Birdhouse Community Selects Top 20 Prospects

Join our readers in voting for the top prospects in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system for the third consecutive winter.

The Community Forum at The Birdhouse (part of the network) has selected its top 20 St. Louis Cardinals minor league prospects for the 2009 season.   The selections have been made as part of their third annual voting on the top 50 prospects in the Cardinals' system.  

For the second straight year, Colby Rasmus has taken home the top prospect honors.   Despite a season where he struggled offensively and battled injuries, the 21-year-old outfielder was an overwhelming selection as the top prospect though he was not a unanimous pick as in the previous year.   The complete top 20 list includes (last year's community rank in parentheses):

1. Colby Rasmus (1).  Rasmus was named the #1 prospect in the Pacific Coast League (PCL) by Baseball America (BA) following the season.  The 22-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder batted .251/.346./396. at Triple-A Memphis in 2008.   Selected for the 2008 USA Olympic Team (did not play do to injury).

2. Chris Perez (5).  1-1, 3.20 ERA, 11 saves, 38K/12BB in 25.1 innings at Triple-A Memphis and 3-3, 3.62 ERA in 41.2 innings at St. Louis.  Perez received several votes as the number 1 prospect.   The 23-year-old right-handed pitcher has been pegged by many as the team's future closer.  Perez was BA's 12th ranked prospect in the Pacific Coast League.

3. Brett Wallace (NR). The 22-year-old left-handed hitting third baseman was the Cardinals' number one draft pick (#13 overall) and played himself all the way to Double-A Springfield in his first professional season where he posted a .367/.456/.653 line after going .327/.418./490 at A level Quad Cities.  BA named him the #5 prospect in the Midwest League.

4. Bryan Anderson (2). The 21-year-old left-handed hitting catcher split time between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis this past season, posting lines of .388/.412./525. and .281/367/.379, respectively.   He finished the season ranked as BA's # 14 prospect in the PCL

5. Daryl Jones (NR) jumps back into the rankings in a big way after being ranked 22nd two years ago and then falling completely out of the rankings last year.   The 21-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder finally showed his often talked-about potential by compiling a ,326/.406.426 line at High A Palm Beach and following that up with a .290/.409/.500 at Double-A Springfield.   After the season, Jones was named BA's #13 prospect in the Texas League.  He was also named the Cardinals organizational Minor League Player of the Year.

6. Jess Todd (18). The 22-year-old right-handed pitcher was recently named the Cardinals' Minor League Pitcher of the Year and ranked as BA's # 7 prospect in the Texas League. Todd pitched across three levels, putting together a combined record of 8-6  with a 2.88 ERA and 136 K's and 42 walks in 153 innings.  Opposing hitters batted just .213 against him for the year.

7. Jaime Garcia (3). Many voters for Garcia indicated that he would have been selected higher had he not suffered a season-ending arm injury that required surgery which should keep him on the shelf the entire 2009 season.  The 22-year-old left-handed pitcher was still ranked highly based on the strength of record of 3-2 with a 2.06 ERA at Double-A Springfield and a 4-4, 4.44 ERA and  59 K/26 BB in 71 innings  at Triple-A Memphis.  Garcia also played in 10 games for St. Louis this season.  He is ranked by BA as the # 16 prospect in the Texas League this past year.


8. David Freese (19).  The 25-year-old right-handed hitting 3B who was acquired last off-season in exchange for Jim Edmonds put up a solid .306/.361./550 line with 26 HR and 91 RBI at Triple-A Memphis to jump 11 spots in this year's rankings.   Following the season, he was named to BA's Triple-A All-Star Team.

9. Mitchell Boggs (17).  Another member of the BA Triple-A All-Stars, Boggs compiled a record of 9-3, 3.45 ERA at Memphis and pitched in eight games for the big league Cardinals during the season.  The 24-year-old right-hander is the 17th ranked prospect by BA in the PCL.

10. Jon Jay ( 27). The 23-year-old outfielder put up a solid .306/.379./457 line at Double-A Springfield before moving up to Triple-A Memphis where he went .345/.406./500. Jay was BA's # 16 prospect in the Texas League.

11. Adam Ottavino (4). 23-year-old right-handed pitcher went 3-7 with a 5.23 ERA at Double-A Springfield.

12. Jason Motte (26). 26-year-old right-handed pitcher went 4-3 with a 3.24 ERA, 110K and 26 BB in 66.2 innings at Triple-A Memphis. He also posted a line of 0-0, 0.82 ERA with 1 save, 16 K/3 BB in 11 innings for the St. Louis Cardinals. Named to BA's Triple-A All-Star Team.

13. Pete Kozma (12). 20-year-old right-handed hitting SS went .284/.363/.398 at A-level Quad Cities and .130/.231./.182 at High A Palm Beach. Ranked as the #15 prospect in the Midwest League by BA.

14. Richard Castillo (NR). 19-year-old right-handed pitcher impressed with a 9-4 record, 2.37 ERA, 88 K/28 BB in 95 innings at A-level Quad Cities and High A Palm Beach.

15. Clayton Mortensen (15). 23-year-old right-handed pitcher posted a line of 8-10, 4.96 ERA with 105 K/64 BB in 139.2 innings between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis.


16. Allen Craig (8). 24-year-old 3B hit .304/.373./494 with 22 home runs and 87 RBI at Double-A Springfield.

17. Niko Vasquez (NR). 19-year-old shortstop hit .317/.416./462 at Rookie level Johnson City and also had a brief stint at Class-A Quad Cities.

18. P.J. Walters (11). 23-year-old right-handed pitcher had a 1-2 record, 3.25 ERA, 34 K/8 BB in 34 innings at Double-A Springfield and a 9-4 record, 4.87 ERA with 122 K/62 BB in 122 innings at Triple-A Memphis.

19. Josh Kinney (24).  29-year-old right handed relief pitcher went 0-0 in seven innings for St. Louis.  Sat out most of the 2008 season due to recovery from elbow injuries.

20. Francisco Samuel (NR). 21-year-old right-handed pitcher. Between A-level Quad Cities and High-A Palm Beach, Samuel was 6-6, 2.83 ERA with 30 saves.  He had 94 K/53 BB in 63.2 innings.  Opposing hitters hit just .191 against him.  Samuel was BA's #18 prospect in the Florida State League.

Those wishing to participate in the remaining selections can still vote by going here.  The Birdhouse staff will make their annual top 40 prospect selections later in the off-season.



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