2006 Ranking: NR
Cardinal: Selected from the Texas Rangers in the Triple-A phase of the Rule
5 draft on December 16, 2002. 2006 G W-L IP H BB K ERA WHIP
Jason Scott (12): I ranked Cavazos at No. 12 simply because I think he has a good chance to help the Major League club in 2007. I believe he could be the Josh Kinney of 2007. It is certainly much more realistic to think Cavazos could pitch out of the Cardinals bullpen this year than it would have been to say the same about Kinney a year ago.
Cavazos has never been ranked among the Cardinals top prospects, but the organization has obviously been very high on him. They selected him to play in the Arizona Fall League following both the 2004 and 2005 seasons, invited him to Major League camp in spring training prior to the 2006 season and just recently added him to the 40-man roster.
Leonda Markee (24): Like Mike Sillman, Cavazos makes the Top 40 for the first time. But opinion on him is split here at The Birdhouse. Jason and I ranked him while Ray and Brian did not. I ranked Cavazos were I did due, in part, to his potential for helping the Big Club in 2007. He struck out almost a batter an inning, 8.7, in Springfield and Memphis while giving up just two home runs in over seventy-six innings. In fact, Cavazos's K and walk rates improved after his promotion from Springfield to Memphis. He had the best DIPS numbers of the thirty-five pitchers that played in either AA or AAA this season. (The second name on that list is Josh Kinney.) Cavazos turns 26 in January so his time is now to contribute. His age and status as a reliever work against him being ranked higher. But Cavazos pitched well in the upper levels of the minor league and will likely be given heavy consideration if St. Louis needs a reliever in 2008.
Ray Mileur (NR): Andy will turn 26 before the season starts so he isn't considered a hot prospect, but he has pitched well enough for the Cardinals to add him to the 40 man roster in October to protect him from the Rule 5 draft.
Cavazos was dominant for Double-A Springfield earlier in the season, appearing in 16 games for Cardinals, posting a 0.45 ERA, allowing six hits, striking out 19 in 20 innings pitched.
Promoted to Memphis in May, Cavazos posted a 1-5 record, picking up four saves with a respectable 3.51 ERA in 44 games for a bad Memphis team.
Cavazos played the first half of winter ball for Algodoneros de Guasave this winter, appearing in 14 games in relief, posting a 2-0 record with three saves in just 15 innings pitched. I have a problem with pitchers on the 40 man roster pitching in winter ball, but the Cardinals are not concerned about him pitching in just half of the season.
Andy could possibly win a job in the Cardinals bullpen in ‘07 with a strong performance in Spring Training, but most likely, he'll pick up a cup of coffee in the majors at some point next season.
Brian Walton (NR): It is great this organizational favorite experienced success in 2006 between Springfield and Memphis and was named to the 40-man roster. His 55 strikeouts in 56-1/3 Triple-A innings last season were noteworthy, but, c'mon! The right-hander has been a professional since 1999 and didn't escape A-ball until midway through the 2005 season.Cavazos is going to be 26 years old by the time next season gets underway. It is very difficult for me to project him as an impact player in the major leagues, though he may get his first shot to prove me wrong before too long.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated
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