Where Will TCN Top 40 Cards Prospects Report?

Our top 40 St. Louis Cardinals prospects for 2016 designated by which spring camp to which they are invited.

Now that the St. Louis Cardinals have disclosed their initial spring training camp plans for Non-roster invitees to Major League camp and STEP Camp invitees (early minor league camp)…

… it is a good time to review how the members of The Cardinal Nation top prospect list for 2016 have fared in terms of their camp assignments.

Here are the top 40 raw counts by camp/type. The total populations in each camp include all invitees, top 40 and non-top 40 prospect players alike. At the right are the comparable numbers from one year ago.

  2016       2015  
Spring distribution Top 40 Camp total Top 40 %   Top 40 Top 40 %
MLB camp - 40-man 8 39 20.5%   8 20.5%
Non-roster invitees 8 23 34.8%   7 38.9%
STEP camp 14 26 53.8%   13 56.5%
Regular minors camp 10 TBA     12 9.1%
Total 40       40  

As you can see, eight members of the top 40 are among the 39 players already on the 40-man roster, same as last year and down from 10 in 2014. Another eight top prospects are among the 23 non-roster invitees to big league camp, up one from 2015. In fact, the top prospects are just over one-third of the NRI population for the second straight year after being over half in 2014.


Not surprisingly, the STEP Camp, or early minor league camp, continues to have the highest concentration of top prospects with 14 of the 26 camp invitees, roughly comparable to last spring. Top-two prospects Alex Reyes and Jack Flaherty are back in STEP Camp for a second year – in fact, it is the third year for the suspended Reyes.

At the lower end of the spectrum, nine members of the 2016 top 40 have regular minor league camp as their initial destination, but none in the top 20. (Also listed here is the Rule 5 selected player, pitcher Luis Perdomo.) That is down from last year as a number of longer-shot, younger players are in this group.

The next view shows the top 40 by camp assignment and position with ranking for each player.

Top 40     Top 40     Top 40     Top 40  
40man (8/39) Rk   NRIs (8/23) Rk   STEP (14/26) Rk   Minors (10/TBA) Rk
Pitchers (3)     Pitchers (5)     Pitchers (6)     Pitchers (7+1)  
Cooney 5   Gomber 14   Alcantara 17   McKinney 27
Gonzales 3   Littrell 34   Fernandez 18   Perdomo (R5) 29
Tuivailala 11   Nielsen 28   Flaherty 2   Williams 31
      Poncedeleon 22   Alex Reyes 1   Oxnevad 35
      Weaver 4   Arturo Reyes 33   Morales 37
            Woodford 15   Seijas 38
                  Pearce 39
                  Oca 40
Catchers (1) Rk   Catchers (1) Rk   Catchers (0) Rk   Catchers (0) Rk
Ohlman 30   Kelly 12            
Infielders (2) Rk   Infielders (2) Rk   Infielders (5) Rk   Infielders (2) Rk
Diaz 7   Wilson 20   Alvarez 36   Denton 21
G Garcia 19   Wisdom 24   De Jong 16   Cordoba 23
            Mercado 32      
            Seferina 26      
            Sosa 9      
Outfielders (2) Rk   Outfielders (0) Rk   Outfielders (3) Rk   Outfielders (0) Rk
A Garcia 25         Bader 13      
Tilson 6         Plummer 8      
            Sierra 10      

Look at the balance between pitching and position players – eight prospects each – in big-league camp.


On the pitching side, only returnees Marco Gonzales, Sam Tuivailala and Tim Cooney have a reasonable shot to see time with St. Louis this season. After that, there is a considerable dropoff.

The pitching STEP Campers remain about constant from year to year, with the promise represented by Reyes and Flaherty not ready for St. Louis. During the upcoming season, also keep an eye on hard-throwing youngsters Junior Fernandez and Sandy Alcantara.

The vast majority of the seven top 40 pitchers in regular camp, six of them specifically, have never pitched above Class-A ball. The one who has, Andrew Morales, struggled last season and was not invited back to STEP Camp. In other words, there are a lot of undeveloped arms among this group.

Last year, top 40 outfielders and infielders were at eight and 11, respectively, across the four camps. For 2016, the infielders stayed constant while the top 40 outfielders dropped by three. The list of catchers dropped from three to two, an indication that most all of the hopes to replace Yadier Molina one day rest on the shoulders of Carson Kelly.

Finally, here is the entire 2016 top 40 in rank order with spring camp assignments. From this view, it is clear that just five of the top 10-ranked prospects will be in Major League camp this spring. The STEP Camp group is especially talented – 10 of the top 18 - a good indicator for the future.

TCN 2016   MLB camp MLB camp Minors Minors 
Top 40 rk 40-man (8) NRI (8) STEP (14) Regular (9+1)
1     Alex Reyes  
2     Jack Flaherty  
3 Marco Gonzales      
4   Luke Weaver    
5 Tim Cooney      
6 Charlie Tilson      
7 Aldemys Diaz      
8     Nick Plummer  
9     Edmundo Sosa  
10     Magneuris Sierra  
11 Sam Tuivailala      
12   Carson Kelly    
13     Harrison Bader  
14   Austin Gomber    
15     Jake Woodford  
16     Paul DeJong  
17     Sandy Alcantara  
18     Junior Fernandez  
19 Greg Garcia      
20   Jacob Wilson    
21       Bryce Denton
22   Daniel Poncedeleon    
23       Allen Cordoba
24   Patrick Wisdom    
25 Anthony Garcia      
26     Darren Seferina  
27       Ian McKinney
28   Trey Nielsen    
29       Luis Perdomo (R5)
30 Michael Ohlman      
31       Ronnie Williams
32     Oscar Mercado  
33     Arturo Reyes  
34   Corey Littrell    
35       Ian Oxnevad
36     Eliezer Alvarez  
37       Andrew Morales
38       Alvaro Seijas
39       Matt Pearce
40       David Oca

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

© 2016 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories