The Cardinals Prospect Power Rankings Week 7

Poor play, a potential demotion to Double-A looming and office politics leads to Rasmus falling from the top of this week's Cardinals Prospect Power Rankings.

St. Louis Cardinals Prospect Power Rankings

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.

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

1. Bryan Anderson, C (AAA-Memphis) – is the new PPR, ‘King of the Mountain'. The Cardinals 23rd round draft pick, (690th overall) in the 2004 draft, is hitting .293 through his first 17 games at Triple-A. While his improving play behind the plate is a work in progress, some pundits believe his current level of offense may be enough to eventually supplant Yadier Molina for the top job in St. Louis. Previous ranking - #2, (BH#2)

2. Chris Perez, RHP (MLB-Cardinals) – may not get handed the closer's role any time soon, but he isn't likely going to return to the minors this season. The good news for him is, he should be able to get a rebate on the typical round trip ticket the Cardinals purchased for players from Memphis. He's already picked up his first major league win and it's just a matter of time, before he's earning those saves. The St. Louis Cardinals transition phase is moving at light speed with the addition of Perez, Parisi and McClellan to the 25-man roster, to compliment the emergence of Ryan Ludwick, Skip Schumaker and Brendan Ryan, who's made his way back to St. Louis. Previous ranking, #4, (BH#4)

3. Colby Rasmus, CF (AAA-Memphis) – is struggling in Biblical proportions, hitting just .188 on the season, through his first 48 games. Remember his last extra-base hit? Me neither. Right-handed pitchers are holding him to a line of .257/.305/.562 (OBP, SLG, OPS) and you know how many right-handers they have in baseball. To put his line in perspective, slash stats of .340/.420/.750 would be considered about league average. There have been reports, that there were internal discussions in the organization about sending Colby back to Double-A Springfield. Throw in the alleged friction between La Russa and Rasmus and that doesn't bode well for Rasmus' major league dreams, at least for the time being. While no one may have more potential, even that isn't enough to keep him out of office politics and taking a fall in this week's Prospect Power Rankings. Previous ranking, #1, (BH#1)

4. Jaime Garcia, LHP (AAA-Memphis) – is the real deal. He's not afraid to pitch inside, combined that with two plus pitches; a low-90s moving fastball and a curve that is his outpitch and you have one of the best prospects in the organization. He's had mixed results since I've been gone, but trust me, he's in Memphis to stay. He made his first start at AutoZone Park Saturday and was saddled with a loss. Garcia gave up seven hits and three walks over five innings, while walking three and striking out three. He has made the transition from Double-A without much of a problem. He has a 20:5 K:BB and a GO:AO of 2.07. His BAA is up from .206 to .287, but it appears that that will be coming down given his foundational success thus far. Previous ranking, #3, (BH#3)

5. Joe Mather, OF (AAA-Memphis) – found his power stroke while I was on vacation, he hit his team-best 11th home run of the season with a solo shot in the seventh inning. The Redbirds outfielder has homered in nine of his last 13 games. But if you are one of those fans who always sees the glass as half-empty, eight of those nine shots I believe, have been solo homers. Mather is the next in line to play in St. Louis, but the word is, it will take an injury to get him on the roster. He already appears to have major league talent both at the plate on in all three outfield positions. Mather is hitting .315/.406/.669 on the season, numbers that are kind of hard to ignore. He's just a phone call away. Previous ranking, #6, (BH#8)

6. P.J. Walters, RHP (AAA-Memphis) – found the key to picking up wins, is just moving up to Memphis. Pitching very well for the Springfield Cardinals, P.J. only picked up one win in his six Double-A starts, despite a very respectable 3.25 ERA and giving up just 35 hits in 36 innings pitched. He's been roughed up some in Memphis, but thanks in large part to his team's support, Walters has managed to post 2-0 record despite a 4.91 ERA. Previous ranking, #5, (BH#10)

7. Jess Todd, RHP (AA-Springfield) - is making a good impression in Springfield, without a win to his credit in three starts, Todd has a record of 0-1 with a 1.72 ERA. His loss came on the 18th against Tulsa, where he gave up three runs in 6.1 IP. He has struck out 15 Double-A batters in just 15.2 innings. He took the ball on Saturday for his fourth start for Springfield, allowing just one hit over seven scoreless innings. Todd has a 1.44 ERA in 50 innings between the FSL and Texas League. Stock is rising almost as fast as our gas prices. Previous ranking, #8, (BH#6)

