Jason Scott's Cardinals Prospect Report

A look at the top five players lost via trades or Rule 5 plus news and notes from around the system.

Following is an update on the top five prospects that the Cardinals have lost over the past year, either through trades or the Rule 5 Draft.

1. Daric Barton Sent to Oakland as part of the Mark Mulder deal, Barton was bothered by a sore elbow and underwent an emergency appendectomy early on in spring training, but that has not slowed him down this season. He got off to somewhat of a slow start, but hit .318/.438/.469 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs in 292 at-bats, drawing 62 walks and striking out 49 times for high Class A Stockton before being promoted to Double-A Midland in early July. Since the promotion, he is batting .292/.387/.472 with two homers and 16 RBIs while still drawing more walks (15) than strikeouts (14) in 89 at-bats.

Barton, 20, was the Cardinals' first round draft pick in the 2003. He was drafted as a catcher, but the A's have converted him to a first baseman. He was also selected to this year's All-Star Futures Game in Detriot.

2. Chris Narveson Narveson was the centerpiece of the deal that brought Larry Walker to St. Louis last season, but the Rockies sent the 23-year-old lefthander to Boston in a deal for Byung-Hyun Kim during spring training this year. The Red Sox designated him for assignment on Thursday to make room on their 40-man roster for first baseman Roberto Petagine. They will have 10 days to trade, release or assign him to the minor leagues with his consent.

Narveson was 4-5 with a 4.77 ERA, allowing 109 hits, striking out 66 and walking 46 in 111-1/3 innings pitched for Triple-A Pawtucket. He was the Cardinals' second round pick in the 2000 draft. He has apparently never fully recovered from the Tommy John surgery that he underwent in 2002.

3. Tony Granadillo Selected by Boston in the first round of the Triple-A portion of the 2004 Rule-5 Draft, Granadillo is currently rehabbing a broken wrist at the Red Sox' spring training complex in Fort Myers, Florida. He was batting .286/.379/.398 with three home runs and 25 RBIs in 196 at-bats for low Class A Greenville before suffering the injury.

Granadillo, 20, was signed by the Cardinals out of Venezuela in 2001. He played his first three seasons in the Dominican and Venezuelan Summer Leagues. In 2004, his first professional season, he hit .315/.413/.565 with ten home runs on 30 RBIs in 168 at-bats for short-season Class A New Jersey.

4. Jason Burch Burch was the only player named at first in the Larry Walker trade. The 22-year-old reliever is 7-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 41 appearances, striking out 64 and walking 23 in 53 innings for high Class A Modesto.

Burch was the Cardinals' 21st round selection in the 2003 draft.

5. Luis Martinez Martinez was the other player dealt to Colorado in the Larry Walker trade. After compiling a 6.83 ERA in 27-2/3 innings for Triple-A Colorado Springs last season, the Rockies let him go after the season and he signed a $300,000 deal to play with the Chunichi Dragons of the Japanese Central League.

The Cardinals claimed the 24-year-old Martinez on waivers from the Brewers last season during spring training after he was cleared in a shooting in the Dominican Republic. He was arrested for the shooting earlier that month, but authorities in Santo Domingo determined he had acted in self-defense during what began as a traffic dispute.

News and Notes
Tyler Johnson was named the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old lefthander was 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA in 12 games out of the bullpen for Memphis, allowing three runs on seven hits in 15-1/3 innings pitched with opponents batting just .130 off him.

• According to Cody Haerther in his weekly Q&A column with Mike Hobson, Gabe Johnson will be playing in the Arizona Fall League.

Johnson, 25, is batting .361 (13-36) with 10 RBI in 11 games since coming off the disabled list. He broke his left knee cap in Wichita back on April 17 and had been on the disabled list since then. Overall, he is batting .358/.449/.522 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in 67 at-bats.

Joining him in Arizona will be Cory Doyne, Travis Hanson, Cody Haerther and Chris Lambert. The Cardinals are required to send at least one more player. Johnson is the only one invited so far that has played in the AFL before (04).

Stuart Pomeranz will be activated from the disabled list in time to make the start for the Springfield Cardinals on Friday night. He was placed on the disabled list on Sunday, retroactive to July 26, with soreness in his shoulder.

The 20-year-old righthander has struggled since joining Springfield on May 23, going 2-4 with a 6.79 ERA in 12 starts, striking out 41 and walking 28 in 59-2/3 innings. He was promoted after posting a 3.35 ERA in eight starts for high Class A Palm Beach.

Josh Kinney went on 7-day disabled list for the Springfield Cardinals on Sunday with soreness in his elbow.

Kinney, 26, opened the season as the closer for Springfield, but was promoted to Memphis on May 23 and spent about two months there before being sent back down on July 24. He was 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA in 26 games for Memphis. In 31-2/3 innings for Springfield, Kinney has a 1.71 ERA, striking out 31 and walking 10.

• Righthander Donnie Smith, who has been on the disabled list since July 3 with an undetermined right shoulder injury, has resumed light throwing.

Smith, the Cardinals' 4th round pick in 2004, was 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in five starts for Quad Cities since being activated from extended spring training on May 29.

• Second baseman Calvin Hayes has temporarily left the Swing of Quad Cities for personal reasons. He was placed on the Temporary Inactive List on Tuesday.

The 21-year-old started the year at high Class A Palm Beach and hit .281 in 181 at bats, but was sent down to extended spring training on June 14. He joined the Swing of Quad Cities on June 19, and hit .242 in 95 at-bats.

Hayes was the Cardinals' first pick (3rd round) in the 2002 draft.

• First baseman A.J. Van Slyke has a torn rotator cuff and is scheduled to undergo surgery, performed by Dr. George Paletta, in St. Louis within the next week. He will miss the remainder of the season.

Van Slyke, 21, was injured in a brawl with the Vermont Expos on July 24. After homering in the first inning, Van Slyke was almost hit by the first two pitches of his next at-bat and the third one hit him on the elbow. That caused A.J. to charge the mound and tackle Expos pitcher Carlos Martinez, inciting a bench-clearing brawl.

The son of former major league All-Star Andy Van Slyke, A.J. was hitting .343/.410/.571 with two home runs and five RBIs in 35 at-bats for the New Jersey Cardinals of the New York-Penn League. In 50 at-bats for the Johnson City Cardinals before being promoted on July 12, Van Slyke hit .380/.389/.640 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. He was selected by the Cardinals in the 23rd round of this year's draft.

• Third baseman Randy Roth was promoted to short-season Class A New Jersey on Monday.

Roth, who was selected in the 10th round of the draft this year, hit .328/.368/.630 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs in 119 at-bats for Rookie-level Johnson City.

• The Cardinals signed 42nd round draft pick Michael Meagher and assigned him to New Jersey on Wednesday.

The lefthander made 15 appearances out of the bullpen in his only season at the University of Maryland and had a team-best 1.53 earned run average. He saved five games and allowed opponents to hit just .197 off him. Meagher has a closer's mentality and features a fastball that can touch 90 miles per hour and a plus-slider that he can throw for a strike at any time.

Contact: Jason Scott


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