25. RHP Mike Parisi
Mike had problems early in spring training to the point that pitching coach Dave Duncan actually stopped batting practice to talk with him about his delivery. Whatever the coach and Mike talked about, it worked, because Mike was lights out this spring, after three games (stats until 03/28) he posted a record of 0-0 with a 0.75 ERA in three games.
Last season in 27 starts for Double-A Springfield, Parisi went 9-8 with a 4.60 ERA. In 150.2 innings, he allowed 168 hits, walked 63 and struck out 107. Opponents hit .281 against him. Following the season, Parisi was chosen by the Cardinals to participate in the Arizona Fall League. In nine games for the Peoria Saguaros, he posted a 7.88 ERA, allowing 18 hits, walking seven and striking out 14.
Coming into spring training there had to be some concern about Mike's performance on the field, but based on what I saw in Florida I think he has turned his game around from last season and his stock should be rising this year.
24. RHP Mark Worrell
As one might expect with somebody who's last name is Worrell, he can pitch and he's coming off a very strong spring training performance. A record of 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA,
Mark appeared in five games in relief, pitching a total of six innings, giving up only three hits and allowing just one earned run, but what was even more impressive was that he struck out seven batters while walking only one.
The closer for Double-A Springfield, Worrell posted 27 saves and a 4.52 ERA in 57 appearances last season. He allowed 52 hits, struck out 75 and walked 20 in 61.2 innings. His stock that was already high continues to rise at a steady rate.
23. OF Amaury Marti
Finally I got to see the Marti that everyone was talking about, after seeing him playing in a half of dozen games, I wasn't all that impressed with him, other than how well he looked in a baseball uniform.
This spring the 28/32-year-old put up a very nice .321/.345/.679 line to include five home runs. I'm not saying Marti is ready for the Major Leagues yet, but he certainly looked very impressive this spring.
As Brian Walton reported, Marti had been penciled into the mix at Springfield, but instead will start the 2007 season on loan to the new Minatitlán club of the Mexican League. He'll get more regular playing time in the Mexican League and it looks like he may start living up to all the hype very soon. Stock that was already high is holding.
22. RHP Blake King
The great nephew of the late great Mickey Mantle was striking out batters this spring at an amazing rate, 14 in just nine innings and just gave up one earn run in nine innings.
In his first season of professional ball, King made 13 starts for Rookie-level Johnson City, going 4-3 with a 3.02 ERA. He allowed 37 hits, struck out 74 and walked 29 in 62.2 innings.
He was recently ranked as the Cardinals #22 prospect by the staff at www.thestlcardinals.com in their annual rankings of the St. Louis Cardinals Top 40 Prospects. His stock is certainly rising.
21. RHP Mitchell Boggs
Mitchell had a good spring training, with a record 0-0 and a 3.52 ERA. In three games while I was in camp, Boggs pitched 7.7 innings giving up nine hits and three earned runs. He walked batters but came back and struck out eight batters as well.
After making 27 starts last season for high Class A Palm Beach, going 10-6 with a 3.41 ERA. Boggs moved up 13 spots in our rankings to land at #21. His performance in spring training was about what you would expect from the Florida State League All-Star. His stock while it may not be rising significantly it certainly is holding it's own and Boggs is a player to keep an eye on this season.