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With the initial 2013 rosters set, here are the assignments of the Cardinals top 40 prospects as ranked here at The Cardinal Nation during the off-season.
The second-to-right column indicates a re-sort of the same data, by level of play. In the far right column, the 2012 season-ending assignment for each member of the top 40 is included.
|Rk||2013 TCN Top 40||open||Rk||2013 TCN Top 40||open||end 2012|
|1||Oscar Taveras||Mem||2||Shelby Miller||StL||StL|
|2||Shelby Miller||StL||3||Trevor Rosenthal||StL||StL|
|3||Trevor Rosenthal||StL||7||Matt Adams||StL||Mem (DL)|
|4||Michael Wacha||Mem||15||Ryan Jackson||StL||StL|
|5||Carlos Martinez||EST||29||Pete Kozma||StL||StL|
|7||Matt Adams||StL||1||Oscar Taveras||Mem||Spr|
|8||Tyrell Jenkins||Peo||4||Michael Wacha||Mem||Spr|
|9||Anthony Garcia||PB||6||Kolten Wong||Mem||Spr|
|10||Carson Kelly||EST||14||Seth Maness||Mem||Spr|
|11||Jordan Swagerty||Spr (DL)||16||Greg Garcia||Mem||Spr|
|12||Stephen Piscotty||PB||20||John Gast||Mem||Mem|
|13||James Ramsey||PB||23||Adron Chambers||Mem||StL|
|14||Seth Maness||Mem||24||Sam Freeman||Mem||StL|
|15||Ryan Jackson||StL||26||Eduardo Sanchez||Mem||Mem|
|16||Greg Garcia||Mem||27||Eric Fornataro||Mem||Spr|
|17||Starlin Rodriguez||Spr||28||Maikel Cleto||Mem||Mem|
|18||Patrick Wisdom||Peo||35||Tyler Lyons||Mem||Mem|
|20||John Gast||Mem||11||Jordan Swagerty||Spr (DL)||Spr (DL)|
|21||Charlie Tilson||Peo||17||Starlin Rodriguez||Spr||PB|
|22||Kevin Siegrist||Spr||22||Kevin Siegrist||Spr||Spr|
|23||Adron Chambers||Mem||25||Boone Whiting||Spr||Spr|
|24||Sam Freeman||Mem||30||Seth Blair||Spr||PB|
|25||Boone Whiting||Spr||32||Mike O'Neill||Spr||Spr|
|26||Eduardo Sanchez||Mem||38||Audry Perez||Spr||Spr|
|27||Eric Fornataro||Mem||40||Keith Butler||Spr||Spr|
|29||Pete Kozma||StL||9||Anthony Garcia||PB||QC|
|30||Seth Blair||Spr||12||Stephen Piscotty||PB||QC|
|31||C.J. McElroy||EST||13||James Ramsey||PB||PB|
|32||Mike O'Neill||Spr||36||Colin Walsh||PB||QC|
|33||Dixon Llorens||Peo||39||Tim Cooney||PB||Bat|
|35||Tyler Lyons||Mem||8||Tyrell Jenkins||Peo||QC|
|36||Colin Walsh||PB||18||Patrick Wisdom||Peo||Bat|
|37||Victor DeLeon||EST||19||Breyvic Valera||Peo||Bat|
|38||Audry Perez||Spr||21||Charlie Tilson||Peo||JC (DL)|
|39||Tim Cooney||PB||33||Dixon Llorens||Peo||QC|
What may first catch your eye are the six top 40 members from Springfield that moved up to Memphis. However, all is not lost at Double-A. Six others from the end of last season's Texas League champions remain for 2013, joined by a pair of top 40 prospects up from Palm Beach.
On the other hand, the A-Advanced Cardinals have just one top 40 holdover from the final 2012 roster, outfielder James Ramsey. One new Palm Beach player, left-handed starter Tim Cooney, made the leap from Batavia over Peoria.
Following is the data summarized, split out by level for both the top 20 and top 40. The same table from this time last year is provided alongside for comparison.
|2013 level||Top 20||Top 40||2012 level||Top 20||Top 40|
|St. Louis||4||5||St. Louis||3||4|
|Palm Beach||3||5||Palm Beach||1||3|
Not surprisingly, the best prospects in the system are closest to the majors. In fact, half of the top 20 are either in St. Louis (four) or just one step away at Memphis (six).
One clear change is a greater representation at the lower levels. Last year, just three of our top 20 were at Class-A or below. In 2013, that total increased to eight. Obviously, the rich 2012 draft class had a major impact.
Springfield, the 2012 season-opening destination for such luminaries as Trevor Rosenthal, Oscar Taveras and Kolten Wong, is not nearly as blessed with top prospects this year. Just two top 20 players are at Double-A, with one, Jordan Swagerty, on the disabled list.
Carlos Martinez finished last season with Springfield. His visa delay pushed him down to extended spring training to start 2013, but had he been able to put in a full spring, he may have joined Michael Wacha in Memphis.
Of course, this is just a point in time analysis. The organization has shown its willingness to promote selected prospects during the season. Those who are initially repeating the same level, such as many of the Springfield returnees, Ramsey and Tyrell Jenkins could become candidates to move up with fast starts. Same with the extended spring training participants.
To keep up with the action, check out our daily Cardinals minor league notebooks with all the action from the night before. Our weekly team reports will commence with Springfield on Tuesday, April 9.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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