Scouting the 2008 Springfield Cardinals

Player scouting capsules for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League by Dustin Mattison.

After advancing to the Texas League Championship Series for the first time in 2007, expectations were high for another prospect-laden team in 2008. The team got off to a terrible start but found itself within one win of taking the Texas League North first half title. It wasn't meant to be but once again, the Cardinals find themselves within a game of the first place Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Having watched the team over two nights, here are my observations from those games.

Daryl Jones

Jones has speed to burn and is definitely one of the fastest players in the system. He has a playable arm for center or left but would be below average in right. He has electric speed but is he sound enough defensively to play center? At the plate, he appears impatient. Jones needs work on pitch recognition; he had lots of trouble with off speed pitches. His makeup is supposed to be off the charts.

I had not seen Jones since last year at the Quad Cities. He is definitely not the same lost soul at the plate that I witnessed in Davenport.

Jon Jay

Jay is what you look for in a centerfielder; a leader, a take-charge kind of guy. His defense is unfairly overlooked; he has above average range with a solid centerfield arm. Puts himself and his teammates in good defensive position. At the plate, he has quick hands and excellent bat speed. Best described as a professional hitter.

Andrew Brown

The former Cornhusker doesn't get cheated at the plate. Possess a violent swing that does get long at times. Does pull the ball but will hit the ball the other way if the situation dictates. Below average speed but does not clog up the basepaths. Brown is an adequate first baseman with an average arm and the ability to dig the ball out of the dirt.

Allen Craig

Good bat speed that he uses to supply above average power. Line drive hitter who can muscle up and take a pitcher deep. Craig has average speed on the bases along with good instincts that make him a solid base runner.

I am not totally sold on his ability to stay at third. Made a great reaction play to his left as he does move laterally very well. On hot shots right at him, he really struggles. His hands are average at best while his arm is average but playable.

Mark Shorey

Shorey is a grinder who doesn't overwhelm. Nothing flashy but he has 50 RBIs and is hitting .291. Pull conscious. I would like to see him work on going the other way more. Adequate fielder who won't make the dazzling play but won't embarrass himself either.

Jose Martinez

Martinez has always reminded me of Edgar Renteria. Both are good with runner in scoring position, similar body type, both are/were the number three. Really struggled early but seems to be turning things around. Good bat speed and the ability to use all fields. Surprising pop for a middle infielder. Average to below average speed on the base paths. Martinez has soft hands with a slightly above average arm that enables him to make the pivot on the double play.

Josh Dew

Like Ottavino, this guy is huge. Big-shouldered country boy who would seem to be as comfortable on the farm as on the mound. Good velocity, hit 95 on the gun while working 90-91. Sinker has nice bite and comes in on right-handed hitters. On this night, Dew struggled with his command of the pitch. Needs to find consistency with his release point.

Adam Ottavino

The first thing that strikes you when you see Ottavino is his size. The right-hander has a big, projectable frame that he could still add bulk to. Uses his size to get on top of the ball and pitch on a downward plane. Worked 90-91 but could dial it up when he needed to. Hit 95 several times and 96 once. Struggled with command of his breaking ball.

Kyle Mura

This year's P.J. Walters? Control pitcher who works his fastball in the 85 MPH range while occasionally dialing it up to 88. On this night, Mura had trouble spotting his breaking pitches but his curveball does show some promise. Changeup is his best pitch that was a swing-and-miss pitch to left-handers. Possesses a smooth, repeatable delivery.

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Dustin Mattison can be reached via email at

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