The Cardinals Prospect Power Rankings Week 4

"At the risk of being tar and feathered and ran out of town on a rail, let me suggest, that the only thing that is keeping Bryan Anderson from being the Cardinals Top Prospect, is not Colby Rasmus, it's Yadier Molina." ray mileur

This list is not just about who are the better players or prospects, but it is amalgamated ranking of weekly performance and potential and who is making the most of their opportunities. Week four, with


Legend: NR-not rated; BH# - 2008 Birdhouse Top 40 Prospect Ranking


1. Colby Rasmus, CF (AAA-Memphis) – is taking his time getting out of his traditional early slump. He's hitting just .204, 3HR, 10RBI this month. The most passionate defenders of Rasmus' rightful place at the top of any prospect rankings, will tell you to check out his on-base-percentage (OBP). Well don't look now, it has dropped below .300. He's walked 13 times, but has struck out 18 times,to boot. I'm not sure what "to boot" means, but this report is suppose to be 2500 words, so I can use the help of a "to boot". To put things in perspective, I've seen Cardinal fans run a leadoff hitter out of town because he had an OBP that fell below .340. Rasmus stock isn't falling per se, but look out for Bryan Anderson, who is breathing down his neck. Last week's ranking - #1, (BH#1)

2. Bryan Anderson, C (AA-Springfield) – stock is rising. Forgive me, for I have sinned. It is my opinion, ff it wasn't for the St. Louis Cardinals' signing Yadier Molina to a contract extension recently, Anderson would be ranked as my top prospect. Colby Rasmus, to his advantage has some place to go in St. Louis, (center field) this September, or to begin the next season, whereas Anderson, can only hope to play at Memphis for the next couple of seasons. Anderson is playing solid improving defense, showcasing a good arm and is hitting .388, 2 HR, 14RBIs, with an OBP of .388. In his last 10 games, Bryan has hit .422, 1, 10RBIs. He's here at #2 again this week, but excuse me, if Rasmus isn't the "King of the Mountain" in a couple of weeks. Last week's ranking -#2 (BH#2)

3. Jaime Garcia, LHP (AA-Springfield) – the best left-hander in the system, was bumped from Saturday's start to make room for the returning Adam Daniels. Garcia made just one start since our last visit here in the PPR and it was a dominate one against NW Arkansas, in a losing cause, which seems to be happening a lot in Springfield. Garcia pitched eight complete shutout innings, giving up only three hits and striking out 10 and was tagged with a loss. Last week's ranking -#3 (BH#3)

4. Chris Perez, RHP (AAA-Memphis) – is on cruise control. He's only given up two hits in his last six appearances. The heir apparent to the Cardinals closer role, could see time in St. Louis before the season is over. It's kind of boring after watching Isringhausen close out games the few years, to watch Perez come in and shut the opposition down. He comes in this week at #4 and probably can set up house here, with Rasmus, Anderson, and Garcia having firm grasps on the top three positions. Last week's ranking -#4, (BH#4)

5. P.J. Walters, RHP (AA-Springfield) – is pitching in tough luck this season at Springfield. With any support, Walters with his 2.96 ERA, could easily be 4-1 on the season, rather than the 1-2 record, that he has been saddled with. He hasn't pitched well the last two times out, or as well as I expected. He's given up 15 hits and six earned runs in his last 10.1 IP. Last week's ranking -#5 (BH#10)

6. Joe Mather, OF (AAA-Memphis) – is off the DL and back in action and it won't take Joey Bombs long to pick up where he left off. He off to a "Pujols" type of season, Joey is hitting .348 (8-for-23) with two home runs and five RBIs in his first eight games. Throw in six walks and he's got an obscene .500 OBP. What are they going to do with this guy? Slash stats of .348/.500/.739, come on. His 1.239 OPS, is in Barry Bond's class, I'm sorry my bust, Bonds has no class. Last week's ranking -#7, (BH#8)

7. Pete Kozma, SS (A-Quad Cities) – is playing like a first round draft pick this season. Remember when the Cardinals signed him, someone in the front office made the comment that Pete was the Cardinals shortstop of the future, at the time I was thinking Tyler Green may have something to say about that, but I have to give Kozma is props, he's making the most noise. He should be in Palm Beach before the season is over, his game is above the class A level of play. Last week's ranking -#9, (BH#16)

