Cards projected 2013 minors rosters: hitters

Our camp-opening prediction of the season-opening position players on each of the St. Louis Cardinals' four full-season minor league clubs – Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria.

Welcome to the first 2013 edition of our St. Louis Cardinals Prospect Report. This is the second part of a two-part series consisting of my predictions of what the initial full-season rosters may look like coming out of spring training as well as my thinking as to why.

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.


Starters (8)

Allen Craig
Daniel Descalso
Ronny Cedeno
David Freese
Yadier Molina
Matt Holliday
Jon Jay
Carlos Beltran

Reserves (5)

Matt Carpenter
Shane Robinson - strong spring holds off challengers
Pete Kozma - Furcal injury gives him a spot
Ty Wigginton
Tony Cruz

Disabled list (1)

Rafael Furcal

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.


Starters (8)

Matt Adams - masher in waiting
Kolten Wong
Ryan Jackson
Greg Garcia - at 3B to keep his bat in the lineup
Audry Perez
Adron Chambers - fighting to stay relevant
Justin Christian
Oscar Taveras - not yet

Reserves (5)

Xavier Scruggs - hoping for an Adams promotion
Tommy Pham - didn't sign as a free agent to be in Double-A
Rob Johnson
Jermaine Curtis - Furcal injury keeps him alive
Chad Huffman

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.

J.R. Towles
Brock Peterson - needs an injury to have a chance
Chris Swauger - time may be up


Starters (8)

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
Mike O'Neill
Adam Melker
Colin Walsh

Reserves (5)

Ronny Gil
Vance Albitz
Chris Edmondson
Travis Tartamella
Jamie Romak

Outside looking in? (1)

Jimmy Parque


Starters (8)

David Bergin
Luis Mateo
Matt Williams
Anthony Melchionda
Juan Castillo
Anthony Garcia
James Ramsey
Stephen Piscotty

Reserves (5)

Neal Pritchard
Nick Longmire
Tyler Rahmatulla
Geoff Klein – tick, tick… turns 25 later this month
David Washington

Outside looking in? (3)

Michael Swinson - last chance to harness his talent
David Medina - minor league free agent at the end of the year
Virgil Hill - regressed last year after a strong finish in 2011


Starters (8)

Jeremy Schaffer
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
Jesus Montero
C.J. McElroy - appearing in major league spring games (and doing well) should mean he'll skip State College
Charlie Tilson
Nick Martini

Reserves (5)

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
Casey Rasmus
David Popkins

Outside looking in? (2)

Steven Ramos - other than speed, not much there
Jordan Walton


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).

Gary Apelian
Roberto De La Cruz
Reggie Williams
Lance Jeffries
Jonathan Keener
Adam Lewis
Adam Ehrlich
Gerwuins Velazco
Breyvic Valera/Ildemaro Vargas
Bruce Caldwell
Matthew Young

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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