2013 Cards prospect changes from BaseballHQ

St. Louis Cardinals individual player movement and projections changes from 2012 to 2013 according to BaseballHQ's Minor League Baseball Analyst.

In Part one of this four-part series, we looked into the individual rankings, scouting reports and future potential of the St. Louis Cardinals' top 15 prospects according to BaseballHQ's "Minor League Baseball Analyst".

Next, we dug into the Minor League Analyst's organizational ratings for the National League Central Division clubs with scoring of each in the areas of hitting, pitching, top-end talent, depth and overall and compared them to recent past seasons.

Here in Part three, we will look into individual player movement and changes in their projections from year to year.

Six of the top 15 players on last year's rankings are gone, the same rate of change last year. None of the top five left while two graduated to the majors, Lance Lynn and Matt Carpenter. The progress of Eduardo Sanchez and Seth Blair slowed and others passed them by. Zack Cox was traded and Tommy Pham lost a year due to injury.

Cards top 15 Hitters on (rank) rating Hitters off (2012 #s)
2013 Wisdom (9) 8D Cox (6) 8C
  Ramsey (11) 8D Pham (13) 8D
  Bean (12) 8D Carpenter (14) 7C
  Walsh (13) 7C  
  Kelly (14) 8D  
Cards top 15 Pitchers on (rank) rating Pitchers off (2012 #s)
2013 Wacha (7) 9D Sanchez (7) 8A
    Lynn (8) 8C
    Blair (15) 7D

This year's top six were all in the rankings in 2012. The highest debut is Michael Wacha at number seven. Four other members of the Cardinals' early take in the 2012 draft also make their debuts – Patrick Wisdom, James Ramsey, Steve Bean and Carson Kelly. Bean would have to be the mild surprise here. With his strong season at Quad Cities and nice Arizona Fall League showing, Colin Walsh also makes his initial appearance in the top 15.

Next we have the nine players remaining on the list from last year. Here, you again see the player's numeric rank in the top 15, followed by his potential/probability rating, both this year and last. A red box means the player fell in one of both of the scores from last year. Green means improvement while yellow means no significant change on a year-to-year basis.

Cards top 15 Incumbent hitters 2013 In 2012
  Taveras (1) 9B Taveras (3) 9D
  Wong (5) 8B Wong (5) 9C
  Adams (6) 8B Adams (9) 9D
  Jackson (10) 7C Jackson (12) 7C
Cards top 15 Incumbent pitchers 2013 In 2012
  Miller (2) 9B Miller (1) 9B
  Martinez (3) 9C Martinez (2) 9D
  Rosenthal (4) 9C Rosenthal (11) 9D
  Jenkins (8) 8D Jenkins (4) 9D
  Swagerty (15) 8C Swagerty (10) 8B

Looking at the names that go with the colors, a very interesting trend shows itself. All of the hitters improved their relative ranking within the system from year to year, except Kolten Wong, who held steady.

On the other hand, the returning pitchers slid down in the top 15 compared to 2012 with Trevor Rosenthal being the sole exception. That doesn't mean there is any problem with them, but instead increased competition.

Shelby Miller's chances of being elite remains at 70 percent and he has been joined by Oscar Taveras this year. Carlos Martinez and Rosenthal both improve to a 50 percent chance of becoming elite players. Kolten Wong and Matt Adams carry a 70 percent change of becoming solid MLB regulars.

Remember the Potential Rating for each member of the top 15, in which the higher the number, the more elite the player is expected to be. In terms of Probability Rating, the lower the letter, the more likely the player should reach that potential. Therefore, the upper left is the best place to be. Lower left is arguably next best. (To review the specific value definitions, refer to Part one of this series.)

Cardinals top 15 2013 9 Elite player  8 Solid regular  7 Average regular 
A 90% chance      
B 70% chance Taveras, Miller Wong, Adams  
C 50% chance Martinez, Rosenthal Swagerty Jackson, Walsh
D 30% chance Wacha Jenkins, Wisdom  
    Ramsey, Bean  
E 10% chance      

The final table is a quick-and-dirty quality measure, yet the busy graph holds a lot of information. In the cells, the first number is the quantity of players in the top 15 at that level. The number that follows in parentheses is the change in the number of that level of players since last year. For example, there are two 9B players in 2013 after having one in 2012.

The colors of the cells indicate either fewer players in that group (red), more players (green) or no change from last year (yellow).

Cards top 15 2013 (vs 2012) 9 Elite player  8 Solid regular  7 Average regular  Total
A 90% chance 0 (flat) 0 (down 1) 0 (flat) 0 (down 1)
B 70% chance 2 (up 1) 2 (up 1) 0 (flat) 4 (up 2)
C 50% chance 2 (up 2) 1 (down 2) 2 (flat) 5 (flat)
D 30% chance 1 (down 3) 5 (up 3) 0 (down 1) 6 (down 1)
E 10% chance 0 (flat) 0 (flat) 0 (flat) 0 (flat)
Total 5 (flat) 8 (up 1) 2 (down 1) 15

While there the same number of elite (9) players as last year, the number of solid (8) players increased by one from 2012's top 15. There is also general movement in the top 15 players having a higher percentage of a chance of reaching their potential. Though there is no 90 percent odds player, the quantity of 70 percent odds players doubled, from two to four.

In the final installment of this annual series, we will compare several of the top Cardinals prospects to the best in the game overall, by position in terms of long-range potential in the Major Leagues as well as in top skills. Closing the article will be a review of the Cardinals 2012 draft.

In closing, thank you again to Rob Gordon, Jeremy Deloney and BaseballHQ for giving us this special look into their findings. Please respect them and copyright laws by not duplicating this material.

Link to Part one of this report: "BaseballHQ's top 15 Cardinals Prospects: 2013".
Link to Part two of this report: "BaseballHQ pegs Cardinals system #2 in MLB".

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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