Jason Scott's Cardinals Prospect Report

News and notes from around the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system.

The Cardinals' past two first round draft picks prior to 2005, Daric Barton and Chris Lambert, were both named to the 2005 XM Satellite Radio All-Star Futures Game last Wednesday.

Barton, 19, was part of the deal that brought Mark Mulder to St. Louis in December, and has since been moved from catcher to first base. He got off to a slow start this season, but he currently has one of the hottest bats in the minor leagues. He has 14 hits and seven walks in his last 27 plate appearances, which is good for a .778 OBP. For the season, Barton is hitting .319/.439/.467 and with eight home runs and 51 RBI in 267 at bats. He has walked 59 times compared to only 46 strikeouts.

Lambert, 22, started the season at High-A Palm Beach and dominated, going 7-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 10 starts. In 54-2/3 innings he struck out 46 and walked 15. He got off to a slow start after being promoted to Double-A Springfield on June 1, but he did pretty good in his last start, pitching six shutout innings while allowing only three hits, walking two and striking out eight.

Major League Baseball Operations and the Major League Scouting Bureau, in conjunction with the 30 Major League clubs and Baseball America, selected the twenty-five-man rosters for both the U.S. and World teams.

The All Star Futures Game will take place at Comerica Park in Detroit on Sunday, July 10, two days prior to the 76th All-Star Game, which will also be played there. The game can be watched on ESPN2 or listened to on MLB Radio at 3 p.m. CT.

Another nationally televised event that will feature a few Cardinal minor leaguers is the Triple-A All Star-game which will be held in Sacramento, California on July 13. The game will also be televised on ESPN2.

Representing the Redbirds will be starting pitchers Chris Gissell and Kevin Jarvis, and outfielder Raul Gonzalez.

News and Notes
• Hawksworth Update: Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com says that the Cardinals have told him that Blake Hawksworth has "thrown some side sessions and some live BP so he's making some progress -- but he's still a while away from being activated and there's nothing imminent in terms of pitching in an official game for one of the clubs."

Hawksworth, 22, was rated by Baseball America as the Cardinals' top prospect prior to last season, but dropped to No. 3 this season. He started only two games for Palm Beach last season before going on the disabled list. He eventually had surgery on July 3 to repair a partially torn labrum and remove loose cartilage in an operation performed by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles.

"Dr. Yocum asked me how I thought I did it," Hawksworth told Baseball America last season. "I think I might have done it on the bench press. There was cartilage loose in my shoulder—something that would have been caused by (lifting) a heavy load. He had never seen anything like that."

The cartilage eventually gathered in a mass in the back of his right shoulder.

"All through spring, I never had my velocity," he said. "I thought I just had a tired arm. But every time I threw, I felt a little pinch. All of a sudden, there was a lump on back of my shoulder about the size of a softball. I looked at my shoulder and said, 'That's not right.' "

• Brian Walton of The Birdhouse reports that 2004 22nd round pick Billy Becher has suffered a broken bone in his right hand after being hit by a pitch in extended spring training and may be out an extended period of time as a result.

Becher, who led the nation in home runs and RBIs in 2003 and ranked second in 2004 while playing for New Mexico State University, hit .286/.383/.536 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI for Johnson City last season.

Anthony Reyes threw a side session on Friday, and a Cardinals' official told MLB.com that Reyes is throwing without pain in his shoulder and it is simply a question of building up his strength and endurance to pitch once again.

Reyes, the Cardinals' top prospect, was placed on the Memphis disabled list on June 14 with a sprained right AC (acromioclavicular) joint in his right shoulder. In 12 starts for the Redbirds, covering 70-2/3 innings, the 23-year-old righthander has posted a 6-3 record and a 2.93 ERA. He has struck out 66 and walked 16.

• The Cardinals placed outfielder Reid Gorecki on the seven-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his left foot on Saturday.

It was originally believed to be an ankle injury but an MRI apparently revealed the stress fracture.

"He's going to be on (disabled list) for a while," Simon Williams, who was called up from Quad Cities to replace Gorecki, told the Portland Press Herald. "I've got a good opportunity here and I'm going to try to make the most of it."

Gorecki, rated as the Cardinals' No. 11 prospect by Baseball America, started the season as the starting center fielder for Springfield, but after hitting only .182 he was sent down to Palm Beach. He was hitting only .191 for Palm Beach since the demotion.

Juan Lucena went 1-for-4 with a first-inning single on Tuesday, and has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games. During the stretch, he has batted .434 (33-76) with 16 RBI. Lucena struck out three times in the Swing's first two games, and has struck out only four times on the season. He last struck out at Fort Wayne on June 3, a stretch of 87 plate appearances. Lucena permanently moved into the second spot in the lineup on June 5, and has started 20 straight games there.

• Draft Update: A story on the New Jersey Cardinals website (njcards.com) on Wednesday said that the Cardinals "have announced that they have come to terms with their second 1st round draft choice shortstop, Tyler Greene," but according to a report later in the day, that might not true. St. Louis officials told MLB.com that Greene has not yet signed a contract with the team. Multiple representatives of the club said that a deal is close, but general manager Walt Jocketty took issue with the New Jersey report, which also said that Greene would report to New Jersey on Friday.

Another of the Cardinals first round picks, Mark McCormick, told the Waco Tribune-Herald that he is undergoing contract negotiations and that he's getting closer to signing with the Cardinals.

Seventh round draft pick Nick Stavinoha, did sign a contract with the Cardinals this week and was sent directly to Low-A Quad Cities, where he had three hits in his first six at bats, including a home run.

Jason Scott can be reached via email at jasonscott@thecardinalnation.com.


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