In this article, we will focus in on how members of The Cardinal Nation top 40 prospect list fared in their season-opening roster placements.
These new assignments across the entire system are available via the new, updated Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation Blog.
Alternatively, you can explore each team’s roster right here at The Cardinal Nation. They are current as of the start of the regular season. By clicking on player names, you can view bios, photos, videos, articles, news items, links to current season and career stats and much more – everything you need to know about a player’s history in one place.
With the initial 2015 rosters set, here are the assignments of the Cardinals top 40 prospects as ranked here at The Cardinal Nation during the off-season.
The right column block indicates a re-sort of the same data, prospect grouping by season-opening level of play. In the far right column, the 2014 season-ending assignment for each member of the top 40 is included.
|Rk||2015 TCN Top 40||open||Rk||2015 TCN Top 40||open||end 2014|
|1||Marco Gonzales||Mem||4||Randal Grichuk||StL||StL|
|2||Alex Reyes||PB||13||Tommy Pham||StL DL||Mem|
|4||Randal Grichuk||StL||1||Marco Gonzales||Mem||StL|
|5||Stephen Piscotty||Mem||5||Stephen Piscotty||Mem||Mem|
|6||Jack Flaherty||Peo||7||Tim Cooney||Mem||Mem|
|7||Tim Cooney||Mem||8||Sam Tuivailala||Mem||Mem|
|8||Sam Tuivailala||Mem||21||Greg Garcia||Mem||Mem|
|9||Luke Weaver||PB||26||Cody Stanley||Mem||Spr|
|10||Charlie Tilson||Spr||29||Zach Petrick||Mem||Mem|
|11||Carson Kelly||PB||30||Xavier Scruggs||Mem||Mem|
|13||Tommy Pham||StL DL||10||Charlie Tilson||Spr||Spr|
|14||Jacob Wilson||Spr||12||Aledmys Diaz||Spr||PB|
|15||Breyvic Valera||Spr||14||Jacob Wilson||Spr||Spr|
|16||Magneuris Sierra||Peo||15||Breyvic Valera||Spr||Spr|
|17||Juan Herrera||PB||20||Nick Petree||Spr||Spr|
|18||Ian McKinney||EST||25||Mike Mayers||Spr||Mem|
|19||Edmundo Sosa||EST||27||Patrick Wisdom||Spr||Spr|
|20||Nick Petree||Spr||35||Andrew Morales||Spr||PB|
|22||Malik Collymore||EST||2||Alex Reyes||PB||Peo|
|23||Oscar Mercado||Peo||3||Rob Kaminsky||PB||Peo|
|24||Bryan Dobzanski||EST||9||Luke Weaver||PB||PB|
|25||Mike Mayers||Spr||11||Carson Kelly||PB||Peo|
|26||Cody Stanley||Mem||17||Juan Herrera||PB||PB|
|27||Patrick Wisdom||Spr||28||Rowan Wick||PB||Peo|
|28||Rowan Wick||PB||32||C.J. McElroy||PB||Peo|
|29||Zach Petrick||Mem||33||Mason Katz||PB||PB|
|30||Xavier Scruggs||Mem||36||Ronald Castillo||PB||Peo|
|31||Ronnie Williams||EST||37||Dixon Llorens||PB||PB|
|33||Mason Katz||PB||6||Jack Flaherty||Peo||GCL|
|34||Daniel Poncedeleon||Peo||16||Magneuris Sierra||Peo||GCL|
|35||Andrew Morales||Spr||23||Oscar Mercado||Peo||JC|
|36||Ronald Castillo||PB||34||Daniel Poncedeleon||Peo||SC|
|37||Dixon Llorens||PB||38||Fernando Baez||Peo||SC|
|38||Fernando Baez||Peo||39||Darren Seferina||Peo||SC|
|40||Juan Perez||EST||18||Ian McKinney||EST||SC|
What leaps out to me initially in the left columns was the lack of Double-A prospects in the top nine. Yet Springfield picks up the gap with four prospects between number 10 and 15.
Moving to the right, the balance in the number of top 40 prospects at the five levels below St. Louis (Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach, Peoria and extended spring training) is greater than ever. No fewer than six prospects are at any of those five levels.
Palm Beach, often a spot passed over in recent seasons by top prospects, is tied for the most top 20 players with five and stands alone with the most top 40 prospects with 10. This is the first time that has happened in recent years.
A shift away from the top
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.
|2015 level||Top 20||Top 40||2014 level||Top 20||Top 40|
|St. Louis||2||2||St. Louis||2||3|
|Palm Beach||5||10||Palm Beach||4||8|
There has been a general downward shift of top prospects in the organization from year to year. In 2014, half of the top 20 were either in St. Louis or just one step away at Memphis. This year, the comparable count is just six.
At every level from Springfield on down, there are more top 40 prospects than last year. That includes extended spring training.
Promotions not slowing
Now, we will review a summary the movement of the top 20 and top 40 from last year to this.
|2014-2015||Top 20||Top 40||2013-2014||Top 20||Top 40|
|Promo 3 level||2||2||Promo 3 level||0||0|
|Promo 2 level||0||1||Promo 2 level||1||2|
|Promo 1 level||5||13||Promo 1 level||6||12|
|Down 1 level||1||2||Down 1 level||1||2|
As the 2015 data indicates, the promotions of Jack Flaherty and Magneuris Sierra from the Gulf Coast League to Peoria, a three-level jump, are unusual. However, if you include the two- and three-level jumpers together, the total of three is only one more than a year ago.
The totals of those being promoted at a traditional one-level step, those staying put and those dropping a level are almost identical in 2015 compared to 2014. This tends to refute my perception that the organization’s prospect pipeline is not flowing as fast as before. Instead, at least the top prospects are moving normally.
Of course, all of this is just point in time analysis. The organization has shown its willingness to promote selected prospects during the season – as well as move ones back down who show they are not ready.
Those who are initially repeating the same level but may appear ready for an additional challenge, as well as players sent down to open this season - Marco Gonzales and Mike Mayers, specifically - could become candidates to move up with fast starts and some help from above. Same with several of 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. In addition, our in-depth weekly team notebooks will commence with Peoria on Tuesday, April 14.
Bookmark the Roster Matrix
To see the full 2014 season-ending rosters by level and position for the entire Cardinals system on one page, along with every transaction all season long, check out the Roster Matrix, always up-to-date and free at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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