2008 Cardinals Prospect #37 – Brandon Buckman

A solid glove and emerging power bat puts the second-year first baseman here on our Top 40 Cardinals prospect countdown for the first time.

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to 2007 and career stats)

2007 Ranking: not ranked

Position: 1B

DOB: 2/14/1984

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 205

Bats: L

Throws: L

School: Nebraska

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the 19th round (586th overall) of the June, 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats

Tm

AVG

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

SB

OBP

SLG

OPS

QC

0.341

261

39

89

19

2

14

52

17

42

2

0.384

0.590

0.974

PB

0.268

194

18

52

10

0

5

27

8

34

0

0.295

0.397

0.692

Tot

0.310

455

57

141

29

2

19

79

25

76

2

0.346

0.508

0.854

Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (33): Buckman is a 2006 draftee that did not make the 2006 Top 40. He began the 2007 season at Quad Cities where he dominated offensively, going .341/.384/.590/.974 in 261 at bats. Buckman was named to the Midwest League All-Star team. His production dropped off after his promotion to Palm Beach, .268/.295/.397/.692 in 194 at bats but those overall numbers mask a pretty good start (.299/.333/.437/.770, .333 BABIP in his first 87 at bats) and a slight recovery in August that was terminated by a broken finger that ended his season.

Defensively, Buckman's sole on-the-field position is first base and he is slow. However, I felt his offensive potential merited a slot in the Top 40. I will say that some of the selections in the lower end of the Top 40 are a bit fluid. An argument could be made to slot Stavinoha into my Top 40 list instead of Buckman, for example.

Dustin Mattison (36): The former Cornhusker has become a personal favorite of mine. According to Baseball America, he was the top defensive first baseman in the Midwest League and is one of the top defensive players in the Cardinals' system in my opinion. He enjoyed a breakout offensively in the Midwest League, hitting .341/.384/.590 in 261 at bats. Buckman struggled after being promoted to Palm Beach, hitting only .268/.295/.397. He'll most likely start back at Palm Beach in 2008 and his status as a prospect will depend on if he can adjust to the higher level of competition.

Ray Mileur (29): The Cardinals 19th round pick of the 2006 First Year Player Draft out of the University of Nebraska, Buckman started the season out with the Swing of Quad Cities, where he was one of the six Swing players to be named to the Midwest League All-Stars.

Prior to his promotion to Palm Beach, Buckman was tied for first in the MWL rankings in home runs with 14 and among the league leaders in batting average (.341), slugging percentage (.590), total bases (154) and doubles (19). Buckman was the first Swing player to be the first repeat "Player of the Week" on May the 14th, after he finished a 10-game hitting streak, hitting .452 with three home runs and 10 RBI. The guy can hit with power and he plays solid defense at first. I expect his stock will continue to rise.

Brian Walton (NR): Buckman really emerged with the bat this season, coming in fifth in the system in both doubles (29) and RBIs (79), tying for sixth in home runs (19), seventh in batting average (.310), tenth in slugging (.508) and 12th in OPS (.854). Yet, the 23-year-old fanned too often, with his count of 102 second-most in the Cards minors.

Looking at the season totals isn't enough, however, as they only mask the fact that Buckman's OPS dropped a whopping 280 points between Quad Cities and Palm Beach. That is the point where many prospects hit the wall and is precisely why he did not make my rankings. I will be watching with interest how he performs in his expected return to the Florida State League in 2008.

Key: NR = not ranked, NA = not applicable

To see our entire list of 40 prospects as they are unveiled daily, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

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