2006 Ranking: 5
School: Chaminade College Prep (West Hills, CA)
Cardinal: Selected in the sixth round of the June, 2002 First-Year Player
Draft. Signed to a 2003 contract on July 31, 2002. Received a $250,000 signing
bonus. 2006 AVG. AB H HR RBI R SB BB K OBP. SLG OPS
Jason Scott (14): Haerther dropped nine sports in my personal rankings this year. Sent back to Springfield in 2006, Haerther hit just .222 with a .279 OBP prior to the All-Star break. However, a very good second half, in which he hit .322/.382/.480, made his overall numbers not look so bad. His .773 OPS still wasn't good though. Added to the 40-man roster following the season, 2007 will be a huge year for Haerther. He should be sent to Memphis to start the season and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in St. Louis at some during the year.
Leonda Markee (10): Haerther dropped from a fifth ranking in the 2005 Top 40 to 12th this year. Personally, I dropped him from fifth last year to 10th this year. He is currently my fourth best position prospect and that is an indictment on the position prospects side of the system. Although his season's numbers do not stand out, he had a very good second-half of the season. He went .323/.392/.485/.877 in 198 at bats from July 1st onwards. That performance, and lack of much serious offensive competition, kept him from dropping further in my rankings. Right now Haerther's best projection is as a fourth or fifth outfielder in a Major League squad. Look for Haerther to start 2007 in Memphis.
Ray Mileur (7): One of my favorite players in the organization, Haerther will give you everything he's got every time he takes the field.
He's a lefthanded hitter with a smooth, short stroke and makes good contact. He hit .316 over his first three professional seasons (261 games), before starting off slow last season, finishing hitting just .277 in 120 games for Double-A Springfield.
In a recent exclusive interview with our own Brian Walton, Cody indicated that he was putting too much pressure on himself in the first half of the 2006 season hoping to make the Cardinals 40 man roster. He didn't start playing at the level that I think he is capable of playing until July. As Kevin Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus pointed out, Haerther did hit .339 with 14 doubles and six home runs in his last 50 games last year.
After a strong second half last season, Cody will likely start this year at Triple-A Memphis, with the potential of a call up to St. Louis in September when the rosters expands. If everything falls into place and Cody stays healthy, he should be the Cardinals 4th or 5th outfielder and a quality bat off the bench in 2008. I hope so, because I think he can play an average at least, leftfield and be a dangerous lefthanded bat off the bench.
Brian Walton (20): Haerther came on strong in the second half of 2006 after a horrific start. Everyone wants to know if he make the big step to Triple-A successfully in 2007. Longer-term, despite being a good gap hitter, I wonder if the left-handed hitter will discover enough power to make it as a major league corner outfielder.
The outfielder needs to show defensive improvement and continues to work on that aspect of his game. I didn't move him down to #20 as much as the fact that I placed a number of the newer draftees ahead of him. That includes Jon Jay and Jon Edwards while Nick Stavinoha slipped ahead with a more consistent 2006, too.
STAFF COMMENTS KEY: Staff Member (Individual Ranking), NR = Not RatedTo see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here.
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