strong enough, but his hands might not be soft enough to remain at third. He should be able to handle a corner outfield position, though, with enough speed to steal three bases while not being caught for Quad Cities.

There is also some question as to whether he will be more a line drive hitter than a home run hitter. I'm bullish, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do. - Gagliano

Brian Walton (11): It is only for extra credit, not the main exam, but how can one not be impressed by a young man who was studying Atmosphere / Energy Engineering at Stanford? He was also a very accomplished hitter there, as he was in the Cape Cod League.

Piscotty continued in this professional debut, leading a notable (in quality and quantity) 2012 Cardinals draft class in batting average and on-base percentage. He struck out less than 12 percent of the time and his strikeout to walk count was a solid 25 to 18. I also like the fact he finished strongly. During August, the 21-year-old slugged .466 while collecting three of his home runs and 17 of his runs driven in.

Piscotty accomplished all of that despite being one of only two position players from this Cardinals draft to begin their professional careers in full-season Class-A (yesterday's honoree, Palm Beach's James Ramsey, was the other). He was reunited with former college teammate Colin Walsh at Quad Cities.

Regarding Piscotty's defense, I haven't been able to see him play enough yet to pass judgment, but I wonder if others have, either. I am surprised based on a partial season that some have already declared his future to be in the outfield. I am not there yet.

A combination of his good start and the organization having two other 2012-drafted, top prospect third basemen at each of the two levels immediately below him (Patrick Wisdom and Carson Kelly) signals to me that the Cardinals may continue to be aggressive with Piscotty. I could see him moving up to Springfield by mid-season if he continues to hit at Palm Beach to open 2013.

Our 2013 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

There's more! Monthly and quarterly subscribers who upgrade to our annual pass will receive in the spring the 2013 FOX Sports NEXT Prospects Guide, a $4.95 value, for FREE. The perfect hardcopy companion to "40 Days" includes the top prospects from all 30 MLB organizations and much more. We author the Cardinals section of the guide as always.

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