Cardinals Prospects on McKamey's Mega-Lists

Deric McKamey, one of baseball's preeminent minor league experts, shares his rankings of St. Louis Cardinals prospects on several "best of" lists.

Deric McKamey's annual "Minor League Baseball Analyst" arrived in my mailbox the other day. The first prospect guide to fully integrate sabermetrics and scouting includes detailed reports on over 1000 minor leaguers.

In Part one of this series, McKamey shared his top 15 St. Louis Cardinals prospects with the details as to why they're ranked where they are. In Part two, Cardinals' organizational rankings in areas such as pitching, hitting, depth and top talent were compared to their National League Central Division competitors.

Here we will look at how several of the top Cardinals prospects compare to others in the game overall, then by position in terms of long-range potential in the Major Leagues.

Top 100 Prospects of 2009
1. Matt Wieters (C, Bal)
4. Colby Rasmus (OF, StL)
32. Brett Wallace (3B, StL)

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Catcher
1. Matt Wieters (Bal)
10. Bryan Anderson (StL) Athletic catcher with good bat speed and plate discipline, giving him doubles power and ability to hit for batting average. Young for level of play, his defense is improving gradually. Average arm strength and quick release (1.95) helped stop 38% of attempted runner, but still needs work on receiving skills.

Top 15 Prospects by Position – First base
1. Eric Hosmer (KC)
No Cardinals ranked

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Second base
1. Adrian Cardenas (Oak)
No Cardinals ranked

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Third base
1. Pedro Alvarez (Pit)
3. Brett Wallace (StL) Strong/muscular hitter with impressive bat speed and barrel awareness, allowing him to hit for batting average and power. Uses the whole field and hangs-in well against LH pitching. Arm strength is solid-average, but lack of speed (4.4)/agility and stiff hands leaves his defense below average.

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Shortstop
1. Tim Beckham (TB)
No Cardinals ranked

Top 45 Prospects by Position – Outfield
1. Colby Rasmus (StL)
Athletic outfielder who missed most of the second half with a sprained MCL of his left knee. Bat was streaky all season and struggled to make adjustments, but has the bat speed and smooth hitting mechanics to hit for both batting average and power. Runs well (4.05), and sports excellent range and arm strength in CF.
32. Daryl Jones (StL) Plus athlete with game-changing speed (3.9) and emerging bat that resurrected prospect status. Improved approach and solid bat speed lifted AVG/OBP and showed moderate power to all fields. Ranges well in CF and makes up for below average arm strength by being highly accurate and throwing to the proper bases.

Top 75 Prospects by Position – Starting pitcher
1. David Price (TB)
75. Clayton Mortensen (StL) Tall/projectable starter found life difficult at upper levels, uncharacteristically elevating pitches and not being efficient. His 88-92 MPH sinker is heavy and is deceptively quick with his high ¾ delivery that he repeats frequently. His 80-83 MPH change-up regressed slightly and needs to pitch more aggressively in the strike zone.

Top 15 Prospects by Position – Relief pitcher
1. Daniel Bard (Bos)
6. Jason Motte (StL) Drafted as a catcher, the transition to power reliever has been flawless. Overpowers hitters with an 88-98 MPH fastball/79-82 MPH cutter combination and was amongst minor league leaders in K/9. Command was solid despite inconsistent mechanics, though his ¾ delivery has effort and can be too aggressive.

Top Power- Top 30 prospects that have the potential to hit for power in the Major Leagues, combining raw power, plate discipline, and the ability to make their power game-usable.
17. Colby Rasmus (StL)

Top Batting Average- Top 30 prospects that have the potential to hit for high batting average in the Major Leagues, combining contact ability, plate discipline, hitting mechanics and strength.
1. Brett Wallace (StL)
7. Colby Rasmus (StL)
19. Bryan Anderson (StL)
30. Jon Jay (StL) Fluid athlete with above average speed (4.15), contact ability, and plate discipline. OBP was solid at the top of the order and power improved slightly even though he uses the middle of the field and his bat plane is flat. Possesses good range, but arm strength is a tick below average, which could make playing CF a stretch.

Top Speed- Top 30 prospects that have the potential to steal bases in the Major Leagues, combining raw speed and base-running instincts.
12. Daryl Jones (StL)

In closing, thank you to Deric McKamey and BaseballHQ for giving us this special look into their data. Please respect them and copyright laws by not duplicating this material.



Link to Part one of this report: "Deric McKamey on Cardinals Prospects: 2009"
Link to Part two: "McKamey on the Cards and the NL Central: 2009"



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnation.com.

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