Here is the first installment of a regular series this season that will monitor the progress or lack of progress made by the Cardinals Top 40 Prospects, as ranked by the staff at www.thestlcardinals.
This week we will focus on the prospects spring training performances and their first assignments this season.
40. Cory Meacham – Rauschenberger
Over the winter, Cory Meacham legally changed his last name to Rauschenberger, this spring he posted a 0-0 record with a 3.27 ERA. In four games he pitched a total of 11 innings, giving up nine hits, six runs (only four of them earned), walked two batters and struck out seven. While his stock as a prospect didn't rise, it didn't fall either. He's expected to start the 2007 season with Double-A Springfield club.
39. Thomas Pham
In 25 at-bats this spring Pham hit only .200, he has a good glove and a strong arm, but he'll need to hit more to move up in the organization and stay on our Top Prospect list. His stock as a prospect has dipped slightly. He'll likely start the season at Quad Cities.
38. Skip Schumaker
Skip made the most of his 2007 Spring Training opportunity. He'll be on the Cardinals opening day roster for the second consecutive season and will see playing time as a fourth or fifth outfielder until of Juan Encarnacion returns from the DL. He's worked out a lot on his hitting this past winter to get prepared for this season and it's paying off. He hit .396 with two home runs and six RBI and scored 11 runs this spring. His stock has certainly risen and it's possible he could stick with the club even when and if Encarnacion returns.
37. Isa Garcia
A prospect that I expected to make significant progress this season, hit only .237 in 15 games, much to my surprise, because I was expecting much better numbers. Garcia hit .339/.395/.510 with four home runs and 25 RBI in his pro-debut for Rookie-level Johnson City. He also walked more than he struck out (15/13). Garcia will likely start the season with the Swing of Quad Cities.
36. Donovan Solano
Ranked as the Cardinals #20 prospect by the staff of www.thestlcardinals.com in December of 2005, Solano dropped to #36 in the Top 40 countdown in December of 2006. This spring in 16 games and 44 at-bats, he hit .250 scoring only two runs. Once considered the second coming of Edgar Renteria, Solano's stock continues to fall until he can put together some better offensive numbers. He's still an intriguing prospect because he still not even 20 years old yet and he's a dependable shortstop. If he can improve his on-base percentage, his stock will take a turn upwards.
All stats are as of 03/28/07