8. Tyler Herron, RHP (AA-Springfield)- had his best start for Springfield Wednesday night, picking up his first win, pitching six innings, giving up only one run, on four hits and two walks, while striking out five batters. Through his first four starts for the Double-A club, Herron has posted a record of 1-2, with a 4.71 ERA. He's struggling against left-handed hitters big time, so keep an eye on that. Previous ranking, #9, (BH#6)

9. Steven Hill, UTL (AA-Springfield) - a jack of all trades, played his third position of the year Wednesday night, as he got the start behind the plate, his first Double-A start at catcher. Hill, a 13th-round pick out of Stephen F. Austin State University in last year's June draft, had appeared in four games earlier this year behind the plate for Palm Beach, where he began the 2008 season. In 2007, Hill appeared in only 14 games at catcher, spending the majority of his time defensively at 1B and in left field. I'm not a fan of the utility tag on someone I considered with major league potential. For now, based on an internal directive, Hill is suppose to catch one at least one game a week. Previous ranking, #11, (BH#40)

10. Anthony Reyes, RHP (AAA-Memphis) - if the Cardinals don't know what to do with him, how am I suppose to know. The Cards are stacked against this once promising St. Louis prospect. He still has promise, it's just not going to be fulfilled in a ‘Birds on the Bat' uniform. Sunday he pitched six solid innings, giving up just one run on two hits and three walks, while striking out six. In his four starts for Memphis, he's 1-0 with a 2.04 ERA. He's here at #10 in the PPR until the Cardinals deal him to somebody else. Previous ranking, NR, (BH#-NR)

11. Allen Craig, 3B (AA-Springfield) - can flat out hit and his defense is better than he's given credit for, in my sometimes humble opinion. Craig went 0-4 in Saturday's win, ending his season-best eight-game hitting streak. Going into Sunday's contest Craig led the club with ten home runs, three behind league-leader Chris Davis of Frisco. He was tops on the team in RBIs as well with 36, fourth in the league. He's going to get caught up in a logjam at third, with Troy Glaus, David Freese and Craig all looking at handling the hot corner for the Cardinals in 2009 and beyond. Previous ranking, #12, (BH#11)

12. Pete Kozma, SS (A-Quad Cities) - was one of the hottest players in the system in April, hitting .341 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 25 games. He's cooled off significantly in May, hitting just .217 through the first 19 games. He's playing better defense than his 10 errors would suggest. Even the best prospects will go through hot and cold stretches at times. There is no evidence of global warming in Quad Cities, if Kozma's bat is your barometer. Previous ranking, #7, (BH#16)

13. Jason Motte, RHP (AAA-Memphis) - is the guy I would send to the mound in Memphis if I had to get one batter out, to win the game. He's got guts, he's got heart and he's got brains, and is not afraid of pitching inside, that is a great combination. Get over the fact that he's a converted catcher. He'll make his mark on the mound and eventually you'll probably win some trivia contest, because you could remember at one time, Jason wore a catcher's mask. Previous ranking, #15, (BH#22)

14. Mitchell Boggs, RHP (AAA-Memphis) - had a rough night Friday night. He pitched five complete innings, giving up four runs, three of them earned on five hits, two walks and one strike out. In 10 starts for Memphis, Boggs has posted a respectable 4-1 record with 3.51 ERA. He's pitching well enough if the Cardinals have any more injuries to their starting rotation, Boggs could be a dark horse candidate for a spot in the back of the rotation. Previous ranking, #10, (BH#13)

15. Clayton Mortensen, RHP (AA-Springfield) - selected by the Cardinals out of Gonzaga University in the first round (36th overall) of the June 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Clayton had gotten off to a slow start this season. He won his second straight decision Sunday, allowing just three hits (all singles) over eight scoreless innings. Mortensen threw 93 pitches, 60 for strikes. He walked one and struck out five in his 10th start of the season. A first-round pick, he is a blue-chip stock option that will continue to rise in value. Previous ranking, #13, (BH#9)

16. Nick Stavinoha, OF (AAA-Memphis) - is having the best season of his professional career, hitting in 26 of his last 33 games. Nick is hitting a remarkable team leading .363 on the season, with six home runs and a team leading also, 32 RBIs. Previous ranking, #16, (BH#38)

17. Mark McCormick, RHP (AA-Springfield) - is on some fans mind. It's amazing how the coverage of minor league baseball has changed since the advent of the Birdhouse. A fan in Southern Illinois stopped me on the street yesterday to ask me how Mark McCormick was doing this season. Amazing, considering McCormick missed most of the 2007 campaign. Mark is still on a limited pitch count. He pitched four innings Friday night, giving up an unearned run on four hits and three walks, while striking out two. Previous ranking, #17, (BH#20)

