2008 Cardinals Prospect #2 – Bryan Anderson

Blocked at the major league level by Yadier Molina, will the consensus number one catcher in the Cardinals system be playing the 2008 season to enhance his trade value?

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

2007 Ranking: 4

Position: C

DOB: 12/16/1986

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 200

Bats: L

Throws: R

School: Simi Valley High School (CA)

Became a Cardinal: Selected in the fourth round (140th overall) of the June, 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

2007 stats































Staff Comments (individual rankings in parens)

Leonda Markee (2): Last season's 4th-ranked prospect, Anderson spent the 2007 season at Double-A Springfield where he was the youngest player in the league for much of the year. He is an excellent example of the Cardinals' aggression in promoting as he skipped high-A entirely. While Anderson ended up fifth in the Texas League with a .298 batting average, his power has yet to develop. Observers praise his strike zone judgment and most believe he will hit for average with gap power, at worst.

The 21-year-old is still on the learning curve as a catcher and questions remain as to whether he will be able to stay at that position. His value is clearly much higher as a catcher than elsewhere. Anderson's ranking is based on his youth and his projected ability to improve behind the plate. The level at which he begins 2008 is anyone's guess.

Dustin Mattison (2): I selected Anderson second due to his value related to his position. It is a difficult task to find a 20-year-old catcher that hits close to .300 in the always-tough Texas League. Anderson played most of the season with his average above the .300 mark but wore down during the hot Springfield summer. He brings a mature approach to the plate to go along with a smooth left-handed, slight uppercut swing.

Personally, I am still not sold on his long-term ability to stay behind the plate. Anderson has a strong and accurate arm but needs to develop better footwork and blocking pitches in the dirt.

Ray Mileur (2): The Texas League All-Star is progressing ahead of schedule and has already been the subject of trade talks. A superior hitter, Anderson spent a lot of time this past season focusing on improving his game behind the plate. The 21-year-old catcher hit only .267/.309/.314 after the All-Star Break so I'd like to see the Cardinals continue to demonstrate a little patience and keep him in Springfield to start the ‘08 campaign.

Anderson's defense is better than some reports would suggest. He's a very hard worker and student of the game and it's showing up in his play. One of the top three or four catchers in the minors, he is a prime bargaining chip this winter, but the Cardinals would be better off keeping him in the fold.

Brian Walton (3): Skipping a level and still excelling in Double-A ball at the age of just 20 reaffirms Anderson's rightful place as one of the few top prospects in the entire Cardinals system. Being blocked by Yadier Molina behind the plate would seem to indicate that Anderson represents the organization's best prospect trade bait.

Even with the double jump, Anderson's batting average and doubles power remained but his home run bat needs to re-emerge. Given age and experience levels to date, it is not unreasonable to suggest that will occur. Behind the plate, his arm is fine, but his receiving skills still need more work.

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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