The selection process is most straightforward. We have already unveiled our top 40 prospects in the system via the "40 Days, 40 Nights, 40 Prospects" series. Putting together this year's All-Prospect Team is as simple as culling the top-ranked player at each position from that top 40.
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals All-Prospect Team includes 12 players – eight position players, including two corner outfielders considered as one group, plus four pitchers – left and right-handed starters and relievers. The left-handed reliever, a constant challenge for the organization, is included separately for the third time. Listed are each player's overall ranking in the top 40, age and highest level played in 2013.
The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals 2014 All-Prospect Team
|Catcher||Carson Kelly #||9||19||A|
|First Base||Jonathan Rodriguez *||40+||24||A+|
|Second Base||Kolten Wong||3||23||MLB|
|Shortstop||Oscar Mercado *||22||19||R|
|Third Base||Patrick Wisdom *||15||22||A+|
|Corner Outfield||Stephen Piscotty *||4||22||AA|
|Corner Outfield||Oscar Taveras||1||21||AAA|
|LH Starter||Rob Kaminsky *||5||19||R|
|RH Starter||Carlos Martinez *||2||22||MLB|
|LH Reliever||Sam Freeman||17||26||MLB|
|RH Reliever||Keith Butler *||35||24||MLB|
|* new members|
|# position change|
|Ages as of 1/1/14|
Last winter, after a record nine of the 12 were holdovers from the previous year, we saw an exodus of rookies to St. Louis during 2013. One by-product is that the 2014 team has just five repeaters, and just four at the same position (names without # or * above).
|LHR Freeman is back again|
The new members of the all-prospect team have a variety of backgrounds. Two have already made their MLB debuts in Carlos Martinez and Keith Butler. Martinez never made this team in the past due to Shelby Miller annually blocking him from the top perch among right-handed starters.
At the other end of the experience spectrum is a pair of 2013 teenaged draftees, shortstop Oscar Mercado and left-handed starter Rob Kaminsky. Third baseman Patrick Wisdom and outfielder Stephen Piscotty are other first-timers. Both were early 2012 draft picks also blocked by others the past two years.
For the first time ever, we have a member on the All-Prospect Team that did not make the top 40. First baseman Jonathan Rodriguez is our top-scoring first sacker, and would have ranked in the organization top 50.
TCN/Scout.com St. Louis Cardinals All-Prospect Teams – 2006 through 2014
|Catcher||Carson Kelly||Adam Ehrlich||Tony Cruz|
|First Base||J. Rodriguez||Matt Adams||Matt Adams|
|Second Base||Kolten Wong||Kolten Wong||Kolten Wong|
|Shortstop||Oscar Mercado||Ryan Jackson||Ryan Jackson|
|Third Base||Patrick Wisdom||Carson Kelly||Zack Cox|
|Corner Outfield||Stephen Piscotty||Oscar Taveras||Oscar Taveras|
|Corner Outfield||Oscar Taveras||Anthony Garcia||Anthony Garcia|
|Centerfield||James Ramsey||James Ramsey||Charlie Tilson|
|LH Starter||Rob Kaminsky||John Gast||John Gast|
|RH Starter||Carlos Martinez||Shelby Miller||Shelby Miller|
|LH Reliever||Sam Freeman||Sam Freeman||Sam Freeman|
|RH Reliever||Keith Butler||Eduardo Sanchez||Eduardo Sanchez|
|Player of Year|
|Pitcher of Year||* Zach Petrick||* T. Rosenthal|
|Catcher||Bryan Anderson||Robert Stock||Bryan Anderson|
|First Base||Mark Hamilton||Mark Hamilton||Curt Smith|
|Second Base||Daniel Descalso||Daniel Descalso||Jose Martinez|
|Shortstop||Pete Kozma||Pete Kozma||Pete Kozma|
|Third Base||Zack Cox*||David Freese||Brett Wallace*|
|Corner Outfield||Oscar Taveras||Daryl Jones||Nick Stavinoha|
|Corner Outfield||Allen Craig||Allen Craig||Jon Jay|
|Centerfield||Adron Chambers||Jon Jay||Colby Rasmus|
|LH Starter||John Gast||Jaime Garcia||Jaime Garcia|
|RH Starter||Shelby Miller*||Shelby Miller*||Jess Todd|
|Reliever||Eduardo Sanchez||Eduardo Sanchez||Jason Motte|
|Player of Year||* M. Carpenter||* David Freese|
|Pitcher of Year||* B. Dickson||* Lance Lynn|
