2010 Cardinals Prospect #9 – Robert Stock

Will his continued success as a catcher enable Cardinal Nation to forget his past pitching feats?

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

2009 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Throw Signed Round
NA C 11/21/1989 6-1 190 L R 2009 2nd

School: University of Southern California

Selected 2009 stats

JC 0.322 149 25 48 9 2 7 24 11 28 0 0.386 0.550 0.936
QC 0.095 21 1 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 0 0.208 0.095 0.304
Tot 0.294 170 26 50 9 2 7 24 13 33 0 0.363 0.494 0.857

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (8): There is not a more interesting player in the Cardinals' system than Robert Stock. Though a catcher at this time, he has the fallback option of taking his game to the pitcher's mound. And it is there that I feel he has the most potential.

At the plate, Stock seems off-balance in the box at times. His swing is long and his upper and lower bodies do not seem to be in sync. He appears very stiff though his hands were overly busy.

Stock keeps his weight out front, which will limit his power potential. The 19-year-old possesses a high baseball IQ and hopefully will adjust when facing higher levels of competition.

It will be interesting to see how he progresses against the more polished pitchers as he climbs the ladder. The first thing he will have to do is cut down on his swing if he wants to have continued success.

Message board community (11): Robert Stock is thought by most observers to have more potential as a pitcher than the catcher position that he is currently playing. If so, he most likely will be a very good pitcher. However, for now, Stock is a catcher and that is what he is being evaluated as. Not that his first year catching was anything to sneeze about. Stock's .936 OPS at Rookie league Johnson City was an outstanding (and to most surprising) start to his career.

Evaluating Stock's initial season numbers is not easy though. As a 19 year old he was slightly younger than the average player thus making his numbers very impressive. As a three year major college veteran, his experience level was probably greater than average and his numbers might be what one would expect from someone with such experience.

Stock struggled mightily in a last month promotion to A level Quad Cities but this could easily be due to simple fatigue rather than any worrisome flaw in his ability. Some firsthand accounts by message board readers have been critical of Stock's defense but it is most likely too early to determine if he can stick at catcher for his career. If he continues to hit but struggles defensively he should be athletic enough to move to another position. If his hitting fails him there's always that pitching thing.

Stock should start 2010 back at Quad Cities where he is expected to be teamed as a batterymate with first round pick Shelby Miller. If he hits well early on, I would expect a quick promotion, but if not, his age will allow him to stay all year at Quad Cities without any worries about his development. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (9): Wouldn't it be great for the Cardinals to have some more can't-miss players? Unfortunately, their second-rounder from 2009 isn't. Though Stock was highly regarded as a collegian, there is a question over whether he is fish or fowl, like so many Cardinals farmhands. Stock is neither a can't-miss backstop nor a can't-miss hurler.

Is he more valuable to the Cardinals as a catcher or a pitcher? That is the question that will haunt the organization unless Stock continues to hit and grow defensively. Here is hoping that progression continues notably in 2010. Trying to alter one's career course midstream can certainly be attempted, but at a minimum, important development time would be lost in the process.

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.

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