18. Adam Ottavino, RHP (AA-Springfield) -continues to struggle since coming off the disabled list. In three starts since being activated on May 10, the 22-year-old has allowed 11 runs in 7.1 innings (13.50 ERA). The Cardinals first round selection (30th overall) in the 2006 draft, Ottavino's record now stands at 0-4 with an 8.78 ERA. His confidence is shaken, it may take some time for him to rebound. His stock drops this week. Previous ranking, #14, (BH#5)

19. Shane Robinson, OF (AA-Springfield) - Robinson's return to the starting lineup was noticed, as he picked up two hits and knocked in the game-winning run in Wednesday's game at San Antonio. Shane had been out of the starting lineup since May 13th, after getting abrasions on both hands after diving on the warning track in North Little Rock in a game against the Travs. Shane Robinson fell from the top of the Texas League batting race Friday night after going 0-4. Previous ranking, # 19, (BH#-NR)

20. Mark Worrell, RHP (AAA-Memphis) - is overshadowed in the organization by Chris Perez & Jason Motte, yet, Mark continues to put up some impressive numbers in the record books. This season, he's 1-1 with a 2.11 ERA through his first 19 appearances. Often overlooked by scouts because of his unorthodox delivery, the bottom line is he gets the job done for you. The 2005 Rolaids Relief Man Award winner as the best closer in all of minor-league baseball and the Cardinals' "Pitcher of the Year" in ‘05, Worrell could be a valuable setup man in 2009, for Chris Perez, who is apparently the new ‘Cardinals closer of the future'. Previous ranking, #23, (BH#33)

21. Shaun Garceau, RHP (A-Palm Beach) - is making his mark in the Florida State League with the Palm Beach Cardinals. He's made three appearances, including two starts and has already posted a 3-0 record with a 1.93 ERA. Garceau, who missed the entire 2006 season because of a thigh infection, is making up for that lost time, this season. A 20th round selection in the June 2005 First-Year-Player-Draft, Garceau probably dropped off a lot of radar screens, missing the 2006 campaign and posting a record of 8-11 with a 4.86 ERA in 2007 with Quad Cities, but he's someone you should monitor this season, as his stock begins to rise. Previous ranking, #24, (BH#-NR)

22. Jose Martinez, 2B/SS (AA-Springfield) - the Springfield Cardinals have turned the fewest double-plays of any team in the Texas League, I'm not 100% sure how much of that can be laid at Jose's feet, but it doesn't help to be associated with that kind of stat. Martinez is hitting just .243 (9-for-37) over his last ten games, with only one-extra-base hit. He started the season ranked by the Birdhouse at #7, due in large part because of his hitting, if he isn't hitting, his stock is going to continue to fall. Previous ranking, #18, (BH#7)

23. David Kopp, RHP (A-Palm Beach) has pitched better than his 1-3, won-loss record would suggest. He's appeared in 10 games, making six starts in the tandem rotation system at Palm Beach. He has a two-to-one strike out to walk ratio, but the number that catches a coaches eyes is, he's only given up one home run in 38.1 innings pitched. He needs to be a little more consistent and string together some consecutive effective starts, to move up in the rankings. Previous ranking, #20, (BH#36)

24. Jon Jay, OF (AA-Springfield) - had the Springfield Cardinals longest hitting streak this season, 12 games, from April 20 thru May the first, but his bat has cooled off, of late. Hitting .241 for the month of May, Jay went 3-for-5 on Sunday and is rebounding to some degree, hitting .278 over his last 10 games. He's going to have to put together a solid month or two, to move up into the rankings high enough to avoid being bumped out all together, from time to time. A part of the Dynamic Duo with Shane Robinson, the Cardinals have fallen out of first place, because Jay's bat has cooled off some and Robinson has been injured and unable to contribute. Previous ranking, 21, (BH#19)

25. David Freese, 3B (AAA-Memphis) - is struggling at the plate recently, hitting just .216 (8-for-37) in his last 10 games. He's having problems facing lefties, hitting just .163 on the season against left-handed pitchers. He is playing decent defense at third, but there are times, I scratch my head on some of his decisions and some of his throws. He'll need to hit, if he's going to replace Glaus in 2010 or stay ahead of Allen Craig on the depth charts. Previous ranking, #25, (BH#13a)


Anthony Reyes


Jarrett Hoffpauir

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