Tour of the Minor League Standout Players

Dustin Mattison takes a quick tour of players who are standing out in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league camp

As most St. Louis Cardinal fans are watching to see who locks up the 25th spot on the team's opening day roster, I have been scouring the minor league reports that appear in my mailbox each evening. (Thank you John Vuch!)

Though the daily wrap up only reports the highlights, I have noticed several names that appear on an almost daily basis.

Future number one prospect in the Cardinals' system, Brett Wallace, has carried over his 2008 success in his first professional spring training. Wallace has highlighted his spring with a three home run performance.

A sleeper candidate, Daniel Descalso, has placed himself consistently in the reports. The second baseman could move up prospect charts if his hot hitting carries over to Double-A. Remember, he posted a line of .351/.405/.432 in limited action for Springfield at the end of 2008.

A player that I have been high on since the Cardinals drafted him is Tommy Pham. The Nevada native is appearing on an almost daily basis. Pham hit 17 home runs at the Quad Cities in 2008 and is positioning himself for another big season. Over the past week, he has three triples and a game winning RBI. If he cuts down on his strikeouts, he could be this season's Daryl Jones.

Speaking of Jones, he is building off of his breakout season of a year ago. In Monday's action, the Texan went 3-3 with a triple, home run, two runs scored, and two runs driven in.

In his first action in the United States, Roberto De La Cruz has showed why he was the Cardinals biggest international free agent signing in the team's history. De La Cruz has two home runs already and from reports, all were legitimate.

2008 Appalachian League Player of the Year Curt Smith is out to prove his debut was no fluke. The Maine product shows up in the reports on an almost daily basis while showing good power.

On the pitching side, Samuel Freeman is getting a lot of work and appears to be on the fast track. In fact, he has pitching quite often with the Springfield team as well as with Memphis.

David Carpenter appears to have taken to the mound after spending his early career behind the plate.

To change gears ever so slightly, I wanted to mention a few of the players that have been released from the organization this spring. Jameson Maj seemed like a serviceable arm that had a pretty good debut in 2008. Two draft picks from last season, Miguel Flores and Joshua Hester, have already been shown the door. Drafted in back-to-back rounds, 16th and 17th respectively, neither seemed to stack up as the organizational depth continues to improve. My only thought is that these are fairly high picks to already be out of the organization less than a year after being drafted.


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