Despite the graduation of Matt Adams, Carlos Martinez, Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, Marco Gonzales, and Oscar Taveras in recent seasons, St. Louis’ farm system remains surprisingly strong in the upper levels. Stephen Piscotty, Randal Grichuk ,and Tim Cooney are all nearing varying degrees of big league readiness.
For a look at the club’s Top 10 Prospects heading into the year click HERE
1. Stephen Piscotty, RF, Age: 23
Piscotty’s seen a bit of a disturbing trend over the past season-plus: his Isolated Power totals have declined at each of his three stops, going from .185 in high Class A to .147 in Class AA to .133 this season with Memphis. Still just 23-years-old, the former third baseman should be a better than average outfielder for the next ten years.
2. Rob Kaminsky, LHP, Age: 19
Despite throwing only 22.0 innings in rookie ball during his debut, the Cardinals pushed the 19-year-old southpaw to Peoria this season and the results have been, well, impressive: 7.36 K/9, 2.60 BB/9, and a 2.99 FIP. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Kaminsky get a cup of coffee with Palm Beach before the end of the season.
3. Luke Weaver, RHP, Age: 20
Like Marco Gonzales in 2013 and Michael Wacha the year before, St. Louis took a polished collegiate arm to open the draft. Weaver, also like his predecessors, has a chance to move quickly through the system. For his full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
4. Randal Grichuk, OF, Age: 22
Acquired along with Peter Bourjos last November, Grichuk is hitting .270/.316/.505 with 16 homeruns during his first stint in Class AAA. His total production, however, has topped the league average production by just 8%.
5. Tim Cooney, LHP, Age: 23
Cooney followed up his breakout 2013 season with an exponentially worse 2014: he’s seen a dramatic decline in his strikeout percentage and a large rise in his walk percentage while his FIP has ballooned by nearly three runs.
6. Jack Flaherty, RHP, Age: 18
The club’s second first round pick, Flaherty, the #34 overall selection, was a highly recruited two-way player committed to play for UNC.
7. James Ramsey, CF, Age: 24
Back in the Texas League for the second straight season, Ramsey has been tearing the cover off the ball, slugging .303/.384/.537 with 12 homeruns through his first 54 games. If he’s not ready for Class AAA, he never will be.
8. Andrew Morales, RHP, Age: 21
One of my favorite pitchers in the collegiate draft class – I ranked him as the 18th overall prospect on my Collegiate Draft Big Board – the Cards grabbed the 6-foot right-hander with the third pick in the second supplemental round. For Morales’ full pre-draft analysis click HERE.
9. Alexander Reyes, RHP, Age: 19
The good news: the 19-year-old right-hander has struck out 28.1% of the batters he’s faced this season. The bad news: he’s walked 15.4% of the hitters he’s faced.
10. Samuel Tuivailala, RHP, Age: 21
How’s this for impressive: Tuivailala, a converted third baseman, has fanned 67 of the total 168 batters he’s faced. A late-inning, high impact reliever waiting to happen. And soon.
Photo Courtesy of UCIrvineSports.com.