Prospect Power Rankings Special Part-III

The Birdhouse and St. Louis Cardinals' Minor League Player of the Month for June, came back with a vengence after being bumped off the PPR in week 8 (June 1) to peak at #12 in week 13 (July 7)


20. Mark McCormick (RHP-SPRINGFIELD), was selected in the supplemental first round of the June 2005 First-Year Player Draft as compensation for the Red Sox' signing of free agent Edgar Renteria. Mark started the season ranked by the Birdhouse staff and #20 and debuting on the Prospect Power Rankings at #19. Injuries have slowed his career and this season hasn't been any different as he's currently on the Disabled List with an all-too-familiar problem, a sore right shoulder. There is some concern that he may require surgery again, which will mean the end of what's left of this season. Mark dropped out of the PPR in Week 11. Hopefully Mark will be able to come back in 2009 and take another shot at making it to the majors. In six starts for Springfield, Mark posted a record of 0-2 with a bloated 6.08 ERA and 18 walks in just 23.2 innings pitched, plus five home runs. He has a way to go.



19. Jon Jay (OF-SPRINGFIELD), made three trips to the DL in 2007, two times for his shoulder and the other time for a wrist injury. When it was all said and done he played in 59 games last year. Finishing the season with double-A Springfield, Jay hit just .235 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 100 at-bats. So there was some concern about Jay's future after a less than stellar performance in 2007. What a difference a year makes, Jay has been one of the hottest hitters in the Texas League, getting off to a quick start to the season hitting .330 in April. He picked up a Texas League Player of the Week Award in June and was a mid-season Texas League All-Star. Jay started the year ranked at #25 in the PPR, and found himself getting knocked off the list before returning with a vengeance and is currently at #12, a testimony to the kind of season he is having at Springfield.



18. Jess Todd (SP-SPRINGFIELD), picked up two Texas League Pitcher of the Week Awards and was named to the Texas League Mid-Season All-Star team and has risen faster through the ranks in the PPR than anyone else, after starting the season at #15 and is currently ranked third, just behind Colby Rasmus and Chris Perez. Selected by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2007 draft, Todd has a record of 2-3 with a 2.31 ERA after making four starts for Class A Palm Beach, where he posted a record of 3-0 with a 1.65 ERA. Todd was roughed up in his last start against North West Arkansas on July 10th, giving up six runs on six hits and four walks, while striking out five. Todd is scheduled to take the mound tonight against the same team. Hopefully he'll rebound and stays near the top of the PPR.



17. Tyler Greene (SS-SPRINGFIELD), despite just barely hitting above the Mendoza line the first two months of the season, Tyler was named to the Texas League Mid-Season All-Star team, giving you some idea how talented this once heir apparent to the shortstop job in St. Louis is. Hitting just .222 before the break, Greene is hitting .290 since, and .311 in his last 10 games including four home runs, seven RBIs and scoring 10 times. Ranked by the Birdhouse at #17 in the pre-season poll, Greene has failed to break into my top 25 in the Prospect Power Rankings, but is making his case this month that he deserves a second look. A first round draft pick in 2005, Greene has always played solid defense, but I was expecting him to hit more like he has over the last four or five weeks than he has over the last couple of seasons. His stock is back on the rise.



16. Pete Kozma (SS-QUAD CITIES), has been very streaky lately. He snapped out of a 1-for-19 slump by going 6-for-9 in a two-game stretch on July 4 and 5, only to fall back into a 1-for-20 skid from July 6-11. The 18th overall pick in the 2007 draft has gotten hot again lately, going 5-for-13 over his last three games with two multi-hit efforts. That raises the 20-year-old's total to 26 multi-hit games this year, the most of anybody on the River Bandits' roster. Expecting more offense from him, Pete is currently hitting .265 on the season, .247 since the All-Star break in 14 games. A positive note, he's hitting .300 with runners in scoring position. Considered the Cardinal future shortstop, Pete is one of those guys you have to see in person to appreciate is talent and potential.



