40 Days, 40 Nights, 40 Cards Prospects: 2016

Our 11th annual countdown starts Monday, November 30. Over a 40-day period, we unveil our top prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system for 2016.

Once again, it is time for the unveiling of our annual The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Top 40 Prospect List, back for its 11th year. During the period we call “40 Days, 40 Nights, 40 Cardinals Prospects”, a new top St. Louis Cardinals prospect is disclosed each day, starting with number 40 and carrying us well into the New Year.

We will continue until the number one pick is identified – our top prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system coming into the 2016 season. Will there be a new player crowned as the king, replacing 2015 number one Marco Gonzales?

As always, following the top 40 countdown will be our annual nine-pack of “best-of”, “just-missed” and in-depth analysis articles to conclude this series.

As has been the process in recent years, the final ranking representing the site is actually a melding of multiple lists. Our 2016 voters are site publisher and editor Brian Walton, Springfield reporter Derek Shore and you, the readers.

Since mid-September, the members of our free message board community have been conducting voting for their own Cardinals prospect list. This detailed annual ranking involves considerable debate and discussion. The fan voting process has been imitated but never duplicated, as our readers continue to be the some of the most knowledgeable folks around when it comes to the players in the Cardinals minor league system.

The Cardinal Nation community ranking is given its customary one-third weighting to yield the countdown order unveiled here. The community leader who led the voting process, “PadsFS,” aka Jeremy Byrd, will also speak for the group in the individual player capsules posted daily. Shore will provide his scouting-oriented commentary on each member of the new top 40 as well as those who just missed out.

To follow the countdown, once again entirely free for 2016, you can either read each new story when posted on our home page every morning or click on the individual players’ names which will be listed below as they are unveiled. You can also return to this page daily to check the current status of our Top 40 countdown.

As always, readers can join in the debate at our free message board, where there will be a new discussion thread devoted to that day’s entry onto the top prospect list.

To check out the corresponding rankings from each of the past 10 winters, either click on the highlighted years here: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, or you can always use the permanent links located underneath the site logo under PROSPECTS > TCN RANKINGS.

The Cardinal Nation/Scout.com Top 40 Prospects – 2016

40. David Oca
39. Matt Pearce
38. Alvaro Seijas
37. Andrew Morales
36. Eliezer Alvarez
35. Ian Oxnevad
34. Corey Littrell
33. Arturo Reyes
32. Oscar Mercado
31. Ronnie Williams
30. Michael Ohlman
29. Luis Perdomo
28. Trey Nielsen
27. Ian McKinney
26. Darren Seferina
25. Anthony Garcia
24. Patrick Wisdom
23. Allen Cordoba
22. Daniel Poncedeleon
21. Bryce Denton
20. Jacob Wilson
19. Greg Garcia
18. Junior Fernandez
17. Sandy Alcantara
16. Paul DeJong
15. Jake Woodford
14. Austin Gomber
13. Harrison Bader
12. Carson Kelly
11. Sam Tuivailala
10. Magneuris Sierra
9. Edmundo Sosa
8. Nick Plummer
7. Aledmys Diaz
6. Charlie Tilson
5. Tim Cooney
4. Luke Weaver
3. Marco Gonzales
2. Jack Flaherty
1. Alex Reyes

There’s more!

At the conclusion of the countdown, we will follow with a nine-part series which drills down into the details behind the top 40. Most of these articles will be exclusively for TCN members.

We will analyze each voter’s individual top 40 lists, year-to-year changes and the top additions. The voters highlight their ranked players that did not make the combined top 40 and we unveil our All-Prospect Team - the highest-ranked players at each position. We will take a view behind the numbers, a look back at our best and worst picks from the previous year, the top prospect list cut by level of play and wrap it up with those on the 2015 list who dropped off for 2016.

2016 Top Cardinals Prospects – The Final Tally
2016 Top Cardinals Prospects – The Newbies
2016 Cards Prospects: Best of the Rest – Derek Shore
2016 Cards Prospects: Best of the Rest – Brian Walton
2016 TCN/Scout.com All-Cardinals Prospect Team (free!)
2016 Top Cardinals Prospects – Behind the Numbers
2016 Top Cardinals Prospects – Picks and Pans
2016 Top Cardinals Prospects by Level
2016 Top Cardinals Prospects – The Graduates

Extra article: Cardinals Top Draft Pick in TCN’s Top 40: 2007-16

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The voting process
Here is a bit of insight into the process. During November, Brian Walton and Derek Shore independently documented their top prospects in the Cardinals minor league system. The Community vote was then folded in.

A weighted score was tabulated, which drove the ranking you will see here. The individual scores will also be shown on the player pages as they are unveiled each day, along with a wealth of additional information on each of the 40 prospects.

To come up with the 40 names, each of us submitted lists of 46 players. This year, 51 prospects were identified on at least one list, meaning some good players just missed the cut. Ties were broken by the best single voter score.

In terms of qualification, all players in the Cardinals minor league system are eligible, including those on the 40-man roster, as long as they have not exhausted their MLB rookie designation.

The unparalled depth of coverage of the Cardinals system all year round by The Cardinal Nation means there is much more behind these rankings than just a list of names.

Brian and Derek ranked based on personal observation as much as possible, and with local reporters in every affiliate city, TCN knows these players well. Brian was out to see the affiliates in person this spring, summer and fall, and in many cases, multiple times. That included covering spring training, extended spring training, instructional league and the Arizona Fall League first-hand. We also received valuable input from coaches, scouts and others in and out of the organization.

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