2010 Cardinals Prospect #10 – Daniel Descalso

Can the second baseman recapture his first-half 2009 Springfield mojo? Today's article is FREE!

Scout.com Player Profile (including links to full 2009 and career stats)

2009 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Throw Signed Round
NR 2B 10/19/1986 5-10 190 L R 2007 3rd

School: University of California - Davis

Selected 2009 stats

SPR 0.323 288 46 93 26 5 8 51 31 41 0 0.396 0.531 0.928
MEM 0.253 150 23 38 4 0 2 17 16 21 3 0.327 0.320 0.647
Tot 0.299 438 69 131 30 5 10 68 47 62 3 0.373 0.459 0.832
USA 0.238 21 4 5 1 0 1 2 4 1 1 0.385 0.429 0.814
AFL 0.220 82 11 18 4 0 0 3 11 10 1 0.313 0.268 0.581

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (10): When Descalso was drafted back in 2007, honestly, I wasn't too thrilled with the pick. I now understand what Jeff Luhnow and staff saw in the University of California-Davis product.

At the plate, Descalso has good bat control and above average bat speed. He has great plate discipline and uses the whole field. In the field, he is very smooth around the bag. He has really quick feet and the range to play second base. The footwork is superb, enabling him to make the double play turn with relative ease.

After a highly productive run at Springfield, he was promoted to Memphis where he struggled. To be fair, he wasn't getting consistent playing time nor was he consistently at second base. He then received valuable experience playing for Team USA and then in the Arizona Fall League.

Descalso will start the year at Memphis and needs to get off to a hot start. If he is able to match his hot start of 2009 in 2010, he very well may secure his spot as one of the organization's top five prospects.

Message board community (9): The pick of Daniel Descalso in the third round of the 2007 draft was criticized in many circles. His .682 and .698 OPS in his first two seasons didn't do much to quiet the critics. However, in 2009, Descalso made Jeff Luhnow look like a genius by posting a .928 OPS at Double-A Springfield and a .832 OPS overall for the year (after struggling at Triple-A).

The key to Descalso's improvement this year was a significant uptick in power (.208 ISO – a number he was unable to sustain as he moved up to Triple-A). If he can repeat those power numbers in 2010 while at Memphis, Descalso will solidify himself as a top prospect. If his power numbers drop back off, he will probably be a serviceable major league second baseman (his glove is considered average to above average) but may not be the long term answer to the Cardinals' historic revolving door at second base. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (10): I continue to hail from Missouri regarding Descalso's offense and would have ranked him lower had the competition been stiffer. It seems that every year, someone has a hot start with Springfield and is quickly anointed the next big thing. Several years back, it was Jarrett Hoffpauir. In 2008, it was Shane Robinson. What have they done since?

Descalso had two mediocre years with the bat, a half-season of great results then returned to another over half-season of badness. Think I am exaggerating? After his time with Memphis, Descalso batted .238 with Team USA though his OPS improved. Next was his .220/.313/.268/.581 line in which every number resided at or very near the bottom of the Arizona Fall League. I am waiting for validation of fact over fluke.

Our 2010 top 40 countdown continues: To see our entire list of 40 Cardinals prospects, click here. You can also read each of the voters' philosophies in making their selections.

There's more! Want access to the all details behind our Cardinals prospect rankings in our "Forty Days, Forty Nights, Forty Prospects" feature here at The Cardinal Nation?

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