|Catcher||Bryan Anderson||Bryan Anderson||Bryan Anderson|
|First Base||Mark Hamilton||Mark Hamilton||Mike Ferris|
|Second Base||Jose Martinez||Jose Martinez||Jose Martinez|
|Shortstop||Pete Kozma||Tyler Greene||Tyler Greene|
|Third Base||Allen Craig||Randy Roth||Travis Hanson|
|Corner Outfield||Joe Mather||Nick Stavinoha||Nick Stavinoha|
|Corner Outfield||Jon Jay||Cody Haerther||Cody Haerther|
|Centerfield||Colby Rasmus||Colby Rasmus||Colby Rasmus|
|LH Starter||Jaime Garcia||Jaime Garcia||Eric Haberer|
|RH Starter||Adam Ottavino*||B. Hawksworth||Anthony Reyes|
|Reliever||Chris Perez||Chris Perez||Tyler Johnson|
|Player of Year|
|Pitcher of Year||* P.J. Walters|
Winners from the previous eight seasons are included for comparison purposes with our TCN/Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year in those years listed in bold. The current organizational winners are Zach Petrick and Wong, respectively, same as named by The Cardinal Nation.
|New 3B Wisdom|
Those 2013 top prospect team members leaving the list for 2014 had different reasons. Miller and first baseman Matt Adams graduated to the majors. Shortstop Ryan Jackson and right-handed reliever Eduardo Sanchez departed via waivers. The progress of pitcher John Gast, catcher Adam Ehrlich and outfielder Anthony Garcia were slowed by injury, opening the door for others to overtake them.
In terms of positional turnover, third base remains the champion, with Wisdom becoming our eighth hot corner leader in the last nine years. On recent lists, though, centerfielder has also seen considerable change with five in the last six years. James Ramsey was preceded by Charlie Tilson, Adron Chambers, Jon Jay and Colby Rasmus.
Age and experience
With Freeman a year older at 26 years of age, there is a greater spread in ages than last year. Along with Kelly, who played at the age of 19 last season, this year's All-Prospect Team has two new additions at that same age, Mercado and Kaminsky. The average age of the 2014 team at 22.1 years is comparable to 2013 at 22.0 years.
The level of play reached by the average player is listed as Double-A, but mathematically, it is slightly above that level. Last year, it was just below, so the 2014 team is slightly more experienced.
In an indication of the top prospects marching toward the majors, four of the 12 prospects on the team reached the majors during 2013 and two more achieved the Triple-A level. Only two of the 12 finished below Class-A last season.
Runners-Up (name/overall ranking)
I will close with this year's "Runners-Up" - the 29 players that made the 2014 Top 40, but not this All-Prospect Team. The following list also provides a quick visual snapshot of system-wide depth by name and position.
Catcher (1): Audry Perez (40)
First base (0): none
Second base (1): Jacob Wilson (28)
Third base (0): none
Right-handed starting pitcher (10): Alex Reyes (7), Tyrell Jenkins (11), Cory Jones (14), Zach Petrick (16), Mike Mayers (21), Sam Gaviglio (26), Jordan Swagerty (29), Boone Whiting (30), Nick Petree (34), Seth Blair (37)
Left-handed reliever (1): Lee Stoppelman (18)
Again, for more information about these players, click on their highlighted names above to be taken to their free The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com player profile pages with bios, photos, news and more!
Further, to see the entire Cardinals system by position and level on one page, along with all transactions, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.
Our 2014 top 40 countdown continues: To see the list of top Cardinals prospects announced to date and remaining article schedule, click here. You can also read the voters' philosophies in making their selections.
Not yet a subscriber to The Cardinal Nation? Join today for as little as $7.95 after our seven-day free trial and be able to read each of our Top 40 articles plus all of our exclusive content year-round.
© 2014 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.