Part one focused on the pitching staffs and part two (this report) concentrates on the position players. I hope to have a couple of other special reports during spring training and the regular, monthly Cardinals prospect ranking reports will return in April.
The rosters of the minor league teams of course depend on the major league roster. Any changes there have a domino affect throughout the system. For this exercise, we will assume no injuries (except to Rafael Furcal - as noted below). That is not entirely realistic, but certainly more realistic than trying to predict specific injuries.
Please remember that this is just for fun and to stimulate discussion. (Please head over to the insiders message board for that.) This report has no bearing on any player's actual career and is based on a combination or statistics and scouting reports. No one need be offended if you feel your favorite player has been slighted.
My assumption for the 13 position players to open the season in St. Louis is as follows.
Disabled list (1)
Let me state that I have never been quite sure how the Cards rank their catching prospects so the catchers chosen for this exercise are probably the area of greatest possible error.
My analysis of the pitching rosters placed 12 pitchers on each minor league team. This seems to be the Cardinal norm though they have operated occasionally with 11. The placement of 13 on the roster allows for five position player reserves.
Matt Adams - masher in waiting
Greg Garcia - at 3B to keep his bat in the lineup
Adron Chambers - fighting to stay relevant
Oscar Taveras - not yet
Outside looking in? (3)
The Cards brought in several minor league free agents at the Triple-A level. They were necessary for depth in case of an injury. However, without any injuries, it seems like only one of the veteran catchers will make the roster.
Jonathan Rodriguez - maybe not ready but few choices
Starlin Rodriguez – 2B man will play some outfield also
Jake Lemmerman - not ready for Triple-A yet
Matt Cerda - still just 22 and no room at Memphis
Cody Stanley – a big step up
Outside looking in? (1)
Outside looking in? (3)
Jacob Wilson - strong finish last year and early prospect camp this year
Alex Mejia – here if ACL is recovered 100%; if not, EST awaits
Patrick Wisdom - Could go to Palm Beach but with his young age, I think the Cards will go slow with him
C.J. McElroy - appearing in major league spring games (and doing well) should mean he'll skip State College
Few true outfielders here, but all of these guys are probably versatile enough to play some there.
Carson Kelly - he and Wisdom at the same level could be a conflict, but I see Kelly doing time at 1B, 3B, and the OF (getting as much time as a regular)
Breyvic Valera/Ildemaro Vargas - one of these guys likely gets pushed to full season ball and the other goes to EST
Danny Stienstra - versatility helps keep him around
Outside looking in? (2)
This list includes all players on the Batavia/State College and Peoria rosters at the end of last year that are not accounted for elsewhere. It also includes players from Johnson City and the Gulf Coast League who I consider to be strong candidates for full season clubs. I expect many of these players to go straight from extended spring training to full season clubs as openings occur. Others who do not improve at EST are at risk of getting cut. Yet others will open back with short season teams (most in State College).
Earlier article in this series:
"Cards 2013 projected minors rosters: pitchers"
To see where every pitcher ended the 2012 season by level, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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