2006 Ranking: NR
School: Quincy University
Cardinal: Contract purchased from the River City Rascals of the Frontier
League on June 15, 2001. 2006 G W-L IP H BB K ERA WHIP
Jason Scott (3): What a great story. Some might question why I ranked Kinney so high, but is really quite simple. He might not be one of the most talented players on the list, but he has already proven himself on the biggest stage possible and it's looking like he will be a big part of the Cardinals bullpen in 2007. As I said in the table of contents story for this feature, my list is ranked by who I believe will make the greatest contribution to the major league club, whether it be a 27-year-old in Triple-A or a 17-year-old in rookie ball. Kinney already has made a huge contribution, but I do expect more from him in the future as well. And with a low-90s fastball and one of the best breaking balls in the organization, he certainly has the stuff to do it.
Leonda Markee (17): Since I root for the underdogs, Independent-League-signee Josh Kinney is one of my absolute favorites. Therefore, I am delighted to be able to rank him in our Top 40. Kinney had a simply spectacular 2006 season pitching out of the Triple-A Memphis bullpen. He struck out over a batter an inning while maintaining a 1.06 WHIP and a .186 Batting Average Against. He spent July in St. Louis with the big club and did not impress. Apparently he was saving his impressive stuff for the post-season where he was unscored upon. While that level of excellence is not going to continue, Kinney stands a good chance to stick with the Cardinals in 2007. He has prior successful closing experience in the minors and can come into a situation and strike the batter out.
Ray Mileur (30): I probably owe Kinney an apology for ranking him as low as I did this year.
I'm guilty of what I find myself complaining about a lot, and that is when a player plays better than expected, but is often ignored because he wasn't a top draft pick or signed for a big bonus.
I found myself at times in the clubhouse late in the season when Kinney would walk by, thinking, oh yeah Josh Kinney is here.
After compiling a 3.24 ERA in 25 innings for the Cardinals, Kinney was included in the playoff roster, and pitched in the NLDS, the NLCS, and the World Series. He pitched very well in Games 2 and 4, pitching a total of one inning and didn't give up a run.
He'll be back in St. Louis in '07 as a member of the bullpen. The Cardinals are probably going to raid the bullpen to find two starters, and if that happens, Kinney's role will expand and there is some talk that he could potentially be a good setup man.
Good Luck Josh. I'm glad to see you're still around and I should have ranked you higher.
Brian Walton (10): Thanks to the 2006 season, the world has now seen Kinney's stuff. First the fans in Memphis saw it, then he was selected for the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game and finally fans and opponents across the National League met Kinney as he was immediately promoted. The fact that he has already proven himself in the major leagues means a lot to me, since this is all about trying to determine success in the bigs.Kinney is also a prime exhibit as to why these rankings are far from an exact science. Just 12 months ago, he did not receive a single vote to make this list. Now, I have him at #10 and I am not the most aggressive voter among the four of us.
I expect Kinney to have a solid 2007 in the Cardinals' pen. After all, late in 2006, he had proven to be more dependable than veteran and $13.5 million man Braden Looper, who is now being considered for the starting rotation!
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not Rated
To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.
© 2006 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.