Originally Posted by RedlegJake
And what do you think happens to the Cards system in a couple years? All that top tier talent has to play or br traded because of free agent rrules to prevent hoarding Spirit. A couple years ago the Reds Cards farm rankings were reversed. Time is both blessing and curse in the farm system. Play em trade em or lose em. That's why few systems remain on top very long. The Reds just finished up the trade em/play em end of that cycle and are reloading. I like the system given its point in that cycle. In 2 years the Cards will be in the same lower rank due to this process...the Reds will be much higher.
I agree about the nature of farm systems, as it pertains to fluctuation.
I disagree that in a couple years the Cardinals' system will drop significantly. Their AAA and AA teams are well stocked with young talent (both in first place, FWIW). Their high A team is average, but in fairness, they have promoted 6 players to AA since the start of the season. Their low A team is in 2nd place and have several players doing very well.
Last year's draft was widely considered their best in 10 years and they have 4 picks in the top 100 this year. They also have made great strides in their foreign scouting and have spent a lot of money on players like Taveras and Martinez.
As for the big team, assuming they let Westbrook walk after this year and fill his spot with one of the starters currently in the bullpen, their rotation is set for 4 years (injuries notwithstanding), with Wainright being the only starter over 25.
As for their position players, other than Beltran, who they might not re-up after this year, only Holliday and Molina are over 30. They'll probably replace Kozma (Jackson, in AAA, is hitting .350 and considered a better fielder). Wong was being groomed to take over next year at 2B, and is considered the team's best 2B prospect in forever, but with Carpenter's emergence, he might have to sit.
The difference in the new front office regime is that the farm system has gotten deep enough that they can gamble on high risk / high reward talent. The old regime got mired in picking " safe " players, and you never get the potential all star type talent drafting that way.