8. Jess Todd, RHP (A-Palm Beach) – is unbelievable, you have to get out the thesaurus and try to find some adjectives to describe his season so far. Jesse and his gang is tearing up the FSL league, normally when people get beaten like Jesse is beating them, I'd have to don my Sheriff uniform and drag someone off to jail. Jesse isn't on any wanted posters for now, but if I was looking to trade a bat to St. Louis that would protect Albert Pujols in the lineup, I'd be asking for Todd as part of the deal. A record of 3-0 with a 0.87 ERA, he hasn't given up a run since April 6th. Last week's ranking -#12 (BH#6)

9. Clayton Mortensen, RHP (AA-Springfield) – pitched seven complete innings against NW Arkansas on Tuesday, giving up only one earned run on five hits and a walk, while striking out five. Mortensen would have to be on the Cardinals short list if they needed a pitcher in Memphis, which is remarkable, considering he's only in his second season of professional baseball. He's 1-1 with a 2.49 ERA, after four starts, his only rough (why don't we spell rough, RUFF?) outing came on Pete Kozma's and my birthday on April 11th. Now that you know, Pete and I will be looking for birthday cards next year. Last week's ranking -#11 (BH#9)

10. Adam Ottavino, RHP (AA-Springfield) – doesn't look like the same pitcher from last season when he posted a 12-8 record with a respectable ERA of 3.08, racking up twice as many K's as walk in 27 starts for Palm Beach. As we close out the first month of the season, Adam is sitting on a 0-3 record with a puffy 6.98 ERA. You try working the word "puffy" into a baseball report. Adam takes a fall in this week's PPR, but he has the stuff to rebound, if he can get a solid couple of starts under his belt. Off to a slow start last season, it's déjà vu all over again. Last week's ranking -#6, (BH#5)

11. Tyler Herron, RHP (A – Palm Beach) – He's made two starts since the last PPR and was dominate in both of them. In six games, three starts, he's 1-0 with a 2.86 ERA. Here is a pitcher, I'd like to see exposed more and get away from that dang burn tandem pitching nonsense. Last week's ranking -#13 (BH#6)

12. Mitchell Boggs, RHP (AAA-Memphis)– didn't have a very good start his last time out, as a matter of fact his last two outings leave something to be desired. A 2-1 record with a 3.75 ERA after four starts, is very good, considering he's pitching in the PCL, where a 4.00 ERA today will get you noticed by the player development gurus. Last week's ranking -#10 (BH#13)

13. Mark McCormick, RHP (A-Palm Beach) – one of the best arms in the system, he's still looking for his first win, with a record of 0-0, 1.89 ERA after six games, three starts. Mark missed most of last season, I can't believe I'm saying this, but Mark may actually be benefiting from the tandem system. He's walked too many batters this month, giving up 13 free passes in 19 innings, but that doesn't set off any alarms with me. He's struck out 16 batters in the meantime and that strikeout to walk ratio will get better. Last week's ranking -#14 (BH#20)

14. Jose Martinez, 2B/SS (AA-Springfield) – Springfield shortstop Jose Martinez going into yesterday's game was second in the Texas League in RBIs, despite just a .267 average. Martinez had just three RBIs in his first nine games, but has gone off for 17 RBIs in his last 13 games. Makes him a money player in my book. He's hitting .333 with a couple of home runs and 13 RBIs in his last 10 games, playing more like the Birdhouse staff was anticipating. Last week's ranking - #15 (BH#7)

15. Jarrett Hoffpauir, 2B (AAA-Memphis) – after getting off to a good start, Jarrett has come back to earth, hitting only .207 in last 10 games. Lefties are killing him this season, holding him to a .167 batting average in 18 at bats, or about one-third of Jarrett's at-bats this season. He tumbles down a few spots in the PPR this week, but he's proved he can hit at this level before and he should warm up as we move into the summer. Last week's ranking - #8, (BH#14)

16. Allen Craig, 3B (AA-Springfield) – thank God Allen has started hitting. He's playing better defense than advertised, but his hitting that Springfield was counting on, was dreadful through the first couple of weeks. On tax day, he was hitting just .156, since then he has raised his batting average 201 points. Hitting .357, 1HR, 10RBIs over his last 10 games, Craig fans can take a deep breath, he's back and he'll give David Freese a run for his money for a place on the St. Louis Cardinals depth chart. Last week's ranking -#16 (BH#11)

17. Steven Hill, C (A-Palm Beach) – the "Crown Prince of Palm Beach", and the hits just keep on coming. Hitting .356, 3HRs, 16RBIs on the season, Steven is hitting .361 over the last 10 games and has scored nine runs. Up the hill, he'll want to be "King of the Mountain" someday. Last week's ranking –21 (BH#40)

