Prospect Power Rankings Special Part-IV

The 21-year-old Colby Rasmus is the Cardinals Top Prospect and was recently ranked by as the third best prospect in all of baseball. Colby has been named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team.

10. P.J. Walters (RHP-MEMPHIS), The Redbirds send the right-hander to the mound Saturday night. Walters is tied for the team lead in wins with seven and is coming off his most impressive outing of 2008 with Memphis. The righty pitched eight innings, allowed one run on three hits and picked up the win against Omaha at AutoZone Park 7/11.

P.J. started the season at Springfield where he posted a record of 1-2 with a 3.25 ERA in six starts. He's at least a year from the majors if you ask me. He started the season at #6 in the PPR, as I ranked him a little higher than others. He fell out of the rankings on week #12, (June 30), because despite of an impressive won-loss record, opponents were hitting over .300 against him.



9. Clayton Mortensen (RHP-MEMPHIS), is actually pitching a little better at Memphis than he had at Springfield to start the season. He's a combined 7-6, with a 4.20 ERA. He's giving up a lot of home runs, 11 in 100.2 innings pitched and he's struggled with his control at times. He had is worst outing on the season in his last start on July 09, giving up eight runs on nine hits and two walks to get hit with his second loss at Memphis. Fans have to remember, he is just a year away from being drafted and is already pitching at the Triple-A level, so you have to take that into consideration. He started the year at #9 in the Birdhouse Staff preseason rankings and #10 in the PPR.



8. Joe Mather (OF-MEMPHIS), is back with Memphis after a very short tour with the St. Louis Cardinals, his second major league tour this season. So far in 20 games for the Cardinals, Mather hit .244, 2 HRs & 5 RBIs in 45 at-bats. Of course he is still punishing pitchers in the Pacific Coast League, hitting .303, 16 HRs & 39 RBI in 55 games. The Cardinals are carrying 13 pitchers, so there isn't room for Joey Bombs in St. Louis, personally I prefer for him to play everyday at Memphis, rather than sit on the bench in St. Louis. Mather started the season at #8 in the PPR, matching his Birdhouse Staff ranking.



7a. Brian Barton (OF-STL CARDINALS), is on the Cardinals Disabled List. The Rule 5 selection from Cleveland last December, is sidelined with a deep bone bruise, which isn't a bad thing, I hate to say. The Cardinals can keep him on the DL, then send him on a rehab assignment, therefore keeping him St. Louis without having to play him or give Cleveland the option to take him back. He could use a year at Triple-A and since the Cardinals can't send him there because of the Rule 5, rules, he hasn't appeared on the PPR this season. You can be sure he'll rank high if he starts to 2009 season at Memphis.



7. Jose Martinez (2B-SPRINGFIELD), had a couple of rough months at the plate and after starting the season in the PPR ranked at 12, Martinez hasn't been heard from much this season. He hit just .239 in May and .161 in June, but has managed to turn things around of late, hitting .313 through the first 17 games in July. My take is, and I'm not sure you can give up on Martinez playing at short, but apparently the Cardinals have, but if Martinez is going to play at second, he's going to have to provide more offense than he did in May and June if he's going to hang out with the big boys in the PPR and the Birdhouse Top 40 Prospect Rankings.



6. Tyler Herron (RHP – SPRINGFIELD), is having a rough season at Double-A especially considering he's a supplemental first round draft pick in 2005. He's getting plenty of run support, he's 5-2 with an ERA of 4.40 in his last ten starts. Opponents are hitting .288 against him at Springfield, combined that with too many walks and giving up too many home runs and Tyler is going to have trouble staying on Top Prospect lists. The PPR system places a lot of weight on actual performance beginning half-way through a player's third professional season, as such Herron has fallen out of the top 25.



5. Adam Ottavino (RHP – SPRINGFIELD), is having the worst season of anyone from the Birdhouse Top 40 rankings. After 15 starts this season, he has only one record to his credit to go against five losses. I'd like to tell you he's having a better second half than first half of a season, but that wouldn't tell you much, because he had a 1-4 record with a 7.17 ERA at the All-Star break. He spent time on the disabled list earlier this year due to right shoulder inflammation, but I think it also had to do with his mental makeup as well. He is on the mound for the Cardinals tonight, hopefully, as they say, it's the first game of the rest of his career. Started the season at #4 in the PPR, that is a long distant memory now.



4. Chris Perez (RHP – MEMPHIS), was sent back to Memphis this week to make room for the activation of LHP Randy Flores from the Disabled List. According to a report in the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Perez has been asked to work on his reliever. He didn't pitch that bad really when he was with the Cardinals, he wasn't as dominate as some of us may have expected or hoped for. He'll probably spend the rest of the season before September callus at Memphis and I'm not sure the organization will plug him into the closer role in 2009, but he should be a part of the bullpen mix at some time for the Cardinals next season.



3. Jaime Garcia (LHP – STL CARDINALS), will get his chance to stick with the Cardinals Sunday when he gets a spot start against San Diego. I was a little surprised that the Cardinals called Garcia up. I really didn't think he was pitching that well for Memphis, despite that he picked up PCL Pitcher of the Week honors on June 9th. Selected by the Cardinals in the 22nd round of the 2005 draft, Garcia has already exceeded most expectations, he's considered perhaps the best pitching prospect in the Cardinals minors, certainly the best left-hander. He just recently turned 22 and he's already wearing a major league uniform, so the future looks bright for #64.



2. Bryan Anderson (C – MEMPHIS), got the promotion to Triple-A and didn't skip a beat, through his first 49 games at Triple-A he's hitting .314 and while he's only had one home run, he has hit 10 doubles and two triples. He's played solid defense, showing signs of improvement, though he's had a few too many pass balls. An ob-base-percentage of .393, with his defensive skills, strong arm and ability to hit, albeit without much power and you have one of the top catching prospects in minor league baseball. He has picked up one Texas League Player of the Week Award and was recently selected to play in the Future Games.



1. Colby Rasmus (OF – MEMPHIS), suffering from a groin strain for a couple of weeks, Colby has not appeared in a game since July 1, before being activated off the DL yesterday. As usual he got off to another slow start this season, so slow that he was knocked off the top of the PPR perch by Bryan Anderson earlier this year. Don't worry Rasmus' fans, he's back. He's already got more awards than you can shake a stick at, you can now add that he was selected to this year's All-Star Futures game, though he didn't play because of an injury, but he will also play for Team USA in the Olympics in Beijing. The consensus Top Prospect in the Cardinals organization by everyone who knows the difference between the bat and the ball, Colby will spend the rest of this season with Memphis.




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