2010 Cardinals Prospect #7 – Allen Craig

The Cardinals organization's 2009 Player of the Year is banging on the door to the big leagues.

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

2009 rank Pos. DOB Ht. Wt. Bat Throw Signed Round
14 OF/3B/1B 7/18/1984 6-2 210 R R 2006 8th

School: University of California, Berkeley

Selected 2009 stats

MEM 0.322 472 78 152 26 1 26 83 37 95 3 0.374 0.547 0.921

Staff comments (individual rankings in parentheses)

Dustin Mattison (6): Can we all agree that Allen Craig is going to hit? Though I may not be sold he is going to be an All-Star, I do believe that Craig has the chance to be a solid contributor at the big league level. I am not the only one to believe this. In his annual projections, Chone looks very favorable upon him.

Scouts continue to doubt the 25-year-old and he just continues to hit. In his first year at Triple-A, Craig turned in one of the top performances in the Pacific Coast League. The real question is where he is going to play. He has made himself into a very serviceable left fielder and has the ability to play first and third in a pinch. But it will be his bat that carries him and don't be surprised if he keeps proving "the experts" wrong.

Message board community (7): Allen Craig was a non-eventful pick in the 2006 draft. His 2006 short season was also a non-eventful year. However, since that time, Craig has done nothing but hit for power and for average. While hitting righties well, Craig feasts on left-handed pitching, Career wise, Craig is over .100 points better in OPS vs. LHP. This will bode well for him given the Cardinals' historic deficiency in that area.

Craig's numbers fare very well with top prospects chosen by various publications but Craig never seems to get listed. This despite him showing the ability to be a serviceable third baseman and possibly a slightly above-average outfielder. Craig's second half this year is of particular note as he hit .405 with a 1.213 OPS after the all-star break.

While most think Craig has the inside track at being the first right-handed bat off the bench, I think Craig's lack of exposure to the major league staff may put him behind Mather, Stavinoha, and possibly even Robinson. In that regard, I think it is important for Craig to get off to a hot start in spring training if he doesn't want to end up back in Memphis to start the year. - CariocaCardinal

Brian Walton (8): I admit that I have not seen Craig play regularly in the outfield, yet that is the key to his major league success. He spent a majority of his time in left field in 2009, so hopefully his glove is now close to being as ready as his bat. Craig can cover first base credibly and has spent most of his years as a professional playing third base, where he is considered a lesser defender compared to David Freese. Still, it is not out of the realm of possibility that if Craig makes the team as an outfielder that he could also serve as reserve strength at third.

As already noted, everyone's 2009 Cardinals Minor League Player of the Year is proficient as a hitter and as such, I think Craig is poised to make the team out of spring training. If he is truly behind the men on paper mentioned by Carioca above along with Jon Jay, he should pass them quickly. Last spring, Craig was ready, with a line of .444/.531/.667 in 27 at-bats in major league camp. That opened eyes, including mine.

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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