18. Mark Worrell, RHP (AAA-Memphis) – is having the best season that nobody is noticing. If anything happens to Chris Perez, he'll be back in the spotlight. After eight games, Mark is 1-0, with an ERA of 0.93. He's given up only one run in 9.2 innings pitched, walking five, but striking out 16. I don't get it, I don't hear anyone talking about how Worrell could come up and help the Cardinals out. He may not be related, but the last Worrell in St. Louis pitched fairly well. Last week's ranking -#19 (BH#33)

19. Stavinoha, Nick, OF (AAA-Memphis) – had a very good week and is on the verge of breaking into the PCL top ten in batting. He's hitting .441 over his last 10 games and is in the best shape of his career. He could have a huge season at Memphis. Last week's ranking – NR. This is his second time in the PPR, he ranked as high as #23 in week two.(BH#38)

20. Jason Motte, RHP (AAA-Memphis) – didn't have his best week, but you can relax, he's only given up runs in just two of his last 10 appearances and he still has a record of 1-1, with an excellent ERA of 2.70. He'll only get better. Last week's ranking -#17 (BH#22)

21. Jon Jay, OF (AA-Springfield) – going into Saturday's game Jay had hit safely in his last six games. Jay's 12 hits in that span, raised his batting average up 91 points to .299. Perhaps he heard he was on the bubble here "In the House" PPR. Last week's ranking - #25 (BH#19)

22. David Kopp, RHP (A-Palm Beach) – takes a hit because of the tandem system this week. He's made three starts and has appeared in five games, but still doesn't have a decision. We really need to see how these guys respond when they get in a little trouble. He'll have trouble moving up into the Sweet 16 part of the PPR, even playing with the first place, Palm Beach Cardinals this season. Last week's ranking -#18 (BH#36)

23. Mark Hamilton, 1B (AA-Springfield) – the Cardinals must love left-handed hitters, I think we have signed everyone of them in the country, or it seems like it. What is amazing to me it seems is, how many left-handers we have to face on the mound all the time. Hamilton is putting together a good season at Springfield, providing some pop in the lineup, hitting four home runs, good enough to put him on the TL leader board, and he's driven in 11 runs. For a corner infielder you would like to have a little more power, only five of his 25 hits this season have been for extra bases, compare that to Jon Jay's 25 at-bats, he has eight extra-base hits, that you may not have expected, though trust me his speed is a factor in a couple of the doubles. A top 20 prospect, Mark needs to cut down on his strikeouts if he's going to move up in the PPR. Last week's ranking – 16 (BH#12)

24. David Freese, 3B (AAA-Memphis) – he's having a good season for Memphis, especially considering he hasn't played above A-ball before coming to St. Louis. He's hitting .288, 4HRs, 9RBIs, 10 of his 23 hits have been for extra bases, but like Jim Edmonds, the guy he was traded for, Freese is striking out too much. He's struck out 23 times in 80 at-bats. He's playing well at third, at times there has been a couple of mental lapses, but that should be expected. Personally I'm glad we got Freese from the Padres. Last week's ranking -#18 (BH#13a)

25. Shane Robinson, OF (AA-Springfield) – won't be denied his spot in the PPR this week. He's hitting .413 through his first 19 games. Robinson has been overlooked basically because his team isn't playing well. Think about it, Robinson is leading his team with a .413 batting average, (26-for-63), eight of his 26 hits being for extra-bases. He leads the club in all three of the slash stats categories, (BA/OBP/SLG) .413/.444/.603. He makes his debut this week and will probably be around for a while. I wonder what ever happen to Mrs. Robinson? Last week's ranking – NR, (BH#NR)


WHO DROPPED OUT OF THE POWER RANKINGS FROM WEEK THREE? 1. Cody Haerther, OF (AAA-Memphis) – he's playing well, he's just not getting the playing time that he should get, so it makes it hard to rank him above some others, especially if the organization isn't going to play him. Ironically, because going into Saturday's game Haerther was hitting .358 over his previous 10 games at Memphis. Last week's ranking – 24 (BH#27)

2. Brandon Buckman, 1B (A-Palm Beach) – He's having a decent season, but where is his power? He is still looking for his first home run and he has only four extra base hits, Last week's ranking – 22 (BR#37)

3. Nick Addition, RHP (A Quad Cities) – appeared almost unhittable during the first two weeks of the season, Nick was roughed up the 20th at Fort Wayne, suffering his first loss. Time will tell if he belongs here, but he's 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA and that will get you here. Last week's ranking – 20 (BH NR)


1. Nick Stavinoha is back for a second time in the PPR, he'll probably stick around for awhile.

2. Shane Robinson is making his debut at #25,this week, hitting over .400, he's likely to get use to basking in the glory of being ranked in the Mileur PPR.


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