Each month, I present my top 20 prospects (updated through the end of the month), my next 20 prospects (not ranked but listed in alphabetical order), as well as whatever observations I feel are relevant at the moment.
This report reflects my opinions and not that of the entire The Cardinal Nation staff, so feel to address any comments or criticisms directly to me either through the premium message board or via private message if you prefer.
Note: Players remain eligible for the list as long as they maintain their prospect status (less than 50 innings pitched or less than 130 plate appearances in the major leagues.)
On to the report!
Behind each player's name in parentheses is where I ranked him in the off season.
#1 Oscar Taveras (1). Continues not only be the organization's top prospect, but one of the best in the game.
#2 Shelby Miller (3). Strong start moves him up one spot in what should be his last appearance on this list.
#3 Michael Wacha (2). Moves down a spot even as he is proving himself one of the best pitching prospects in Triple-A.
#4 Trevor Rosenthal (4). His April was a little shaky but he finished strongly.
#5 Matt Adams (7). Removing doubts about whether his bat will play in the majors.
#6 Carlos Martinez (5). A late start but not missing a step.
#7 Kolten Wong (6). No walks, no power, but he is still young.
#8 Carson Kelly (13). Moves way up based on strong spring and full season debut.
#9 Stephen Piscotty (15). Huge jump earned by showing increased power, strong average, and defensive improvement.
#10 James Ramsey (10). Strong start quieting critics from last year.
#11 Seth Maness (12). Some wondered if his stuff would play at higher levels - it does!
#12 Patrick Wisdom (21). Saw lots of time with big club in the spring. Showing improved power despite slow start.
#13 Anthony Garcia (9). Power continues - but so do strikeouts.
#14 Ryan Jackson (11). Offense on fire since spring demotion.
#15 John Gast (16). Cardinals minor league Pitcher of the Month in April - is his upside higher than most thought?
#16 Tyrell Jenkins (9). Huge tumble for 2010 first round pick. Potential will only get one so far.
#17 Charlie Tilson (21). Strong spring and full season debut bump up the speedy outfielder's ranking.
#18 Greg Garcia (14). Strong spring but slow start. Proving he can stick at short.
#19 Mike O'Neill (29). On-base machine continues to hit, as well. Starting to receive recognition from national prospect scribes.
#20 Tommy Pham (NR). Finally putting it all together and staying healthy. Could move up further if he continues April performance levels.
21-40 are in alphabetical order.
Steve Bean (39). Will the catcher start at Johnson City for second consecutive year?
Keith Butler (34). Needs another pitch to go with his wicked slider.
Adron Chambers (17). Rough April but still has major league talent.
Tim Cooney (37). More than holding his own after skipping Peoria.
Jermaine Curtis (NR). Continues to hit and put up good OBP. Earned big league call up but prospect status remains iffy.
Adam Ehrlich (35). Spring performance earned him a shot all the way to Palm Beach.
Kurt Heyer (NR). Signed late last year so this year is first real look at the right-hander. So far, so good.
Tyler Lyons (30). Second year in Triple-A but stats are down from 2012.
C.J. McElroy (36). Strong spring including several at-bats with the major league team. Now in full season ball.
Alex Mejia (NR). Coming back strong after serious injury last year.
Starlin Rodriguez (19). Average and walk rate are down in small sample size at new level (Double-A).
Eduardo Sanchez (24). Former closer of the future is battling injuries and trying to remain a legitimate prospect.
Kevin Siegrist (25). K rate way up starting with AFL and continuing with 21:3 K:BB ratio in 11 innings this April,
Ronnie Shaban (NR). Closer at Palm Beach.
Cody Stanley (38). Hard to get better if you cannot stay on the field.
Lee Stoppelman (40). Not quite as dominating as last year - but almost.
Jordan Swagerty (20). Hard to keep ranking up when you are not on the field.
Breyvic Valera (18). Just two strikeouts in 87 April at-bats.
Colin Walsh (31). Average still strong though his power is down in the Florida State League.
Boone Whiting (23). Looking for recognition among large group of pitching prospects.
Jacob Wilson (45). Raking since mid season last year. As of this writing, he is averaging an RBI per game.
#isthisguyaprospect? Xavier Scruggs has a .968 OPS as of this writing but he is striking out at a near 40% clip. Over his last 10 games, he is hitting .355 with a 1.390 OPS but with a K rate over 40%.
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