Edwards had a very rough spring training. He got plenty of playing time, appearing in 13 games 39 at-bats, but he only hit .154 and he struck out at an alarming rate with 12 Ks in just 39 at-bats.
Last season Edwards hit .266/.360/.461 with four home runs and 27 RBI in 48 games for Rookie-level Johnson City. He was limited by a sore wrist for most of the season and missed the final 10 games with a pulled hamstring.
Selected in the 14th round of the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft, the outfielder is still in the very early stages of his development. He was held back for extended spring training and one hopes a healthy Edwards can live up to the early high expectations we have for him.
14. RHP Chris Lambert
Lambert starts his third and what should be his last season at Double-A, in two seasons with the Springfield Cardinals he has a 13-17 record and unless he can put it all together this season as a starter, he's likely headed to the bullpen before it's over.
He came into spring training after being on the DL with a pulled muscle in his right arm and he didn't pitch very well, as might be expected, in 14 IP, he gave up 10 runs (9 earned) on 15 hits and had a 5.54 ERA.
Ranked as high as #3 in the past by the staff at www.thestlcardinals.com, Lambert needs a very impressive season to stay in the Top 40 rankings at the end of the year. His stock especially as a starter is not on the upside.
13. LHP Josh Kinney
Josh will miss the entire 2007 season because of a torn ligament in his right elbow, requiring Tommy John surgery. Last season he was dominant in 51 Triple-A appearances (1.52 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 76:29 K:BB in 71 IP), called up to St. Louis in September, in 10 games Kinney posted a 1.59 ERA and opponents hit only .154 against him. The long time minor league player became a integral part of the Cardinals bullpen in the post-season, going unscored upon in seven appearances.
One of the best feel good stories of 2006, the former independent Frontier League pitcher made it all the way to the Major Leagues and earned a World Series ring, turned into one of the saddest stories out of spring training when it became clear he would miss this season due to surgery.
It's hard to say that someone's stock as a prospect isn't dropping when they're going to miss the entire season, but Kinney has overcome great odds against him in the past and I wouldn't write him off yet. Stock off a little, but the long term outlook still looks good.
12. OF Cody Haerther
The popular outfielder will start the season on the disabled list because of a bone bruise that he suffered in the first St. Louis Cardinals exhibition game this spring against the Florida Atlantic University Owls.
Cody had a tough first half of the 2006 season, batting only .234 through July 1, but the 23-year old outfielder hit .322 after the Texas League All-Star break in his first full season at Double-A. He finished the season at .277/.336/.437 with 11 home runs and 52 RBIs in 412 at-bats for the Springfield Cardinals.
One of the most disappointing things about this spring was for me to have to watch Cody not being able to play, especially since outfielders Jim Edmonds and Juan Encarnacion were not available due to their own injuries, which opened the door for more playing time for the Cardinals prospects.
Cody was added to the Cardinals 40-man roster this winter and he was once ranked as high as #5 on our Top Prospect rankings. Looking at the strong second half of the season he had last season, his stock is still holding its own, in spite of the injury which may cost him the first month of this season.
11. RHP Mark McCormick
Coming off of surgery this winter, McCormick did not participate in spring training.
Last season McCormick was hampered by control problems and nagging injuries. He was 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA in 10 starts before the bone bruise in the shoulder injury that landed him on the DL for a month in early June and then again for a second time in July. Prior to being placed on the DL, McCormick was holding opposing hitters to a .201 batting average while striking out 59 and walking 38 in 48.1 innings of work.
Mark has perhaps more upside potential than any other prospect in the organization, I personally think his future is in the bullpen. He isn't expected to begin throwing until mid-May and will likely miss most of the season. His stock could go through the roof when he returns. Hold, too early to give up on him.