15. Kenny Maiques (RHP-PALM BEACH), is having control issues at Palm Beach, in just 24.2 innings pitched he has walked 30 batters. A 1-1 record with a 5.84 ERA and you can understand is drop in the rankings this season. In his third season of professional baseball after being drafted by the Cardinals in the 37th round of the 2005 draft, many of us around here was expecting more from Kenny this season after he finished the 2007 campaign with a 1-5 record and 31 saves with the Swing of Quad Cities. He was assigned to Extended Spring Training near the end of May to work on his control. Whatever they did there, well it didn't work. It's an amazing turn around when you consider Kenny only walked 20 batters the entire season last year.

Despite being ranked at #15 by the Birdhouse staff, Maiques is still looking for his first appearance on the PPR. At this rate it isn't going to happen this season.



14. Jarrett Hoffpauir (2B-MEMPHIS), started the season at #11 on the PPR before dropping off the charts in Week 7 (May 26th), after a month where he had hit just .218. Since then Hoffpauir has put together of solid months of offensive performance, hitting .354 in May and .317 so far this month. Selected by the Cardinals in the sixth round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, Hoffpauir is making a case that he belongs back in the PPR. One bad month doesn't make for a bad season. Hoffpauir's stock is back on the rise, after being the rave of the 2007 season and taking a big hit in the rankings in May.



13a. David Freese (3B-MEMPHIS), is on his way to St. Louis, he just has to wait for the Troy Glaus' contract to run its course. The third baseman is hitting .272 with 15 HRs and 49 RBIs this season and playing solid defense. I'm hoping what we are seeing this month, where he is hitting .317, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs, is a sign of things to come. He strikes out way too much, so a full season and perhaps another one of Triple-A ball will help prepare him for his major league debut that should come at some point in the 2009 or 2010 campaign with St. Louis or somebody else.



13. Mitchell Boggs (SP-MEMPHIS), the ironman didn't not miss a single start in 2007 when he help lead the Double-A Springfield Cardinals to a Texas League North Division Championship, while posting a 11-7 record with a 3.84 ERA. The's Springfield Cardinals "Pitcher of the Year" began the season with the Memphis Redbirds before getting a call up to St. Louis, where he won his first major league start and after six games, including five starts he posted a record of 3-1 with a 6.59 ERA. He's back in Memphis where he has a record of 4-0, 2.83 ERA in his last 10 minor league starts, dating back to April 27th. Boggs started the season at #14 on the PPR and will likely have a role with the Cardinals in 2009.



12. Mark Hamilton (1B-Springfield), after starting the season off at #19 on the PPR and #12 in the hearts of the Birdhouse staff, Hamilton fell off the PPR charts in Week 6 (May 11) with a very poor showing in May. He's struggle with what is being described as a case of light headedness as early as mid-May that eventually led to him being placed on the DL around July 10th. He's not having a very good season, hitting just .241 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs through 70 games with the Cardinals, perhaps a lot of his struggles can be attributed to some vision and being dizzy at times. He's been off the PPR since mid-May and it's unlikely that he'll return anytime this season. Hopefully the 2006 second round draft pick will be back on his game in 2009.



11. Allen Craig (3B-Springfield), is in my mind, one of the most underrated players in the organization. The word is his future may not be at third, yet most of the season, he's been leading the Texas League third basemen in fielding percentage. He runs hot and cold with the bat, but as Jerry Reed use to say, "When he's hot, he's hot, when he's not he's not." Allen hit .240 in April when most of the Springfield Cardinals lineup struggled, bounced back in May hitting .327, 9 HR, 24 RBIs, but has only hit a combined total of six home runs in June and July, driving in just 24 runs as well. The slugging third baseman went the entire month of June without hitting a home run. Overall he's hitting .280, 17 HR, 64 RBIs, and playing defense much better than earlier scouting reports would suggest. A Texas League Mid-Season All-Star that should rank higher among the pundits this upcoming offseason, than he did last year.



Coming up;
Saturday: Prospects 1-10
Sunday Morning Coffee with Ray Mileur
Monday: Prospect Power Rankings


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