2009 Cardinals Prospects – The Master List

A consolidation of five national rankings of top ten lists of St. Louis Cardinals prospects for 2009.

I know. We've already saturated the readers with prospect rankings all winter long. Yet with just a few days remaining prior to the first pitchers and catchers reporting, I want to share one other list.

Or more accurately, I mean six other lists. There are at least five national concerns that rate and rank prospects from all 30 organizations, not just the St. Louis Cardinals. While we are biased here that our list is best, getting other opinions is always most interesting.

What I have done here is take each of the Cardinals top ten prospect lists from Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, John Sickels, Keith Law of ESPN and Deric McKamey and placed them side-by-side.

Baseball America Bb Prospectus John Sickels Keith Law ESPN Deric McKamey
1 Colby Rasmus Colby Rasmus Colby Rasmus Colby Rasmus Colby Rasmus
2 Brett Wallace Brett Wallace Brett Wallace Brett Wallace Brett Wallace
3 Chris Perez Chris Perez Chris Perez Daryl Jones Bryan Anderson
4 Jess Todd Daryl Jones Daryl Jones Chris Perez Daryl Jones
5 Bryan Anderson Jess Todd Jess Todd Jon Jay Jason Motte
6 Clayton Mortensen Adam Reifer Jon Jay Niko Vasquez Pete Kozma
7 Daryl Jones Bryan Anderson Jason Motte Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs
8 Jason Motte Jaime Garcia Bryan Anderson Lance Lynn Jon Jay
9 David Freese Lance Lynn Mitchell Boggs Bryan Anderson Jess Todd
10 Pete Kozma Jason Motte Jaime Garcia Francisco Samuel David Freese

We will start with similarities, even though they are kind of boring. Of the 17 players that appear on at least one top ten list, six of them are named on all five top ten lists*.

* I had to take one liberty, as McKamey is the only source besides us here at Scout.com that recognizes the reality that Chris Perez is no longer a rookie due to MLB time served last season. To keep the comparison ground level, I assigned Perez a second #3 ranking from McKamey, since that is where Perez sits on most of the other lists anyway.

Unanimous picks (6) low high
Colby Rasmus 1 1
Brett Wallace 2 2
Chris Perez* 4 3
Daryl Jones 7 3
Bryan Anderson 9 3
Jason Motte 10 5

As the data indicates, Colby Rasmus and Brett Wallace at the top are unanimous choices, with Perez pretty close as next in line. The biggest difference of opinion among the consensus players is catcher Bryan Anderson, with a best of third and a worst of ninth. The questions about him are whether or not his doubles power will turn into home runs and his receiving skills.

The next step was to look at the key differences in the rankings. The outliers are the four players each named on just one of the five top ten lists. If a person was looking for sleepers, these four names would provide a great place to start.

Single picks (4) rank who
Clayton Mortensen 6 BA
Adam Reifer 6 BP
Niko Vasquez 6 ESPN
Francisco Samuel 10 ESPN

The most aggressive "wild duck" was Law of ESPN, with two of his ten picks unique to his list. Also note that of these four picks, only one was bringing up the rear at number ten. The other three demonstrate some conviction by the ranker due to their respective number six votes. Still, without a second vote, none of the four will make the consolidated top ten.

There are five other minority players from among the five lists – those that only made just two of the top ten lists.

Two-timers (5) low high who
Pete Kozma 10 6 McKamey
Mitchell Boggs 9 7 McKamey
Lance Lynn 9 8 ESPN
Jaime Garcia 10 8 BP
David Freese 10 9 BA

Because of their six and seven-rankings on one list, that of McKamey, both Pete Kozma and Mitchell Boggs slipped into the very bottom of the consolidated top ten. Kozma breaks the tie with the higher individual score of the two.

This leaves the final pair of players, those that appeared on either three or four of the five lists.

Three-peats (1) low high who
Jon Jay 8 5 ESPN
Four of five (1) low high who
Jess Todd 9 4 BA

It seems a bit odd to me that so many more of the 17 players were either unanimous or were on just one or two ballots. That indicates to me there is quite a gulf between the consensus top group and the rest.

My final step is to show the blended five rankings. When combining scores, an unranked player was assigned a score of "11". The five rankings were added together with the lowest total number one and so on.

The overall table follows with our Scout.com top ten provided next to it as comparison.

Consolidated top ten rank Scout top ten
Colby Rasmus 1 Colby Rasmus
Brett Wallace 2 Brett Wallace
Chris Perez 3 Bryan Anderson
Daryl Jones 4 Jess Todd
Bryan Anderson 5 Daryl Jones
Jess Todd 6 David Freese
Jason Motte 7 Jason Motte
Jon Jay 8 Mitchell Boggs
Pete Kozma 9 Jaime Garcia
Mitchell Boggs 10 Jon Jay
The other seven
Adam Reifer T11
Clayton Mortensen T11
Niko Vasquez T11
Lance Lynn 14
Jaime Garcia 15
David Freese 16
Francisco Samuel 17

The only differences in the names are David Freese and Jaime Garcia, who made the Scout list at numbers six and nine respectively, but fell down to the 11-17 consolidated group.

The unique names on the consolidated list are Perez, for reasons already noted, and Kozma, who scraped into the consolidated top ten (the shortstop ranked number 12 on the Scout list).

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

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