Jason Scott's Cardinals Prospect Report

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

Last week I took a look at the top five prospects the Cardinals have lost over the past year, either through trades or the Rule-5 Draft. This week I will look at the top 5 prospects the Cardinals have acquired over the past year via the Rule-5 Draft, trades, or free agency.

1. Aaron Herr – The son of former Cardinal second baseman Tommy Herr, Aaron has hit .286/.318/.509 with 20 home runs and 66 RBIs in 92 games with Springfield since signing with the Cardinals on April 27. He went to spring training with the Seattle Mariners after they selected him from the Atlanta Braves in the Triple-A portion of the Rule-5 Draft in December, but he asked for and received his release after they told him he was going to start the season in Double-A.

The 24-year-old second baseman was originally selected by the Braves in the supplemental first round of the 2000 draft.

2. John Rodriguez – I would probably have Rodriguez at No. 1, but because he is 27, it is hard to classify him as a prospect.

The 27-year-old outfielder hit .342/.419/.808 with 17 homers and 47 RBIs in only 34 games for Triple-A Memphis after being acquired from the Cleveland Indians organization as the PTBNL in the Javier Cardona trade. He is batting .305 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 82 at-bats since making his major league debut on July 18 for St. Louis.

3. Kevin Ool – Acquired in the Mike Myers trade during spring training, Ool has advanced two levels this season from low Class A Quad Cities to Double-A Springfield.

The 24-year-old reliever leads the organization with 11 wins. He has struggled since being promoted to Springfield on July 24, but had a 1.88 ERA in 42 appearances between Quad Cities and Palm Beach.

4. Carlos De La Cruz – The other player acquired in the Mike Myers deal, De La Cruz is batting .291/.345/.388 in 28 games for short-season Class A New Jersey.

The 21-year-old outfielder was originally signed by Boston in 2001 out of the Dominican Republic.

5. Jose Garcia – The only remaining 2004 Rule-5 draftee that remains in the Cardinals organization (Matt DeMarco and Justin Knoff were released), Garcia is 6-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 113-1/3 innings pitched for high Class A Palm Beach, striking out 104 and walking 32.

The 24-year-old righthander came over from the Yankees' organization.

News and Notes
• The Cardinals claimed lefthander Chris Narveson off waivers from the Boston Red Sox and assigned him to Triple-A Memphis on Monday.

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 August 4 to make room on their 40-man roster for first baseman Roberto Petagine.

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.

A second round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2000, Narveson went 5-10 with a 4.16 ERA, striking out 121 and walking 51 in 127-2/3 innings for Double-A Tennessee last season before being traded to the Rockies on August 11. Colorado sent him to Double-A Tulsa, where he made four starts, going 0-3 with a 3.15 ERA.

Narveson was rated as the Cardinals' No. 3 prospect prior to last season by Baseball America. He underwent Tommy John surgery prior to the 2002 season.

• Keep an eye on Kevin Estrada. Listed as an infielder on the Springfield Cardinals roster, the 24-year-old switch-hitter has played mostly outfield lately. He is batting .444 with an OBP of .512 in 36 at-bats this month, raising his overall average 22 points (.273-.295)

Estrada was a 42nd round draft pick by the Cardinals in 2002.

• Righthander Stuart Pomeranz pitched his best game since being promoted to Double-A Springfield on May 23. He allowed only one run on eight hits in 7-2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking none.

Pomeranz, 20, improved to 3-5 with a 6.22 ERA in 72-1/3 innings since being promoted from high Class A Palm Beach.

• The Cardinals promoted first round draft pick Tyler Greene two levels on Friday, from short-season Class A New Jersey to high Class A Palm Beach.

Greene, who turns 23 next Wednesday, batted .261/.352/.370 in 35 games for New Jersey.

• The Cardinals placed lefthander Eric Haberer on the disabled list for high Class A Palm Beach with a hip injury on Friday. It has bothered him for a while, but it caused him to leave his last start, on August 10, after only 2-2/3 innings.

Haberer, 22, is 8-4 with a 3.19 ERA in 14 starts since being promoted from low Class A Quad Cities on May 27.

• A National League scout recently shared his thoughts on righthander Mark McCormick with Baseball America.

"He's going to pitch in the major leagues; his arm strength and the late life on his fastball will dictate that," the scout said. "He showed no feel for a changeup, though, and he got on the side of his curveball a lot. To me, you can take the radar gun and stick it, because if you don't know how to pitch, it doesn't mean anything. If he doesn't improve his changeup or breaking ball, he'll have to be a reliever.

"But you can see why they took him in the first round, with that fastball."

Since being promoted to Quad Cities on July 19, McCormick has a 3.04 ERA in five starts, but he has walked 18 while striking out 24 in 23-2/3 innings.

• The Cardinals promoted second round pick Nick Webber to low Class A Quad Cities on Thursday.

The 21-year-old righthander went 5-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 10 games and 9 starts for the New Jersey Cardinals. He was scheduled to make his Quad Cities debut on Friday night.

You can contact Jason at jasonscott@thecardinalnation.com

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