"This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner
In case folks missed it, John Sickels released his system rankings last week. He also had the Cardinals first and had the Reds at 15.
1) St. Louis Cardinals (ranked #5 last year): Strengths: Everything. They have pitching, hitting, high upside, and depth. They have a proven track record of player development. Weaknesses: none really. They could use a shortstop with a better bat but so could most teams.
15) Cincinnati Reds (21): Strengths: pitching at the top with Robert Stephenson, Dan Corcino, Tony Cingrani and additional arms to back them up. Weaknesses: offense, once you get past Billy Hamilton and Jesse Winker though there are some bats at the lower levels that could develop. As with Arizona, this is a solid system in a transition phase and ranking here is no insult.
Cards farm system lacks a good power right handed bat. The best is probably Piscotty or Garcia and both of them are in high-A. I'm not sure i've ever seen a system have as many good right handed pitchers come through in as little time as the cards are about too though.
I'm excited to see O. Taveras, but history has not been kind to pitching prospects in general, and the heart of the Cards' Crown Jewels are pitchers.
All due respect to those guys, all the cards top pitching prospects are flame throwers. That doesn't necessarily mean they are going to be hall of famers or anything but if you can throw 98mph with decent command you will at minimum be an effective relief pitcher, barring injury.
I think cardinal fans are so, perhaps overly, excited because the last 4 pitchers that have brought up (Rosie, Miller, Lynn, and Kelly) dazzled at times and were all very effective in their roles as rookies.
Obviously there are many that don't pan out, but many of their top pitching prospects have spent time on the big league roster during a pennant race and during a 7 game NLCS and they flourished in those roles. Obviously, not proof that they are going to be superstars, but certainly something to be excited about.
Benzinger backing and calling! And the 1990 world championship series belongs to the Cincinnati Reds!
I actually like Rosenthal better than Miller. I wasn't impressed with Miller. He was hit hard time the second time anyone saw him. I don't see him as anything better than Kelly, and I wouldn't be surprised if Kelly has a better career.
Still, a very nice batch of young arms, even if none of them become a Top of the Rotation starter.
Kelly was a rookie this season, and he was called up from double-A midseason. So while he isn't "technically" a prospect i still kinda consider him one. I agree that Lynn is best suited as a set up man or closer.
I believe the Miller outing your talking about was the one in San Diego, after i saw that, i was also concerned. However, his start on the final day of the season against the Reds changed my mind, and then in the playoffs he was very good. He was also way too small last season, the cards told him to gain weight this offseason and apparently he has put on about 20 lbs which should help him get his velocity back up and have it stay up.
100% agree on Rosenthal. I've said it on here before, but ill say it again, i think Rosenthal has the potential to be the next Verlander.
People are right to say that it's unproven talent but if they hit on just one of these guys, the Cards are pretty much set in their rotation for years to come in my opinion.
EDIT: Carlos Martinez's fastball, to put in perspective, is supposed to be on par or slightly better than Rosenthal's.
Last edited by MikeThierry; 02-04-2013 at 10:18 PM.
If push comes to shove, I wouldn't be shocked if the Cards trade some of their chips for a high end SS mid-season.
EDIT: Baseball America also rated the Cards system as #1 for 2013.
Last edited by MikeThierry; 02-04-2013 at 10:14 PM.
The rankings seemed pretty accurate to me. I personally was glad to see a club at the top of the list this year was at the bottom just 6 years ago.