TCN 2013 Cards Prospect #3: Trevor Rosenthal

The only question remains the hard-throwing right-hander's role in 2013. Whether starting or relieving in St. Louis or starting in Memphis, it should be meaningful.

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

2012 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Thw Signed Round
12 RHS 5/29/1990 6-2 190 R R 2009 21st

School: Cowley County Community College, Kan.

Selected 2012 stats

SPR 8 6 2.78 3.51 17 17 0 94.0 67 33 6 37 83 1.18 0.202 0.243
MEM 0 0 4.20 2.67 3 3 0 15.0 11 7 1 5 21 1.75 0.208 0.313
Total 8 6 2.97   20 20 0 109.0 78 40 7 42 104 1.23 0.203  
StL 0 2 2.78 3.09 19 0 0 22.2 14 7 2 7 25 1.10 0.175 0.222

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

CariocaCardinal (4): Last year, I went out on a limb and predicted that Trevor Rosenthal could see Memphis in 2012 if he pitched well. Well, he only saw it if he took a plane ride from Springfield to St. Louis and the plane took a southern detour as Rosenthal skipped right over Memphis and was promoted straight from Double-A to the majors - a rare feat in the Cardinals organization. (Note: He briefly did pitch in Memphis later in the year).

That debut capped a meteoric rise from a non-ranked prospect in 2011, to's 12th ranked prospect in 2012, to pitching briefly in the majors and becoming's fourth-ranked prospect this year.

Rosenthal actually rose a couple of notches in my personal ranking after the minor league season ended as he was dominant in relief for the big club in late September and during the playoffs. In his last 17 2/3 innings (regular season plus playoffs) he gave up seven hits, four walks and struck out 25 while yielding only two runs.

Rosenthal could start 2013 in the St. Louis bullpen, as a member of the rotation, or possibly in the Memphis rotation, though I think he'll most likely be in St. Louis. I have underestimated Rosenthal in the past. I hope he continues to exceed my expectations.

Message board community (3): Rosenthal rose from ninth on last year's community list to third this year. This is a prospect that was particularly valued by our community. A number of those who watched him at lower levels of the farm system were very enthusiastic about Rosenthal before he had received much attention by those who rank prospects. His dominant work in the majors, with only three Triple-A appearances, justifies that praise.

Rosenthal fanned over a batter per inning in the majors (25 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings). His fastball can hit triple digits. Reports are that he has an excellent head for the game. Rosenthal received his call to the majors before last year's top prospect, Shelby Miller. He showed great composure in the postseason even though he started the minor league season at just 21 years of age, fanning 15 and allowing just four runners in 8 2/3 innings.

Rosenthal clearly can help at the major league level this year. But the bullpen seems pretty stacked (Choate and Rzepczynski from the left side; Motte, Boggs, Mujica, Kelly and Salas from the right). And so does the rotation, with Wainwright, Carpenter, Garcia, Lynn, and Westbrook.

Barring injuries, then, I expect Rosenthal to be back in the rotation at Memphis to begin the 2013 season. Remember that he skipped Palm Beach, so has just 131 2/3 innings above low-A ball, 140 1/3 including last year's post-season). The rotation work should help him develop his stamina and to be prepared to be called up if there is a rotation need. He and Shelby Miller (and perhaps Sam Freeman if there's a need for a bullpen lefty) seem most likely to compete for any major league opening. - Gagliano

Brian Walton (2): Rosenthal and Miller, Miller and Rosenthal. I suspect we will see the two in St. Louis' rotation for a long time to come. Yet, when all was said and done, I had to choose between the two here. Unlike in past years and unlike probably every other rater of prospects - including Carioca and our community - I feel Rosenthal has inched ahead of Miller.

The deciding factors for me ranking Rosenthal higher are those items that do not appear on the stat sheet or even on the radar gun readings. As such, by definition, they are intangibles. Yet, I think they are incredibly important.

Rosenthal has the demeanor and the maturity, not to mention the support of the organization (evidenced by his leap to the majors first and continued success after a quick and seamless adjustment to relieving) and at least some of his major league teammates. None other than the leader of the staff, Chris Carpenter, invited Rosenthal to join him in off-season workouts.

One can only hope that Rosenthal does not become chained to the bullpen because of his success there. As noted above, the Cardinals have enough 2013 relief options such that barring a rash of injuries, they should not have to include him.

Having said that, I found myself more than once in the post-season wondering out loud about manager Mike Matheny's use of Rosenthal. I felt Rosenthal both should have pitched more meaningful innings as well as being allowed to face more batters when he did receive the ball.

But that is then, and this is now. If there is no rotation opening in spring camp, I would be in favor of starting Rosenthal in Memphis until the first opening occurs. Miller would be right behind in my queue.

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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