The Sunday Night Hot Stove League Report

When Spring Training starts, St. Louis Cardinals' Top Prospect, Anthony Reyes, will be trying to beat out major league veteran, starting pitcher, Sidney Ponson, for a job as the Cardinals #5 starter. Here is a look back at our recent premium content coverage of the future star.


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Anthony Reyes

Position: RHP

DOB: 10/16/1981

Height: 6-2

Weight: 215

Bats: R

Throws: R

School: University of Southern California

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the 15th round of the June, 2003 First-Year Player Draft. Signed to a 2004 contract on August 29, 2003.

2005 G W-L IP Hits BB K ERA
Memphis (AAA) 23 7-6 128.2 105 34 136 3.64
St. Louis (MLB) 4 1-1 13.1 6 4 12 2.70


Baseball America Ranks Reyes at #11 in PCL

St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Anthony Reyes was named as the No. 11 overall prospect in the Pacific Coast League by Baseball America.

Reyes is the lone Redbird to make Baseball America magazine's Top 20 and the fourth rated pitcher on the list. In only his second season of professional baseball the former USC Trojan fanned 136 in 128.2 innings on his way to a 7-6 record with a 3.64 ERA. A complete game one-hit shutout on May 19 at Portland and a 15 strikeout performance to set the all-time Redbirds mark on August 14 against Nashville highlighted the right-hander's first season in Triple-A. He made his Major League debut at Milwaukee on August 9 with 6.1 innings and a win over the Brewers.

After the season, Reyes was recalled by the Cardinals as part of the six September call-ups from Memphis. After rejoining the Cards he appeared in relief three times going 0-1 in seven innings, but he did not make the post season roster.


Birdhouse Minor League Pitcher of the Year

Recognizing the best overall season by a pitcher in the entire St. Louis Cardinals minor league system in 2005, the Birdhouse recently named Anthony Reyes as the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the year.

Reyes compiled a 7-6 record in twenty-three starts as a member of the Memphis rotation. In only his second professional season, and pitching at the highest level in minor league baseball, Reyes held opposing batters to a .222 average which was good for third place in the Cardinals' system overall and the best of any starter over class A ball (also known as low-A).

His 1.08 WHIP landed him in second place in the system and was again tops for any starter pitching over the class A level. Reyes was also second among starters with his K/BB ratio of 4:1 and led all starters with a strikeout ratio of 9.5 for every nine innings pitched. His 2.38 BB/9 IP was .02 from finishing in the top five among starters in the system. He was seventh among starters with a 3.64 earned run average but this category was weighted the least as it is the most teammate-dependent of the six categories utilized.

After finishing his first season of professional ball at the Double-A level, Reyes was assigned to Triple-A Memphis to begin 2005. He was the second youngest pitcher on the roster, first behind Brad Thompson and later Chris Narveson.  Reyes spent twenty days, from June 14th to July 4th, on the disabled list with a sore shoulder.

He made his major league debut on August 9th when he faced the Milwaukee Brewers. Reyes won that game as he limited the Brew Crew to two earned runs on two hits, one home run, and one walk in six and one-third innings. He struck out five.


40 days, 40 Nights, 40 Prospects 

For 40 day and 40 nights, starting early in December of 2005, the Birdhouse Staff counted down the Cardinals Top 40 Prospects and when the votes were tallied, it was Anthony Reyes holding on to the #1 ranking.  Here is a look at the staff's comments.

Birdhouse Staff Comments On The Top Prospect

Jason Scott (1): "I don't think there was any doubt about Reyes No. 1 ranking. Reyes has the stuff to be a top of the rotation starter in the major leagues. The biggest question though, is if he can stay healthy. I am still hoping that Reyes will win the fifth spot in the rotation in spring training."

Leonda Markee (1): "All the ranking services agree on this slot, Anthony Reyes is the Cardinals' best prospect. 2005 was just his second professional season and he spent it mainly in Triple-A Memphis and also made his Major League debut against the Milwaukee Brewers. He held opposing batters to a .222 average while striking out an average of 9.5 batters every nine innings. Reyes allowed less than one home run every nine innings and compiled a 1.08 WHIP. He has little left to prove except that he can stay healthy. The one hundred forty-two innings (combined) he pitched in 2005 was a career high due to injuries. But there is little doubt that he is the best the Cardinals have in their system."

Ray Mileur (1): "Reyes is the man. He should start the season as the Cardinals #5 starter, at least that is my opinion. The Cardinals recently signed former Baltimore pitcher, Sidney Ponson off the scrap heap, to a guaranteed deal and he'll likely prevent Reyes from starting the season in the Cardinals rotation.

Anthony is the real deal with a fastball that tops out at 96 MPH and he throws a breaking ball, slider and change up. He has good command of the strike zone with the ability to work hitters effectively in all four quadrants and attacks their weaknesses. Starting another season at AAA won't hurt him, his secondary pitches still need some work, but I would be surprised to see him stay in Memphis for the entire season. He's healthy now after a series of arm injuries have held up his progress to the majors, you can expect him to be dominate enough at Memphis to warrant a call up to the majors before this season is over."

Brian Walton (1): "What more can be said about Reyes at this point? Can he handle the pressure of being a major league starter? Can his arm withstand the rigors of pitching in the major leagues? Will Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan balance his workload and provide the right environment so he can excel? I sure hope the answer to every one of those questions is "yes". If so, Reyes' minor league career is over and the Cardinals will have a future pitching star on their hands, their biggest since Rick Ankiel made his full-time debut in 2000."

STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking)


Anthony Reyes Scouting Report

The Cardinals Top Prospect, Anthony Reyes, throws a fastball that tops out around 96 miles per hour.  The Cardinals spent the winter looking for a power pitcher, when they have one under their nose.

He also has a curveball, slider and changeup.  He is basically a fastball - curveball pitcher who likes to work the high and low parts of the strike zone and is very effective at changing speeds on his fastball.

His slider is about 10 mph slower than his fastball, however it has a tight spin on it and it breaks late, making it almost impossible for hitters to lay off of.  His changup breaks down and out of the zone as it approaches the plate and it is hard for batters to get good wood on the ball.

Although a series of injuries have slowed Reyes' progress through the system, he's healthy now and he should be a dominate force to deal with this season, that is, if he out duels Sidney Ponson, to get the job as the Cardinals #5 starter. 



Two St. Louis Cardinals relievers coming off surgery are expected to be ready at the start of spring training, with no restrictions.

RHP Braden Looper, signed as a free agent from the New York Mets, had shoulder surgery, and LHP Randy Flores had spurs removed from his left elbow.

The Cardinals probably will carry seven relievers, and Jeff Nelson, a non-roster right-hander signed as a free agent from Seattle, is a good possibility to snare one of the open berths.

Nelson and Looper both have been much more effective against right-handed batters than left-handers, so LHP Ricardo Rincon, better against left-handers, figures to see a lot of important seventh- and eighth-inning time. Rincon probably will be the No. 1 left-hander out of the bullpen, followed by Flores.

LHP Carmen Cali, who struggled in a previous trial, had a good winter league season and might be a candidate for a bullpen job if the Cardinals carry three left-handers.

The Cardinals announced that all 162 of their games will be televised, plus six exhibition games. Their spring schedule is player friendly. They will play 18 of their 30 games at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.

Third base coach Jose Oquendo will manage the Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic, and first base coach Dave McKay will be a coach on the Canadian team. Oquendo is Puerto Rican and McKay is Canadian.

RHP Jason Marquis' new contract, priced at $5.15 million, also features a $50,000 bonus if he repeats the Silver Slugger award he won for his offensive prowess last season. 


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